Exhibition for proposed garden community at Easton Park was ‘nothing new’, residents claim
PUBLISHED: 08:04 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:04 15 February 2018
A public exhibition calling for residents to have their say on a new settlement proposed at Easton Park has been criticised by campaigners.
The consultation event, which took place on February 6 and February 7 was held by developers Landsec, which owns the land proposed for a new garden community.
Under the proposals, the development could see up to 10,000 new homes, as well as neighbourhood parks, play areas, sports pitches, new community facilities, including cultural, recreational and shopping facilities.
Vincent Thompson, 67, spokesman for Stop Easton Park action group and Easton resident for 22 years, said: “This consultation was very disquieting. No proper notice was given and leaflets were not distributed where they should have been. No new information was given and finally, it was based on a questionnaire with highly selective questions.”
Chairman of Little Easton Parish Council, Councillor Andy Dodsley, said: “We were disappointed that only a minority of the houses in the village [Little Easton] actually received leaflets communicating the exhibition.
“The timings of the events did not cater for people who were at work and residents who work in London did not have the opportunity to attend.
The questions themselves on the questionnaire were uninspiring and obvious.”
He added: “We would always support any effort to engage with the local community.”
Uttlesford district councillor Martin Foley, who represents the Eastons, said: “The new settlement could devastate the area in terms of rural living conditions. Essentially, this is an urban sprawl.”
A spokesman for Landsec said: “Landsec delivered over 3,500 leaflets in order to publicise the exhibitions, which resulted in two well-attended events, Currently, Easton Park holds a draft allocation in Uttlesford District Council’s Local Plan; a planning application is 12-18 months away.
“The aim of these exhibitions was to provide residents with an initial opportunity to express their key priorities for the scheme. This information will then help mould the detailed design work which will be undertaken.
“We would like to thank those who attended and provided us with such helpful and constructive feedback. It will enable us to deliver a new settlement that works for both new residents and existing communities alike. For those who did not attend, we hope they can visit www.eastonpark.co.uk where they can have their say.”