Battle continues to save green belt land

PUBLISHED: 17:07 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 21:22 29 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS in Felsted are encouraging people to voice their opposition to plans to expand the village. People living in the Station Road area of Felsted are angry their village may become unmanageably congested and that they will lose their open green sp

CAMPAIGNERS in Felsted are encouraging people to voice their opposition to plans to expand the village.

People living in the Station Road area of Felsted are angry their village may become unmanageably congested and that they will lose their open green spaces if a property developer is allowed to build 90 homes on the village's outskirts.

Property developer Enodis, which built the Oakwood Park estate near to Felsted, is hoping that a decision by Uttlesford District Council to refuse planning permission for the proposal will be overturned at an appeal inquiry next month

Nicola Douglas, of Station Road, is one of the scheme's biggest opponents. She said: "The planning application for this development was refused by Uttlesford District Council in February by a unanimous vote following strong opposition to the plans."

The council refused the application because it was "an inappropriate extension of

Felsted" and "the dwellings would lie in an unsustainable location with insufficient schools infrastructure within safe walking distance and with no provision for school transport".

After the refusal, Enodis referred the case to The Planning Inspectorate, a government body based in Bristol that has the power to overturn refusals made locally.

The inspectorate's decision whether or not to uphold the council's decision will be made following a four-day public inquiry being held in the Committee Room at the council offices in Great Dunmow, beginning Tuesday November 21.

Mrs Douglas said: "It is vital the strength of local feeling against the proposals is clearly demonstrated at the forthcoming inquiry."

The 90 homes that would be situated in a field on the edge of Felsted are part of an application to build 162 new homes in the area.

The field between Felsted and Oakwood Park is a designated Greenfield site, and has never been the site of any construction.

Mrs Douglas said: "Should Enodis be successful in their appeal, it would set a very dangerous precedent for all other Greenfield sites around the village.

"The outcome of this case could potentially affect not only Station Road residents, but every Felsted resident who wished Felsted to remain a village and not become a conurbation."

Mrs Douglas fears that the congestion caused by the cars of an extra 90 homes in the village would be too much, and that the already stretched primary school would be unable to accommodate the influx of children.

"Felsted is highly congested at peak hours," she said, "and the local primary school is bursting at the seams. "How much more can a small village like Felsted take?"

A residents' meeting is being held at 7.30pm on Thursday November 9 in the URC Hall on Stebbing Road, Felsted.

District and Felsted Parish Cllr Alan Thawley and South Area Planning Control Manager Michael Ovenden will be in attendance.

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