Proposal for hundreds of new homes planned in village is rejected by committee

The plan was turned down at Uttlesford District Council.

The plan was turned down at Uttlesford District Council. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build up to 275 homes and earmark land for a primary school in Hatfield Broad Oak have been voted down by Uttlesford district councillors.

The proposals would also have seen a multi-use games area, a 'kick-about area', "flexible neighbourhood building" and a dog walking circuit built west of Bonningtons Farm, in Station Road, and next to the boundary with Takeley.

However, the proposals were rejected by Uttlesford District Council's planning committee on July 24.

Addressing councillors, Jackie Cheatem, who was speaking on behalf of Takeley Parish Council, said: "A number of local junctions are at capacity, this causes rat running already and building another 270-plus houses in this location will only add to the problem.

"The new development does not offer any more appropriate service to the area. Takeley has a very limited range of shops and services and there is no doctor's surgery. If you allow this site to go ahead we are in danger of having urbanisation from Bishop's Stortford to Braintree."

Susan Smith, who was speaking on behalf of Hatfield Broad Oak residents, said: "We believe this is an unsustainable, un-needed and damaging proposal which has other adverse effects in Hatfield Broad Oak."

Robert Pomery, from Pomery Planning Consultants, the applicant's agent, spoke in defence of the proposal. He said: "The applicant wanted to add a doctor's surgery but were advised by the NHS that they would not support one in this location. The NHS did suggest that £108,000 be spent on local health services, which forms part of this proposal.

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"Consultation also revealed the need for an additional primary school in this location... the education authority have also requested £2.3million in education contributions and that contribution is included in the proposal. The position of the site, adjacent to Takeley and close to the airport ensures the site is sustainably located."

Councillor Geoff Bagnall, who put forward a motion to refuse the application, said: "We should be looking to refuse this application because of the harm it does to the natural landscape. We have heard about the GP facility that can't be bought forward, so they can raise money but they can't bring forward any services. I think there's a site allocated for a school... that will result in money, we won't get a new school as a result."

The motion to refuse was backed by 10 votes to two.