Road fears for new homes near school

PUBLISHED: 10:04 11 January 2007 | UPDATED: 21:30 29 May 2010

From left, Cllr Frank Silver, Cllr Robert Fox, residents Ray Whitehead, Dario Rossi and wife Olga, and Cllr Michael Millar - Pic: Michael Boyton

From left, Cllr Frank Silver, Cllr Robert Fox, residents Ray Whitehead, Dario Rossi and wife Olga, and Cllr Michael Millar - Pic: Michael Boyton

AN inquiry into the proposed development of land south of Springfields in Dunmow was held at the Uttlesford District Council offices on Monday. The committee room was packed as residents and school governors gathered to voice their objections to the propo

AN inquiry into the proposed development of land south of Springfields in Dunmow was held at the Uttlesford District Council offices on Monday.

The committee room was packed as residents and school governors gathered to voice their objections to the proposed site access that was once Nightingales Farm.

The site has been subjected to several planning applications over the years. The current outline proposal to build 160 homes on the site was rejected last year.

Bryan Haines, a parent governor at Dunmow Primary School, High Stile, said: "The site was owned by Mr Ronald Owers who is now deceased. He owned the land for about 56 years and has always tried to develop it. Now the executers of his estate seem to be trying to do the same."

The appellants have proposed to build an entrance to the site on the B1256, the old A120 bypass. However, Uttlesford District Council has objected. The only other option is for traffic to the proposed dwellings to come via High Stile where the Dunmow St Mary's Primary School is.

Therefore, those opposing the development find themselves in the strange position of backing the appellants on this one point of, if development does go ahead, where and how those living in the new flats will get into to their homes.

Mayor Frank Silver, speaking at the hearing, said: "Currently, the traffic congestion via High Stile is a daily one and it can take up to 15 minutes for vehicles to enter or exit Stortford Road at morning and afternoon peak times due to school traffic."

It is a situation that would only get worse if there was an increase in traffic using the road.

Cllr Silver also stated that if there was a fire or accident in any of the affected roads, it would not be possible for emergency vehicles to get through to give assistance.

Mr Haines said: "Our major concern is about traffic flow in and around the vicinity of the primary school and people's homes.

"I would therefore ask that when making your decision," said Cllr Silver addressing the planning inspector, "that you take into consideration the lives of the local residents, especially as so many are elderly and disabled people."

A spokesman for UDC said:

"The principle of residential development on this site is accepted; it is within the development limits of Dunmow and is located close to the town centre.

"It is unlikely that the densities referred to in the appellants' evidence, 169 dwellings per hectare, would be acceptable to the council when reserved matters are considered."

They continued: "It may be feasible to create an access at this point on the B1256, which fulfils the geometric requirements of the design Manual for Roads and Bridges, but the council and the highways authority take issue with the principle of a junction at this point.

"However well designed the access may be it cannot overcome this fundament policy objection."

The results of the appeal will be made public when the inspector has reached his final decision.

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