Essex parish council complains about “inappropriate” development

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 March 2011

LITTLE EASTON Parish Council is fighting an appeal against refusal of planning consent for 190 homes, claiming the development would be “totally inappropriate”.

The original plan submitted by Wickford Development Company Ltd was refused by Uttlesford District Council but an appeal was launched on February 2.

The parish council is looking for a second refusal, this time from a Government planning inspector, to prevent sector four of the Woodlands Park development from going ahead.

Parish clerk Jackie Deane outlined the reasons the parish council is opposed to the plans.

● The proposed site is outside the development limits of Great Dunmow and Little Easton and does not comply with UDC’s Local Plan Policy S7. Policy S7 involves “land beyond the Green Belt that is not within settlement or other site boundaries. Planning permission will be given only if it “needs” to take place… and protects or enhances that part of the countryside.”

● Little Easton, a rural parish comprising 182 homes and a population of approximately 338, has only a public house and a village hall. The development would double the size of the parish, with which the facilities could not cope.

● The rural character of the parish would be compromised by the urban development proposed in the application.

● The proposal does not comply with the emerging Localism Bill, as strong objections have been raised by the parish, town and district councils.

● Due to a contractual agreement between planners and developers, the remaining stretch of the bypass will open only once the 651st house is built and occupied. Currently, the developer is some way short of that figure having only just completed a third of the allotted 1,253 in 13 years.

Little Easton’s district councillor, Cecile Down, also spoke against the proposed development.

“We fought very hard to get the planning application turned down so we are hoping the development will not go ahead,” said Cllr Down.

Chairman of Little Easton Parish Council Vincent Thompson believes doubling the size of the village with houses that do not coincide with the village would be completely “inappropriate.”

“The developer has not sold all the plots in the parts of Woodlands Park they have planning permission for, so why do they feel the need to get planning permission within the borders of Little Easton?

“To double the size of our village would change the nature of Little Easton, which we are keen to maintain, seems totally inappropriate.”

“This is not about housing targets: this is about the developer looking after his own interests without considering those who are affected. Our current facilities, which are very good, would be inadequate if the proposal were to go ahead.”

WHAT do you think? E-mail us at michael.edwards@archant.co.uk

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