Mayor slams homes plan

PUBLISHED: 15:58 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:10 30 May 2010

DUNMOW'S town mayor has reacted angrily to the prospect of 20,000 homes being built next to the A120 by saying the plans are based on improper projections . A new regional settlement could be built on the doorstep of Takeley and The Canfields, to the e

DUNMOW'S town mayor has reacted angrily to the prospect of 20,000 homes being built next to the A120 by saying the plans are based on "improper projections".

A new 'regional settlement' could be built on the doorstep of Takeley and The Canfields, to the east of Stansted Airport, in the next 20 years according to a report by the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA).

The report says that a new village is needed to provide enough homes for the region by 2031.

But Mayor Clive Smith said: "This seems to be a re-run of what has happened in our area before - these recommendations are made on projections of what the area might need rather than what the area will need.

"The report makes wrong assumptions on many things such as the possibility of a second runway at Stansted and the amount of houses which already lie empty in surrounding towns and villages."

Saffron Walden MP, Sir Alan Haselhurst, also reacted strongly to the announcement. He said: "It is about time that Uttlesford was left alone. There are already too many demands in the pipeline for this area and they all remain far from settled - yet already future schemes are planning to extinguish still more of the rural character of this part of Essex."

The assembly has been asked by the government to submit plans for new jobs and homes for 2011 to 2031, ensuring homes are linked to jobs and infrastructure such as transport and other public services.

EERA planning panel chairman, Cllr Derrick Ashley, said: "I want to stress that what has been published is a list of potential locations for new development and the assembly and member councils will consider the benefits and impacts of major developments outlined in the study.

"Despite the current economic downturn, the regional economy is predicted to grow significantly over the long-term so, as we look forward 20 years, it is important that we review all options for meeting the pent-up demand for new homes."

A formal 12-week public consultation on the future of housing in the region is likely to take place in about three months time.

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