Protesters close off road to estate

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 August 2007 | UPDATED: 21:46 29 May 2010

Campaign gathers steam as protesters block off the entrances to Oakwood Park estate – Pic: Michael Boyton

Campaign gathers steam as protesters block off the entrances to Oakwood Park estate – Pic: Michael Boyton

CAMPAIGNERS blocked off their estate on Friday to demonstrate against the lack of facilities provided by the estate s developers. Neighbours stood side by side across the entrance to Oakwood Park in Little Dunmow. Some were waving placards as others expla

CAMPAIGNERS blocked off their estate on Friday to demonstrate against the lack of facilities provided by the estate's developers.

Neighbours stood side by side across the entrance to Oakwood Park in Little Dunmow. Some were waving placards as others explained their actions to contractors coming onto the site to start their day's work.

Liz Bennett, secretary of the Oakwood Park Residents' Association, said: "We are protesting because of the lack of facilities that have been built here.

"There is a legal agreement between the developers Enodis and Uttlesford District Council (UDC) that facilities should be built and up and running, however, still there is nothing here.

"Enodis is legally bound to provide the facilities, but UDC doesn't seem to be willing to enforce it."

Alan Bennett was talking to the drivers being stopped at the site entrance about the protest. He said: "When we bought our homes we were promised the facilities and the developers have reneged on that agreement."

Peter Milne, of Warren Road, said: "I have health problems and there's no doctor here. If you haven't got a car, you're snookered."

"We've got nowhere to play," said Seb Dixon, 14.

"We did have a little area to play football, added Jack Welton, 16, "but they're even closing that to build on it."

A builder on the worksite who didn't want to be named said: "I don't mind them doing this and, in a way, I don't blame them. They have a right to protest. I don't think it will have a great impact on the building work today though."

Mrs Bennett said the association is looking into legal action to make UDC enforce the 106 agreement. She said they had other plans for action but kept tight-lipped on what they are.

A UDC spokesman said: "This is a complicated planning and legal situation. The facilities were required to be completed prior to the occupation of the 501st dwelling.

"While the application by Enodis Plc to build a further 162 dwellings and its subsequent appeal were being heard, the council was unable to enforce the agreement because it was not known where the facilities were to be placed."

She said the council would closely monitor the situation and that residents had been informed of the situation by letter on Friday.

Andrew Noble, of Enodis, said: "Unfortunately we had to close the temporary playing fields due to the threat of an enforcement order from the council. We regret the disappointment of other residents.

"We are moving forward with providing the permanent playing fields and are working with UDC to see that this happens as soon as possible.

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