“Dangerous precedent” warning as 790 homes proposal in Great Dunmow is agreed
18:14 12 February 2014
Uttlesford’s planning committee has set a “dangerous precedent” by approving an application for up to 790 homes in Great Dunmow – about a third of the size of the town.
That was the view of one town councillor at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) where Barratt Homes was granted outline planning permission for a scheme which includes a primary school, community buildings and playing fields.
Speaking to the Broadcast after the meeting, Great Dunmow town councillor Trudi Hughes expressed her disappointment at the decision, saying the committee did “not see the dangerous precedent they are setting” in light of other large-scale applications in the offing.
However, Cllr Hughes added that, now the decision was made, eveything must be done to secure maximum benefit for the community.
“The town council will now work to secure the best for our community, given the circumstances. We know there is a need for football and cricket pitches, which we have been shown in the scheme, and we support those elements of it,” she said.
The homes will be built on the land west of Woodside Way and 30 per cent will be affordable – although this figure was queried. Cllr Elizabeth Godwin asked: “If we have 30 per cent affordable housing, we can have the school – if we have 40 per cent affordable housing we have to cut back on the school. Is this how it works now?”
Uttlesford’s assistant director of planning, Andrew Taylor, said it was a “balance” of both, adding: “If we left the primary school right until the end we would get more affordable housing but we don’t want that. We need the primary school.”
Cllr Christina Cant was happy with the percentage of affordable housing, and welcomed the proposal.
She said: “On balance with the other facilities we are being provided this is probably all we can have.
“On this site the financial contribution and land for a primary school is being provided. That, as far as I can see, is an excellent provision.
“In terms of sustainability it is within walking distance of the shops.”
Eight members voted in favour of the application, one abstained and Dunmow South councillor Keith Mackman voted against it.
After the meeting, Peter Biggs, head of planning at Barratt Eastern Counties, said the scheme delivered “much-needed new homes and a significant number of community facilities”.