Villagers oppose conservation plans

PUBLISHED: 13:28 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 10 May 2010

UPDATED conservation plans for Stebbing are being challenged by villagers who want to fight the threat of future housing expansion. A review on the protected village centre by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) is currently underway but the parish council

UPDATED conservation plans for Stebbing are being challenged by villagers who want to fight the threat of future housing expansion.

A review on the protected village centre by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) is currently underway but the parish council want a larger area to be included in the conservation area.

Parish clerk, Linda White, said: "One of the considerations of the study is to examine the existing boundaries.

"It may be possible to have Stebbing Green included as further protection should the Boxted Wood development rear its head again and threaten our village."

Boxted Wood was under the microscope in January 2007 when Galliard Homes started negotiations with a local famer to buy the land and build 2600 homes.

The project would have included community buildings, shopping, schools and business units, although talks broke down at an early stage.

UDC has a responsibility to designate and review conservation areas. The public can take part at a meeting in Stebbing Village Hall on Thursday March 26, starting at 8pm.

Mrs White said: "The meeting will be educational for the general public in learning more about the protection a conservation area offers the village.

"It is a very important document and the publics' attendance and input would be of great assistance towards the final preparation."

Meanwhile, Stebbing residents have received a boost with the re-opening of the village store.

A steering committee had been set up some nine months ago to find funds and launch a campaign for it to be re-opened.

However, new owners have now taken over the old store.

A committee spokesman said: "Whilst we are not involved in this new venture we wish the new owners every success.

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