Save our village
VILLAGERS this week vowed to fight against an eco-settlement development being built on their doorstep. Campaign Save Our Stebbing was launched by the parish council after residents voiced their anger at proposals for a 4500-house town to be built at Bo
VILLAGERS this week vowed to fight against an eco-settlement development being built on their doorstep.
Campaign 'Save Our Stebbing' was launched by the parish council after residents voiced their anger at proposals for a 4500-house town to be built at Boxted Wood.
Stebbing parish clerk, Linda White, said that a house-to-house survey showed the threat of development was of "major concern", which was most evident at exhibitions held by the developers, Galliard Homes, at several localities in the past fornight.
She said: "Stebbing residents turned out in force on Saturday to demonstrate that they are not going to sit back and let houses be built.
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"In total 170 people visited the exhibition - all but four signed a petition against the development.
"A questionnaire was sent to every household in the village asking whether or not they would support the parish council in fighting the development. Within three days 151 replies in support of the council's fight had been received. They are still coming in on a daily basis."
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She added: "Development could destroy the village of Stebbing and the surrounding countryside. The council is determined to fight by all legal means."
Despite the opposition, Galliard Homes representatives remain buoyant and pointed to their own research to determine whether the new town should get the go ahead.
Spokesman Nick Sutcliffe said: "Following a five-day consultation in February 2008 we used the feedback from local residents in Uttlesford and Braintree.
"Through a questionnaire we invited views on the design and most common response was for it to work with the character of the surrounding rural environment.
"This is the key point that we have taken on board in the design work we have undertaken over the past year."
Following the 2008 survey Galliard Homes reported that 66 per cent of people disagreed with Uttlesford District Council's core strategy, which favours building an eco-town near Elsenham.
Galliard Homes see the Boxted Wood development as more viable alternative.
Mr Sutcliffe said: "Our proposal represents the principal alternative to the
Eco-Town being promoted between Elsenham and Henham to meet future housing needs. We can also provide housing towards the needs of Braintree District at the same time.
"The project is consistent with a recent East of England Regional Assembly report (January 2009) which calls for two new settlements in the Dunmow area."
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