Calls for show on homes plan

PUBLISHED: 17:07 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 21:52 29 May 2010

AS THE council prepares to start the public discussion over the building of 4200 homes, a new controversy has arisen over the suitability of any of the options. A consultation document will be sent to every house in Uttlesford outlining the four possible

AS THE council prepares to start the public discussion over the building of 4200 homes, a new controversy has arisen over the suitability of any of the options.

A consultation document will be sent to every house in Uttlesford outlining the four possible construction plans and giving people the chance to have their say.

Great Dunmow Cllr Mark Gayler said he was "particularly concerned" about options one, two and three which would see the new homes distributed over the existing towns including Great Dunmow.

"I do not believe the town has the infrastructure to cope with the new houses," he said.

"By and large the people will be commuters so there needs to be a fast public transport system or we will saddle ourselves with more cars on the road."

Following a meeting of Uttlesford District Council's (UDC's) Environment Committee on Tuesday October 30 it was decided that option four - to build a brand new settlement of 3000 homes to the north-east of Elsenham - would be the council's preferred choice.

Despite sparing Great Dunmow a flood of new houses, Cllr Gayler rejected the council's preferred option, saying it had "a number of flaws".

"I don't think Elsenham is the right place to build a new settlement because its roads could not cope with the increase in traffic.

"The council has not done enough work on any of the options and they need to rethink their strategy."

Environment committee chairman Susan Barker said it was a "very difficult problem," and added that they may take the issue back to the area panels.

"A decision needs to be made over the next year or the government can impose anything they like on us and that is not what we want."

Cllr Geoffrey Sell demanded the council hold an exhibition detailing how people would be affected by the development.

He said: "This information must be disclosed upfront if residents are to make meaningful responses in the consultation which starts at the end of November.

There is no point asking people to make choices if they aren't told the likely implications of all housing growth being in one place or being carefully distributed in several locations."

The six-week public consultation period on the council's strategy will begin on Friday November 30 and the deadline for comments is Friday January 11, 2008, giving people the chance to comment either pre or post Christmas.

The consultation document will also be available for viewing at UDC's Saffron Walden offices, at the Thaxted and Great Dunmow Customer Service Centres, at libraries across the district and on the council's website at www.uttlesford.gov.uk.

It is expected the Council will decide which strategy to submit to the Government in spring 2008.

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