Sharon Morris: Community makes this a great place to live!

We are often told in the news that Uttlesford tops the polls for the best place to live. Undeniably we live in an area of outstanding beauty, having countryside on our doorstep, abundant historic buildings and pretty villages. However, the thing for me that actually makes this such a great place to live in, is US, the Community.

From the many people involved voluntarily in a wide range of Community projects, to the person who keeps an eye on an elderly neighbour and the person who smiles and nods a friendly hello when you pass in the street. WE are the ones who make this such a a great place in which to live and it irks me that land owners and developers continue to make hefty profits off of the back of US! Section 106 agreements between Councils and Developers are meant to ensure that developments pay for the infrastructure that supports them but we know that this isn’t really happening. The reality is these agreements are often watered down during later stages of the planning process and many are not enforced at all.

I believe we should do away with Section 106 agreements as soon as possible in favour of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Local communities will directly benefit from the monies raised via CIL as a proportion will pass directly from the Planning Authority back to the Town or Parish Council in which it is raised. Come on, isn’t it time we deserved a bit more than just congested roads, overburdened doctors and over subscribed schools for our efforts? Love Where You Live!