Links to other items on this page.
Consultation on the way | Extension to
Deadline | February Floods|
Village Meeting |
Committee January Meeting|
Henham Dads Disco
Boxing Day Walk
Environment Committee November Meeting
and Consultation |
are on the shortlist |
Decision on Eco-towns - 2009
Square mile of wheat
Flint Visits Uttlesford
Rally in London - End of Consultation
E.C.C. Slams Eco Town in Elsenham
Judicial Review Launched
Jonathan's great Power-point Presentation
of England Plan
(Note - many of the items that have
previously appeared on this page have been transferred either to the
Great News, Fairfield not in new Local Plan
UDC have, this afternoon, published their new draft local plan and you will
be delighted to know that Fairfield and their ridiculous settlement at NE
Elsenham is not included. There are to be three new settlements, one at
North Uttlesfield, one at Easton Park and one West of Braintree. There are a
number of smaller developments scattered around Uttlesford.
This fight has been ongoing since 3rd September 2007 when the then draft
local plan allocated 3200 homes in NE Elsenham on Henham Parish land. This
plan changed in numbers, up to 5300 and eventually settled on 2100 homes in
the Local Plan examined by an Inspector in 2014. .The Plan was rejected in
2015 mainly because the NE Elsenham site was found to be unsound. This was a
great victory for the Save Our Village Committee (SOV) who work tirelessly
to get the development rejected. It cost the residents and community some
£250K to fight this plan. It cost UDC over £2million of our money!!
This new Local Plan has been going for 2 years and surprise, surprise
Fairfield put themselves up for inclusion again. The SOV committee have been
engaged with our experts again for over 2 years presenting evidence on why
NE Elsenham is the wrong location. Well finally today the draft plan rejects
Fairfield. The Plan now goes through a process of consultation and Council
agreement before going before an Inspector next year for adoption.
Well done to all those who have helped to achieve this splendid result.
Save Our Village
23rd June 2017
Update From Chairman
Residents should know that U.D.C have decided that the new draft local Plan
will include a single settlement of some 4000 houses. Last week developers
were invited to make presentations to U.D.C on where the single settlement
should be located. There were 5 presentations and it won't surprise
residents that Fairfield made a presentation on the site in Elsenham
This site was rejected in the last Local Plan examination by an independent
Inspector and, in addition, a planning application for 800 houses was
rejected by U.D.C planning committee and taken to appeal by Fairfield and
again rejected, this time by the Minister for Housing in the conservative
The decision on where the new single settlement should go will now be taken
by U.D.C over the next few months culminating with a public consultation in
June/July. Be assured that our legal and planning team are already working
on the situation, and also be assured we will fight this application
the utmost vigour.
Chairman Save Our Villages
The New Draft Local Plan
The new Uttlesford Draft Local Plan is apparently being published.
Residents will be delighted to know that the Fairfield development does
not form part of this new Local Plan. Following the successful
campaign for the refusal of 800 houses by the Housing Minister, it seems
that U.D.C have given up on NE Elsenham. The new plan proposes two new
settlements, one near Stebbing as part of a development shared with
Braintree and one at Little Easton. The Little Easton development, first
proposed in the 90s, is earmarked for some 17,000 houses over a 25 year
period. It include commercial site, links to M11 and a railway link to
This is great news as we have argued for 9 years that any large
settlement has to come with an infrastructure that would properly
support the development, housing, schools, road network etc. To dump
3000+ houses in Elsenham was always daft. So we have got there, huge
cost and time to arrive at a solution that could have been agreed in
The new draft Plan will come out for consultation in November and we
will be advising residents how to respond. It is vital that the District
has a sound sensible Local plan in place ASAP. This will stop
speculative development in unplanned locations.
Save Our Villages
The news below is so welcome after nine years of worry.
Simply, may I take the opportunity of thanking Nick Baker for his
outstanding leadership, optimism and tenacity. Without him our chances
off success would have been severely reduced. Henham and Elsenham owe
you a large debt of gratitude Nick.
May this be the last we hear of Fairfield.
26th August 2016
By now some of you will have heard the news that the Fairfield appeal
was refused by the Secretary of State today. This is outstanding news
and I wanted to thank those who worked so tirelessly to fight this
unwanted development. I also want to thank those who gave so generously
towards a fight that lasted 9 years and cost us, the community £350K.
We are looking through the reasons for refusal and will send out a
detailed survey of the findings in a day or two. However just a cursory
read shows that the Inspector who heard the appeal said,
' Regardless of the conclusions on the 5 year housing supply , the
substantial impact on the surrounding road network would still weigh
sufficiently heavily against Fairfield so that the adverse impacts as a
whole would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.
