The chair of Little Easton Parish Council has branded the quantity of new housing as "ridiculous", after the Government granted permission for 1,200 new homes between the village and Dunmow.

Proposals to build between 1,000 and 1,200 new homes, a care home, business space and a primary school near Highwood Quarry were initially rejected by Uttlesford District Council, but the Government granted permission following an appeal.

Dunmow Broadcast: Chair of Little Easton Parish Council Peter BrightChair of Little Easton Parish Council Peter Bright (Image: Courtesy of Peter Bright)

Little Easton Parish Council chair Peter Bright said: "The decision by the Secretary of State to allow the appeal from Landsec is extremely disappointing for all residents of Dunmow and surrounding parishes, not just Little Easton itself.

"The quantity of new housing in Dunmow is reaching ridiculous proportions and is making a mockery of the ‘levelling up' mandate that the government is focused on.

"Doubtless the so-called affordable housing the development allegedly offers will still be unaffordable to most people as Uttlesford is already one of the most expensive areas in the country and affordability is directly based on local housing values.

"While that remains so developers will always be attracted to the expensive south east." 

Little Easton resident and former parish council chair Andy Dodsley added that the community is "devastated" by the decision.


He said: "The inspector and the Secretary of State both acknowledge the harm this development will cause to the Little Easton conservation area, Grade 1 listed church and other heritage assets as well as the landscape and visual character of the area.

"They also recognise that the uncertainty of long-term public transport, lack of a walkable neighbourhood and unsatisfactory cycle route proposals all weighed against planning permission being granted.

"Residents are incredulous that the Secretary of State has granted this appeal given the damage it will cause.

"We believe that the harms caused by the proposed development, and it’s acknowledged shortfalls far outweigh any benefits, particularly when measured against a much improved 5-year housing supply for the district due to the amount of development over the last few years.

"We as a community will be looking at the ruling in detail and assessing what options are available to challenge the decision."