'Crime may rise' warning over Great Dunmow development

PUBLISHED: 08:48 02 August 2013

CRIME could increase in Great Dunmow if a planning application goes ahead, according to officials.

The Sector 4 development put forward by Wickford Developments, which would see 124 homes added to the Woodlands Park estate, includes provision for a youth shelter.

However, Dunmow town council’s planning committee, which met to discuss the plans last week, has urged the developers to reconsider.

Wendy Barron, chairman of the committee, said: “We are trying to keep the towns as nice as we can. That is what we are here for – to fight off bad developments.

“Dunmow is slowly being ruined.”

She added: “The youth shelter is on the other side of the road of the site and there is no crossing. People will just congregate there and we do have a fear crime will increase.”

Mayor of the town, Phil Milne, added: “I think it [crime] is very probable. It is in an area by itself and I think it will be an ideal place to do all the things you should not do.

“I don’t see the point of it.”

The town council has also questioned the projected size of the homes, and said they should be reduced in size as drivers would be able to spot them as they drive into the town.

Clerk Caroline Fuller, on behalf of the town council, has written to planning authority Uttlesford District Council to state that the two-and-a-half storey homes would create an “overbearing impression on the countryside”.

It is issue which Uttlesford District Councillor John Davey is also aware of. He said: “This development will be at the gateway to Dunmow. The impact it will have or not have is my concern.”

The Dunmow Society has also strongly objected to the plans. In its submissions to UDC, the pressure group claims the application does not include a reference to the flood risk or foul water disposal.

Cliff Neale, consultant surveyor for Wickford, said: “The location and design of the youth shelter has been agreed with Essex Police following site visits and to ensure adequate supervision.

“The boundary between the houses, the bypass and the round about is to be extensively landscaped and planted with hedges and tress to ensure that the visual impact is reduced.”

● WHAT do you think of the proposals? E-mail emma.hardwick@archant.co.uk

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