Consequently , the Fairfield scheme would not amount to sustainable
development in any event'
This is exactly what we have been telling U.D.C Planning for 9 years.
It is, and will remain, a disgraceful episode in the history of U.D.C
administration that politics overtook sensible planning considerations
and those responsible should be answerable to their tax payers. They now
have a Local Plan thrown out and an appeal by Fairfield, undefended by
UDC cast aside. It really is a disgrace.
I am heading for the Cock for a pint and join others who have worked so
hard. I want to mention Simon Lee, Petrina Lees, Peter Johnson, Bill
Bates, David Morson, Karen George Lafferty and Don Sturgeon for their
tireless work on behalf of the community. Outstanding.
Save Our Village.
click here to see
JPCSG response to to the consultation on SHLAA
24th March 2016
NEW LOCAL PLAN - Housing Bids
may be aware that the consultation on the new Local Plan finished on the 4th
December, The Parish Council submitted a 34 page statement saying where we
though future housing should go. In parallel with the consultation UDC
called for sites across the District. This means that any Landowner or
Developer can put forward a site for consideration for inclusion in the
Local Plan. These sites would then be examined by UDC, and those chosen as
possibilities would form the next consultation in the New Year.
So how many houses are we talking about? Well the period of the plan is 2011
to 2033 and UDC have to build 580 house each and every year so that totals
12,496 houses. From 2011 to 2015 1,914 have already been built and a further
5000 have been approved. In addition a windfall of 900 houses is expected
over the period. That means that an additional 4686 houses have to be
built between now and 2033. UDC have rounded this up to 5000.
Now the call for sites has brought in an astonishing amount of housing bids
across the district. I have not added it up but it must be in excess of
50,000. UDC have to reduce this to 5,000 by appraisal and consultation.
What does it mean for us? Well a few old favourites have re-emerged as
bids. The Glebe Field owners have made a bid for 50 houses. we wait to see
how the propose this field will be accessed. Grind Hall owners have asked
for 5+ despite being turned down by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal a
short while ago. The School site has submitted for 35 houses whilst they
await the planning hearing for their application of 35 houses on the same
site, presumably belt and braces approach. Then we have a new application
from the owners of the fields south of Vernons Close, running alongside Mill
Road for 120 to 150 houses, this will effectively join Vernons Close to the
Nursery and Hill Top Yard.
Then we move to Fairfield and the land they control in NE Elsenham.
Residents will remember that the last Local Plan was thrown out mainly
because of the Inspectors views on this development. Well here they come
again with applications for 800 houses, that is the 800 houses subject to
appeal, a further 1500 houses and a further 3000/4000 houses. A total of
between 5300 to 6300. This would take the development right up to Henham at
Mill Road and from the Pub down to Old Mead Road. Old Mead Lane is
completely surrounded by houses. This suggestion is actually bigger than the
ECO town of 5200 houses proposed in the dark days of 2009, subsequently
turned down by the Labour Government. In addition Elsenham face further
development of some 225 houses.
So what happens next? Well the Parish Council will have the opportunity of
comment on these proposals during the appraisal stage and before the
consultation. We will keep the Village informed of what is happening and
certainly inform you when it is your turn to have your say.
So don't be too alarmed about the sites submitted in response to the 'call
for sites'. This happens in any District as landowners and developers pile
in - so that almost every scrap of land is put forward. It is still the 5000
that UDC must find which is important, not the tens of thousands which have
been put forward.
NEW LOCAL PLAN
BY PARISH COUNCILS
The Parish Councils have responded to the consultation on the new Local
Plan and this can be found by
Residents will have their own views on where future housing should be
placed in Uttlesford, but obviously not at Elsenham. We believe our
response presents a balanced, sensible way forward.
If you agree, and want to be associated with our views please send an e
mail to email@example.com with your name and
address, stating you would like to be associated with the views of
Henham, Elsenham, Ugley and Widdington Parish Councils in the report
they have submitted to UDC.
1st December 2015
NEW LOCAL PLAN
Residents will probably be aware that UDC have embarked on a new Local
Plan to provide 10,750 houses in Uttlesford. They have been forced to do
this because the last Local Plan was found to be unsound, mainly because
placing 2100 houses in Elsenham was rejected by the Planning Inspector. So
here we go again! feels a bit like Groundhog Day! The beginnings of the New
Local Plan are out for consultation between 22nd October to 4th December.
