Lack of support for housing proposals

PUBLISHED: 11:41 12 June 2009 | UPDATED: 07:15 30 May 2010

DEVELOPERS looking to build 1300 homes on land at Folly Farm have started canvassing for support from local business owners. In a letter written to Dunmow Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Dunmow Town Council, developers Blue Sky Planning Ltd has asked fo

DEVELOPERS looking to build 1300 homes on land at Folly Farm have started canvassing for support from local business owners.

In a letter written to Dunmow Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Dunmow Town Council, developers Blue Sky Planning Ltd has asked for opinion and support for the extra houses near to Dunmow's Tesco supermarket, instead of a whole eco-town built in Elsenham.

The letter outlined a plan to build homes and infrastructure on a 247-acres site just off Bishop Stortford Road, opposite the uncompleted Woodlands Park estate.

It suggested that more houses and people living in the town would bring in more business and allow Dunmow to flourish.

However, the letter was met with a lukewarm response at the recent chamber of trade meeting.

Chairman Mike Perry said: "I am not sure a load more houses is exactly what Dunmow needs right now. We have the Woodlands Park housing estate that is only half finished, so adding more houses near by doesn't seem to be the right idea at the moment."

Folly's Farm is currently owned by trustees of Siemens Benefits Scheme under a freehold basis, and the site had been earmarked for development in the East of England plan published on May 12 last year.

The plan contains targets for Uttlesford to provide new homes and jobs between now and 2021.

SBS spokesman Paul Dimoldenberg told The Broadcast that the trustees have owned the Great Dunmow Estate for 20 years and see it as one of its long term assets.

He said: "SBS believes that there is strong case for the land to the south west of Great Dunmow to provide approximately 1300 new homes. The first phase would be a development of around 300 new homes.

"Locating the extra new homes within an existing larger settlement is, in our view, the sensible way forward."

He added: "This project can offer access to jobs, community facilities and services to the new residents, and would provide new business for the town's existing shops and other businesses.

"The new homes can also help finance and deliver the additional community and social infrastructure required to support new residents."

However, Mr Dimoldenberg insisted that a "planning application is not being considered at present".

"At this stage we are consulting a number of organisations on the concept of a development at Folly Farm before taking any proposals further," he said.

Chamber of Trade and Commerce membership secretary, Terry Laplain, said: "More housing would bring more people and customers to the town, but with it will come more traffic and Dunmow roads would find it very difficult to cope with extra pressure."

WHAT do you think? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk or write to us at 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1EE.

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