Skip to main content

Stop Easton Park

UDC MEETING 19TH JUNE 2018 VOTE FOR LOCAL PLAN TO GO TO REG 19

SEP & OTHER SUBMISSIONS

ANDY DODSLEY, CHAIR, LITTLE EASTON PARISH COUNCIL

The ultimate test for this Local plan is whether a planning inspector will view it as being legal and “Sound”.

We feel that this plan is not sound and will be seen as unviable by the inspector for a variety of reasons:

  • Is it a sound plan to build a new town right next to a major airport with aggressive expansion plans? Yes we have houses next to airports already in this country but with the hindsight of the noise misery caused to local residents and the widely accepted detrimental impacts on public health, why on earth would you actually plan to repeat the mistakes of the past?
  • Is it sound to plan 10,000 houses at Easton Park, another 10,000 a few miles down the A120 at Braintree and a further 24,000 on the A120 at West Tey with no feasible proposals for infrastructure improvements? The result will be gridlock along the A120 and M11 corridors.
  • Is it sound to pin your hopes of avoiding this future chaos on our roads on assumptions in the local plan that there will somehow be some magical, road to Damascus “modal shift” from the car to alternative forms of transport? People will continue to use their cars from the Easton Park dormitory town. It is negligent to believe otherwise.
  • Is it a sound plan to locate a new town at Easton Park in a place with no existing rail links? Vague promises of future rail infrastructure links are unlikely to get built (they never do) and will result in even more cars on the roads.
  • Is it a sound plan to have a single point of access from Easton Park to the A120 shared with a working gravel pit that will be in place for at least the next decade?
  • Is it sound to think that the large new towns planned across the district will solve our local needs for affordable housing for local residents? The housing targets focus on housing SUPPLY – not local needs. The local needs are for affordable housing where people live – not for 4 and 5 bedroom executive homes somewhere else which is what the developers want to build. Recent research has shown that 50% of affordable housing is never actually delivered.

Is it Sound thinking to propose a local plan that UDC’s own heritage appraisal states will cause significant harm to the large number of heritage assets and their settings that are within the Easton Park site, and to the Little Easton Conservation Area. The rural nature of our district will be gone forever.

We hope that the planning inspector will ask these and other questions on whether the plan is sound. We feel that he may well find that it is not.


 

VINCENT THOMPSON CHAIR SEP

I address you on behalf of Stop Easton Park.

We understand the need for houses. We understand that UDC is required to build houses. The question is where?

You are encouraged to support this Plan or risk losing control to Central Government. But this Plan is fundamentally flawed.

The Plan takes no account of confirmation by the MoD in 2016 that Carver Barracks will become available in 2031, two years inside the current Plan period. To take no account of the probable availability of a major brownfield site demonstrates a wanton disregard for the essential rural character of the District; it undermines the credibility of the Plan; and renders it unsustainable.

This failure compounds the irrational selection of Easton Park. The reasons used to promote its selection are the reasons it should be rejected:-

  • Single ownership? – gives Landsec undue leverage. The curious choice of DPDs over the proven route of the Development Corporation is explained by Landsec’s rejection of the latter.
  • Proximity to the airport? – why is UDC planning to build a new town so close to a major airport when the health hazards are well known.
  • Access to the A120 and Junction 8? – will choke access to Dunmow; compound the overload of the A120; and clog Junction 8.
  • Existing access? – sharing this with the hundreds of lorries that access the quarry daily, and will continue to do so for the next 10 or 15 years, is absurd.

There are alternatives to Easton Park, as is evident from Chapter 3 of the Plan.

So why has Easton Park been selected?

Is this well-conceived policy?

Or is it a vanity project, a civic folly, cooked up behind closed doors with undue influence from major corporates.

MAG’s projections are pie in the sky; as too the resultant employment figures. Stansted cannot develop significantly when it is operating at capacity at peak times.

Who will buy executive houses so close to a runway?

Is the idea is to put affordable housing under the flight paths and let the unfortunates suffer the consequences?

What builder will build on a disused quarry?

Councillors, the Easton Park proposal is a white elephant built on a house of cards.

This ancient, historic park is an incomparable asset for future generations and should be preserved.

This Plan should be rejected until UDC has taken proper account of Carver Barracks and provided an alternative to Easton Park.


 

KATY RODWELL RESIDENT AND SEP MEMBER

As a resident of Little Easton I have given careful consideration to the new town proposal.

Firstly, Uttlesford Council’s own conservation appraisal produced by its own officers as recently as 2015 states:

“The historic environment cannot be replaced and is a resource that is both fragile and finite.

The various historic and architectural elements can be perceived to interact in a complex manner and create a ‘unique sense of place’ that is appreciated by those lucky enough to reside in such special places and the many interested persons who appreciate and visit them”.

There is clear realisation of the importance of conservation and uniqueness of this special place in that passage.

The appraisal regarding Little Easton goes on:

“Generally, and very importantly the clear distinction between built form and open countryside has been maintained.

In addition to the individual qualities of the buildings themselves, there are other factors such as the relationship of the buildings with each other, the quality of the spaces between them and the vistas and views that unite or disrupt them”.

A very thorough appraisal indeed, I think you’ll agree, and one which we must congratulate Uttlesford on producing.

How is it then, that so soon after this report was published, that this special place with its vistas and views is so threatened with such catastrophic destruction.

As so many of us in the countryside believe, the Conservative Party are the one major party that align most closely to our values.

Just last year in their election manifesto, the Conservatives stated:

“True conservatism means a commitment to country and community, a respect for the local and national institutions for the common good. A partnership between those who are living, those who have lived before us and those yet to be born”

In this proposal I see no commitment or respect for our local community, its historical sights, and the natural beauty that will be robbed so mercilessly from those who are yet to be born.

You All should spend some time on self-reflection prior to your vote on these proposals.

This development is certainly contrary to your own stated policy.The countryside of Little Easton should be nurtured and protected for future generations.

This area is steeped in history and teaming with wildlife –

Deer, buzzards, red kites, foxes, badgers, adders, wood-peckers, native English partridge, newts, frogs, herons, hedgehogs, grass snakes, stoats, owls, and various bat species, all choose to live and breed here – the abundance of wildlife is truly staggering.

A special place indeed for a great number of people who live and visit here.

Once developed it will be lost forever and so indeed are we.

I implore you to look deep into your souls before you vote.

What will the legacy of your service to Uttlesford be?

Conservation or Decimation.