This first stage is at a fairly high level and is not site specific merely
identifying 'areas of search' for housing. The full 19 questions being
asked can be seen on the U.D.C website.
Elsenham/Henham is still an 'area of search' for development. The Joint
Parish Councils Steering Group will continue to pursue a campaign of
objection until the area is ruled out. The PC hope that by the end of the
consultation there will be a decision on the Fairfield appeal. We will not
be advising residents how to respond to this consultation, this advice
will come in the next consultation should Elsenham/Henham remain as a
possible site. We shall publish our response to this consultation on the
Save Our Village website in due course.
7th October 2015
WASTE LOCAL PLAN
ELSENHAM – SITE
Essex County Council is proposing a major
waste recycling site on the fields to the left and right as you drive
towards Elsenham Golf & Leisure Club, off Hall Road. The consultation
documents are long and complex (see
www.essex.gov.uk/WLP), but essentially we could be faced with a major
site used for recycling building waste from all over Essex, plus the
possibility of a transfer station, waste storage and treatment, composting,
the generation of energy from waste, etc…
THIS WILL AFFECT YOU, YOUR PROPERTY AND
YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE, SO PLEASE TAKE ACTION.
We have put together a list of objections
to the proposals based on the observations in the ECC documentation; the
objections are attached. Even if you don’t live next door, you will be
affected by aspects of this proposal such as HGV movements, pollution, loss
of amenity, and more. There is a deadline for responses by
30 July, 2015, so please take
action quickly to make your feelings known.
Please feel free to write your own list of
objections or adapt and amend those provided here. It is preferable for you
to use your own words as far as possible, rather than all using the same
template, but try and keep your comments under the same sub headings. The
more people respond, the better, so all residents at your address can take
part. More copies available as required from Councillor Elizabeth Parr,
Uttlesford District Council or from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure to start your response with your
name and address, including post code and Ref RWLP/RPA/15.
You can respond in various ways:
Online, using the consultation portal
Using the response form (download from website above) and
return by email
Post to Minerals and Waste Planning (RWLP), Planning &
Environment, Essex County Council, Freepost CL 3636, E3 County Hall,
Chelmsford, CM1 1XZ
Please see list of suggested
Elsenham seems to be bombarded from all
sides with various developments these days, but we hope you will be
motivated to respond to this before it is too late and the facility is on
Petrina Lees (Elsenham PC)
27th July 2015
To perhaps misquote a Football Manager, "Its déjà vu all over again"
As a consequence of the Planning Inspector throwing out Uttlesford
District Council's Local Development Plan, after nearly a decade of £2
million of local taxpayers money, £250,000 of SOV funds,
consultations, planning meetings and so on, we are almost back to square
one with U.D.C launching a two month 'connsultation' for suggested sites
for housing. Please
click here for a full article in
The Herts and Essex Observer (Thursday 2nd April 2015) which includes
comments by Nick Baker our Chairman.
Click here if you wish to suggest
sites for housing, etc.
We still await the date for the
planning application by Fairfield to be heard by U.D.C Planners. As we
understand it this can only be at the March meeting as committees stop in
April waiting for the Elections. A first meeting of the new Local Plan
Committee has taken place, but again this will not start seriously until
after the elections. So we wait, as you know we expect the results of
Fairfield's appeal on or about 15th June.
Please watch the Website for confirmation of date and time of the planning
9th February 2015
Now we are into the New Year it is vital you do not forget to send
you responses to the Planning Department before 9th January - (see below)
click here to view
the Planning Inspector, Mr Roy Foster, scathing rejection of the Uttlesford
RESPONSE TO FAIRFIELD FURTHER PLANNING APPLICATION FOR 800 HOUSES
The J.P.C.S.G. have taken advice on how to respond to this latest Fairfield
Yet again it is also vitally important residents respond as individuals.
As you are aware, Fairfield made such an application in 2013 (UTT/13/0808/OP)
which was twice rejected by U.D.C Planning Committee. They subsequently
appealed against the rejections and this appeal went before a Government
Planning Inspector in September 2014. The decision on this appeal is
expected on 15th June 2015.
