Green belt to stay as homes bid fails

PUBLISHED: 11:45 17 May 2007 | UPDATED: 21:40 29 May 2010

Campaigners celebrate having won their battle against development on green belt – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Campaigners celebrate having won their battle against development on green belt - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

THE final chapter in the Oakwood Park development saga may have been written as the Secretary of State has rejected an appeal to build 162 extra houses on the site. The announcement was made on Monday to the delight of Felsted woman Nicola Douglas. She ha

THE final chapter in the Oakwood Park development saga may have been written as the Secretary of State has rejected an appeal to build 162 extra houses on the site.

The announcement was made on Monday to the delight of Felsted woman Nicola Douglas.

She has campaigned against the building of the extra houses because of the destruction of the greenfield land the environmental impact the building would have had on her village.

She said: "This is great news for Felsted village and it is

absolutely fantastic news for the residents of Oakwood Park who will hopefully now get their much needed playing fields, shops, doctors' surgery, school and everything else they have been promised and can become a proper community with these facilities in the middle.

"I have spoken to several people and we all feel the right decision has been made."

Developers Enodis submitted the application to build the extra houses, 85 of which were to be on greenfield land between Oakwood Park and Felsted last February. This was unanimously turned down by Uttlesford District councillors.

But the appeal has meant a delay in the building of facilities at the new development, which has angered residents and would have breached village boundaries.

Parish Cllr Sally Brown, who is an Oakwood park resident, has been at the forefront of campaigns for the building of facilities that were promised as part of the original planning application.

She said: "Speaking as a parish councillor, I can say the council is pleased with the decision.

"From a resident's point of view, I would now like to see the section 106 enforced and the facilities are now built before any more houses are completed, and I would like to see Uttlesford District Council enforce that now."

David Hooper, company secretary of the Enodis group, said: "We have to talk to our advisors about this before we can say anything else.

"I'm afraid I'm not in a position to be able to comment on anything such as the provision of the facilities. However, I can confirm we are reviewing the implications of this decision."

UDC planning team manager Mike Ovenden said: "We are pleased our decision to refuse the application has been supported by the appeal inspector and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Ruth Kelly who made the final decision."

He said the Secretary of State had put great weight on the need to determine proposals in accordance with planning policies and, while there were some benefits associated with the scheme, even when added together these did not outweigh the harm it would have caused.

"The scheme would have created a vulnerable buffer zone between Oakwood Park and Felsted," he added.

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