There are local concerns that 400 proposed new local Saffron Walden jobs will be lost if Ridgeons is allowed to renege on its agreement to deliver new employment land and instead build more houses.
Cllr Asker continued “There is also the issue of traffic. Ridgeons’ planning consultants have said that they don’t need to do any new traffic and pollution studies because they don’t believe that new houses will generate more traffic than if the land was used for jobs. This isn’t true. Because there are fewer jobs in the town, new homeowners would need to commute through the town to get to work elsewhere, and anyway the traffic in the town has changed over the last 4 years due to many other new housing estates. In fact ECC has made it clear that Saffron Walden now can’t take any more houses on the east without a relief road, and none is proposed.”
Cllr Asker concluded “What this goes to show is that developers can’t be trusted to deliver what they said they would. And the current legal mechanism that UDC uses, called Section 106 agreements, can’t force them to either, as we’ve see all over Uttlesford in the past. UDC should be forcing all larger new developments to be delivered via community controlled Development Corporations, which put local people in the driving seat and stop developers trying to pull a fast one. Residents expect UDC to fully and properly scrutinise this proposal from Ridgeons and hold them to their original commitment to provide an employment site for 400 new local jobs.”
Respond to Public Consultation
UDC indicate that the Latest Advertisement Expiry Date for public consultation is 18th January 2018, so concerned residents should get their responses in quickly. The planning application number is UTT/17/3413/OP. Comments can be emailed to UDC at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the planning application number, or made directly on the UDC website here.
About Residents for Uttlesford
Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.
R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.
R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.
Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.