Residents set up campaign in objection to Dunmow housing development plans

Extraordinary meeting for proposed housing.Dunmow.May 13, 2013.Photograph by Michael Boyton.Pic show

Extraordinary meeting for proposed housing.Dunmow.May 13, 2013.Photograph by Michael Boyton.Pic shows: Crowds at the meeting of the Dunmow Town Council. - Credit: Archant

More than 100 residents turned out to voice their concerns about the development at an extraordinary meeting of Dunmow Town Council at Foakes Hall, on Monday evening.

As revealed by the Broadcast earlier this month, Knight Developers is looking to build 68 houses on land at Brick Kiln Farm.

It is a move opponents say will have a direct effect on the Chelmer Valley – a popular spot for dog walkers and families.

The valley is also a haven for wildlife, with people reporting regular sightings of deer, Great Crested Newts, and bats – the latter of which are thought to be roosting in nearby outbuildings.

Developers have previously said they will offer 75 per cent of the land to the town council so it can be used by residents, and called it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity”.

But Cllr Milan Milovanovic, a member of the council’s planning committee, listed 19 points that could be used to object to the proposals.

He said: “I have grand doubts about any development. I have learned not to trust developers and I don’t think this developer is any different.

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“They refuse to discuss the Section 106 agreement with the town council about whether or not they intend to offer us the open space. You have to ask yourself why that is.”

Dunmow resident Joanne Jeakins voiced her concerns.

She said: “If the idea of offering the meadows to the council is a sweetener, paying them to make the area nicer, then surely I am not the only person in this room who would be willing to give up some of my time to do the work in preference to the building of 68 houses.”

St Edmunds Croft resident Mike Foster has organised a protest campaign against the proposed development, and is urged residents to send letters of objection to Uttlesford’s planning department.

He said: “People often need a cause to gather around, to get them out of their houses. In some cases the town council is strapped for cash and needs the population to help them.

“I would support anything that promotes the community and makes it stronger.”