Sticky wicket

PUBLISHED: 17:13 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 17:56 31 May 2010

THE allegation by George Bellingham-Smith (Dunmow Broadcast, January 10) that I have called for 3000 houses at Great Canfield is, I hope, a typographical error. I have made no such call. I have, however, asserted that if Uttlesford Tories press ahead wit

THE allegation by George Bellingham-Smith (Dunmow Broadcast, January 10) that I have called for 3000 houses at Great Canfield is, I hope, a typographical error. I have made no such call.

I have, however, asserted that if Uttlesford Tories press ahead with their plan to dump all 3000 houses in one place, then Great Chesterford is a more logical choice than Elsenham.

Mr Bellingham-Smith is right to be concerned about legal costs. The council's consultation is so flawed that someone is bound to challenge it in the courts, quite possibly at great expense to local taxpayers.

The Tory council's consultation on their proposed new town has ended in the shambolic spectacle of councillors having to deliver the consultation document over the Christmas holiday.

The plan for 'Helsenham' new town is supported by no credible evidence. It emerged, quite literally, out of the blue after a private meeting of Tory councillors.

Clearly the Tories realise they are on a very sticky wicket. The Tory leader of the council and the chairman of the council's environment committee spurned an invitation to the council's South West panel to explain why Elsenham is the best place to build 3000 houses.

If the Tories want to dig themselves out of this hole, they must start all over again with evidence-based proposals and a consultation that is more substantial than a leaflet delivered as junk mail.

Paul Westlake

Lambert Cross

Saffron Walden

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