Housing plans met with public outcry

PUBLISHED: 13:32 13 December 2007 | UPDATED: 21:53 29 May 2010

Ian Chater, managing director of Chater Homes Ltd answers questions from members of the public. Picture: DICK HARDING

Ian Chater, managing director of Chater Homes Ltd answers questions from members of the public. Picture: DICK HARDING

AN EXHIBITION to promote the building of between one and three thousand homes near Great Dunmow has caused public outcry. Plans to develop the Chelmer Mead site between Great and Little Dunmow were met with disgust from many residents who questioned the n

AN EXHIBITION to promote the building of between one and three thousand homes near Great Dunmow has caused public outcry.

Plans to develop the Chelmer Mead site between Great and Little Dunmow were met with disgust from many residents who questioned the need to build any extra homes at all.

Danny Gallagher, of High Meadow, Dunmow, who viewed the plans at The Maltings Museum on Tuesday, said: "Even one thousand new homes would mean around one thousand new cars, the area will be in gridlock. They have forgotten to explain to us a fundamental thing, where has the need for housing come from?

"Little Dunmow is called Little Dunmow for a reason, this would destroy the place."

Chater Homes, the developers, have come into the arena after Uttlesford District Council announced it had to decide where to build 4200 homes.

Options being consulted on include building a 3000-home settlement to the north east of Elsenham, which is the council's preferred option.

Others include distributing development between Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted and building homes in those areas plus surrounding villages.

Speaking on behalf of Chater Homes, account manager Andrew Johnson said: "We have two proposals to be considered as we are flexible.

"We have a proposal to build 3000 homes near to the Oakwood Park development.

"The other option is if Uttlesford District Council vote for the new settlement at Elsenham then we will step in to take the shortfall by offering 1000 homes on the Chelmer site."

Residents visiting the exhibition are now concerned that homes will be built in the area no matter what option the district council decides, according to Mr Gallagher.

Although new facilities including shops and a school are included in the plans the developers have so far failed to convince the public that if the building were to go ahead enough infrastructure would be put in place.

Mr Gallagher said: "The doctors' surgery in Dunmow is already inadequate for the amount of people living in the area with people waiting two weeks for an appointment; another 9000 people will make it a lot worse."

Peter Graves, of The Causeway, said: "We have enough housing around Dunmow already. The infrastructure for such a proposal would need to be in place before building could start."

Mr Johnson highlighted that it was the aim of Chater Homes to listen to residents in order to supply the facilities that are needed.

He said: "This is different to a run of the mill development you will find anywhere else. This is based on principles and we want to provide facilities that people want. We are really listening to the locals."

The district council's public consultation on all the options runs until January 11, during which time all responses will be taken

into consideration.

Mr Johnson said the plans for Chelmer Mead, spanning 921 acres of farmland will go before the East of England Planning Inspectorate in March.

# ANYONE wanting to respond to the Chelmer Mead plans before

they are finalised can e-mail andrewj@greenissues.com or write to him at Andrew Johnson, The Green House, 9 Southern Court, South Street, Reading RG1 4QS.

What do you think? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

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