Mike Hibbs

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Audley Ward Learn more

Uttlesford needs a credible housing plan

by mikehibbs on 16 August, 2012

Here’s my letter to Saffron Walden’s newspapers on Uttlesford District Council’s disastrous housing plans:

I note with interest the letter from Councillors Ketteridge and Rolfe, defending the consultation over housing and the Draft Local Plan. In it, they state that an inspector will expect a plan that is credible – in numbers, profile and community development.

And yet in the same letter they state that ‘some details are only explicit in a planning application.’ On the information we’ve been given so far, it seems to me that they are abdicating their role as planners. Unless we are provided with details of how the proposed new housing will be integrated into our community the plan will certainly not be credible.

We need to know answers to our questions about how the extra traffic will be accommodated, which schools will be enlarged, how the health service will cope, and whether there is adequate capacity in the water supply and sewage treatment plants. These are not matters that will wait for the developer!

Local plans developed elsewhere in the country have made good transport links the fundamental criteria for development.

In Hertfordshire, the planners assessed a number of factors and found transport to be more important than any other factor in deciding on a sustainable Local Plan.

If we cannot persuade the Government that we don’t need thousands of houses to meet our local needs, then we should at least make an attempt to integrate them properly into our communities.

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