Plan suggests rise to 500,000 homes

PUBLISHED: 14:13 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 21:28 29 May 2010

CONTROVERSIAL changes to the Government s draft plan for the area have been lambasted by the East of England Regional Assembly. On Tuesday the Government proposed changes to the plan, incorporating strong support for a second runway at Stansted Airport an

CONTROVERSIAL changes to the Government's draft plan for the area have been lambasted by the East of England Regional Assembly.

On Tuesday the Government proposed changes to the plan, incorporating strong support for a second runway at Stansted Airport and some 508,000 new homes in the region.

But the EERA believes that 478,000 homes is a more sensible figure and that a second runway at the airport would be bad news.

Cllr John Reynolds, EERA planning panel chairman, said: "The assembly rejects the need for a second runway at Stansted Airport, which will have significant adverse environmental impacts, particularly in terms of carbon emissions and climate change.

"The Government also needs to listen carefully to the concerns of those communities where new housing has been proposed beyond that contained in the draft East of England Plan."

The proposed changes bring the total number of homes planned for Essex to 127,000, but the 8000 allocated for Uttlesford remains unchanged.

Cllr Alan Dean, who represents Stansted South, said: "My main concern is the Government is trying to override the EERA's proposals and Uttlesford District Council's decision to reject BAA's recent planning application.

"There is certainly a need for more housing in the Dunmow and Stansted area as there is a shortage which cannot meet the local demand.

"However, the Government is bringing democracy into question with its support for a second runway and by attempting to override the EERA.

"It may need to be challenged in the courts."

Derek Connell, landlord of the Three Horseshoes pub in Duton Hill, also believes the Government's plans will do nothing to alleviate pollution and congestion in the region.

"The Government needs to catch up," he said. "We need to set an example to the rest of the world, particularly China and India, by cutting emissions.

"Stansted Airport should not be expanded. We've got what we've got and we should be satisfied with it."

The draft East of England Plan is the document that sets out the strategy to guide planning and development in the region to the year 2021.

Aspects encompassed by the plan include economic development, housing, transport and waste management.

The EERA will discuss a response to the proposed changes to the draft plan at its next meeting in February.

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