Gold rush of developers staking claims

PUBLISHED: 14:26 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 06:56 30 May 2010

SURELY no-one can have any doubts that Uttlesford District Council, for whatever reason, has presided over total chaos in its handling of the new plan for the district -the Core Strategy. The way it has approached the so-called Preferred Options has pred

SURELY no-one can have any doubts that Uttlesford District Council, for whatever reason, has presided over total chaos in its handling of the new plan for the district -the Core Strategy.

The way it has approached the so-called Preferred Options has predictably resulted in a veritable gold rush of developers and landowners frantically staking claims in the Klondike of the A120

and M11.

The proposed estate, labelled eco-town, in Stebbing is but the latest example. But where will it all end?

From one angle it would be hilarious if it weren't for the very real and totally avoidable distress and anxiety that it causes the scattered existing communities.

It's a travesty of planning and who has the confidence that the current administration can extract us from it?

Having said all that you have to have some

sympathy. The housing target was imposed by an imperious regional panel who clearly gave little thought to the

contradictions it would produce in a district of market towns and villages.

The planners have also been in the ring for a heavyweight bout, still unfinished, with BAA

with its unlimited resources and arrogance and with but one outcome.

What I would like to

hear is a total commitment from the council to objectively assess the options and a categorical statement that more speculation will not

be entertained.

The council should not lose its nerve in the face of developer clamour and speculative planning applications - there is absolutely no policy basis for accepting them.

More support will be needed for the process bringing in advice that the council clearly can't draw

on internally.

This will be difficult given its cash-strapped state but perhaps the Government office or Essex County Council can step in to support this crucial stage.

Without a radical change in approach, more resources and true humility being shown that things have gone wrong, this will end in tears and regretted for many years.

Neil Blackshaw

Duck Street

Little Easton

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