Stebbing Parish Council appeals to residents to help fund planning expert who will raise objections to West of Braintree site

PUBLISHED: 09:21 29 June 2018

Picture: Saffron Photo

Picture: Saffron Photo

SaffronPhoto 2016

Stebbing Parish Council will ask people living in the village to contribute towards paying for a planning consultant to put forward objections to a proposed 970-home development close to the A120.

This comes as the latest version of Uttlesford District Council’s (UDC) local plan, which outlines plans for housing allocation in the district, was approved for publication on June 19, for the public to have their say.

After this period ends on August 13, the plans will go to a government inspector for examination, at which point a planning consultant potentially employed by Stebbing Parish Council will put forward objections to the West of Braintree site, which could see a minimum of 970 homes built in Uttlesford by 2033.

West of Braintree is included in both UDC’s and Braintree District Council’s (BDC) local plan, meaning Stebbing Parish Council has opposed both plans and Stebbing residents have previously donated funds for a planning consultant to present evidence to the government inspector examining BDC’s plan.

Chairman of Stebbing Parish Council, Councillor Jane Goodwin, said: “We considered that it is essential to use professional support if we wanted to have influence, many statements made by parish councillors at policy planning working group meetings are politely heard but seem to be unable to change the content of this juggernaut. Another meeting will be held on July 11, at 7.30pm, at Stebbing Village Hall, to update residents and to make request for donations to fight this second round of consultation.”

The parish council believes that the West of Braintree site in Uttlesford is now in a “precarious position” following the government inspector’s examination of the garden communities in north Essex.

In a letter addressed to Braintree District Council, the inspector, whilst describing the proposed approach as “innovative and ambitious”, said that the garden community proposals in the plan are “not adequately justified” and “as submitted, they are... unsound.”

Stebbing Parish Council said: “The council feels that this puts UDC West of Braintree in a very precarious position because of it’s dependency on the success of the Braintree District Council’s plan to enable them to deliver a garden community rather than just an isolated housing estate without the necessary infrastructure.”

UDC declined to comment on Stebbing Parish Council’s claims but has said previously: “The council will be applying the feedback to the north Essex authorities from their inspector, making sure that our evidence base is further strengthened where necessary over the coming months.”

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