UDC Planning Committee puts residents first in landmark refusal of 150 houses in Newport on the grounds of air quality

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local party of towns and villages, has welcomed the recent landmark planning refusal of 150 additional homes in Newport on the grounds of impact to the countryside setting and increase in air pollution. Further to this decision it has called on the district council to release pollution data for all the communities across Uttlesford.

On Wednesday 9th May the UDC Planning Committee refused planning permission for Countryside Properties to build 150 houses on farmland just outside the permitted development boundary in Newport. UDC’s pollution readings, presented at the hearing, showed high levels of polluting Nitrogen Dioxide in the centre of Newport. This was also confirmed by the Countryside Properties consultant’s report which admitted that the levels would be illegal if the homes were built.

Neil Hargreaves (R4U) Neil Hargreaves (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Neil Hargreaves said “Residents elected us to stand up for them and we have. R4U district councillors led a coalition of the Newport Parish Council, local residents, and planning consultants to deliver solid evidence that the proposed 150-house development would increase already illegal levels of pollution in the village. The law does not allow this. We’d like to thank all those who attended the UDC Planning Committee to lend their support – and the members of the Planning Committee who probed to understand the evidence before rejecting the application by a resounding 9 votes to 1. They refused it because of the illegal pollution it would cause, the environmental damage and destruction of our countryside. Concerns were also expressed about unsafe road proposals.”

Judy Emanuel (R4U) Judy Emanuel (R4U)

Speaking at the planning refusal, Newport Parish Councillor Judy Emanuel said “Air pollution triggers heart attacks and strokes and exacerbates respiratory conditions including asthma. We have a legal duty of care to protect the health and safety of existing and future residents across our communities. A study by the Royal College of Physicians estimated that it was linked to 40,000 premature UK deaths every year.”

R4U’s Cllr Anthony Gerard, who is a member of the UDC committee that deals with environmental health said “The last set of pollution figures published by UDC officers were for 2016. That is unacceptable. If it hadn’t been for the perseverance of the Newport Parish Council and R4U, we would never have known how bad it is. It is worrying is that although extensive monitoring is done in Saffron Walden, where safe pollution levels are already breached, there are no published figures for Dunmow or Newport. And the Environmental Health Officer at UDC acknowledged that Stansted Mountfitchet has worse pollution than Newport.”

Anthony Gerard (R4U) Anthony Gerard (R4U)

Cllr Gerard continued “R4U councillors have now asked UDC officers to release all the most up-to-date pollution readings for the whole district. Residents should not have their health and that of their families put in danger because UDC is sitting on this important data that affects those living in our towns and villages.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local party of towns and villages. The party was formed by a number of residents’ groups in north Essex to provide a strong, independent voice for the views of the residents of the area. The party believes that on local issues local residents should decide, not politicians from Westminster parties.

Uttlesford residents achieved election gains in 2013 and have been increasing their voter share ever since. In 2017 they achieved further gains with a 60% share of the vote in a local district council by-election. Election successes are based on the group’s desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

Residents for Uttlesford has 11 Uttlesford District Councillors and numerous Town and Parish Councillors. It is the Second Party at Uttlesford District Council and the largest party at Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship, the council has won multiple awards.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.

One thought on “UDC Planning Committee puts residents first in landmark refusal of 150 houses in Newport on the grounds of air quality

  1. Stuart

    The amount of housing is having negative affect in this area. It has to stop. The villages and countryside are being turned into vast swaths of lookalike houses with no investment in infrastructure and causing traffic and pollution. Keep the housing in London and stop pricing the average hard worker out of their right to make money from their own homes.


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