November of this year another Government Inspector sat to examine the
U.D.C.’s Local Housing Plan and in no uncertain terms rejected it,
especially the siting of 2100 homes in Elsenham (see below). Bizarrely,
whilst the Inspector was still sitting, Fairfield renewed their application
for 800 homes on the same site.
want this application to slip through by default. Responses have to be in by
We suggest you send an e mail to
email@example.com or write to Planning Dept, UDC Council
Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4ER saying-
Fairfield Planning Application UTT/14/3463/OP
"As there are no substantive changes to the planning application since
the last application, my objections to that application still stand. The
site has been rejected by the Local Plan Inspector",( plus anything else you
want to add).
should you not have responded to the original application for 800 houses or
wish to refresh your memories on the list of objections used in 2013,
We really do understand how
frustrating it is to go through this yet again, but we really do appreciate
10th December 2014
Demand For an Enquiry
The Save Our Village
Committee has written to The Chief Executive of Uttlesford District Council
demanding an inquiry into the utter failure of the Draft Local Plan on
examination by the Inspector.
click here to see a copy of the letter
to Mr. John Mitchell from Nick Baker, Chairman of the J.P.C.S.G.
thought I would send you the UDC 'spin' on Wednesdays disastrous result (for
them!). This is the statement put out by the U.D.C Conservative
Inspector examining Uttlesford's Draft Local Plan has stopped his enquiry.
He did this on two principal grounds - he considered the overall number of
houses in the Plan to be too low and he had concerns about the enlarged
Council notes however, that the Inspector also said the ' much of the plan
purpose of holding a Local Plan Inquiry is to test the extensive background
work that is required to produce a draft document. The Council has always
sought to balance the need for new housing with the importance of protecting
Inspector has indicated that the fact there should be an even higher number
of houses than is currently in the Plan. this is something the Council will
have to consider, along with the concerns expressed about Elsenham.
an astonishing statement, and the Administration should be ashamed of itself
to try and spin this humiliation into good news. The commentary is grossly
misleading and inaccurate.
nowhere in the Inspector's Summary that says any of the plan
is sound in any form. In fact if it were, as the statement
suggests a 'near miss' the Inspector would have suspended it, not rejected
it in its entirety. The Inspector says the scale of the work which the
Council would need to undertake to propose and consult upon changes to deal
with making the plan sound, would be greater than could be completed within
the normal maximum 6 month period of a suspended examination.
have only been 15 plans in the country that have been withdrawn due to
Inspector heavily criticised the Plan and cited the following reasons for
his complete refusal of the plan:
UDC had not
calculated the housing numbers properly and so 10% more may be needed
Elsenham was an
unsuitable location for a new settlement
He doubted that the
existing towns and villages including Saffron Walden and Dunmow, could take
many more houses
U.D.C. should revert
to their previous new settlement approach, which would cater for the
majority of new homes well into the future
process for new settlement locations should be restarted and be more
give you the impression that 'much of the Plan is ‘sound' ?
it be nice to see a statement from U.D.C that says,
were wrong. We would like to apologise to the residents of
Uttlesford and particularly residents of Henham and Elsenham for
blighting their lives for over 7 years. We made a political
decision to place homes in NE Elsenham and, as the Inspector so quickly
recognised, it was completely the wrong place to put housing. We
recognise that we have now opened Uttlesford to a developer’s scramble
to apply for housing all over Uttlesford as we have no Local Plan. We
also apologise for wasting over £2 million of taxpayers money and
causing the residents of Henham and Uttlesford to spend £250K of their
own money to fight against our Plan. We will be conducting a full
Public Enquiry to find out why this went so wrong.
wish to send your comments to Cllr Rolfe, Leader of the Conservative
Save Our Villages.
5th December 2014
Examination of Uttlesford Local Plan
Summarised conclusions after the hearing on 3rd December2014
Regarding the great news news from Nick Baker yesterday (see
The Planning Inspector has produced a four page summary of
his conclusions regarding the U.D.C plan which may be viewed by
clicking here. Pay particular attention
to the heading, Elsenham Policy1 -land north east of Elsenham.
I make no comment on its content. You will see clearly how Mr. Roy
Foster, the Inspector views it.
In respect of Fairfield's appeal for their application to
place 800 houses on this site, we await the other Planning Inspector's
decision in the new year. The Joint Parish Council Steering Group will
be meeting very shortly to consider Fairfield's further planning application
for 800 houses on the same site.
4th December 2014
It was nearly 8 years
ago that Cllr. Barker, a U.D.C Conservative Councillor, proposed 3200
houses in Elsenham. We never knew where this idea came from but we were
certain it was a daft idea. The Save Our Village Committee was born and
£250K later, 8 years later, with the massive support of the community,
and with a great committee today we won. I just want to
say that again today we won.
Today the Planning
Inspector threw out the Local Plan . He was scathing in his observations
on Fairfield's plans to put 2100 houses in NE Elsenham. Saying such
' Elsenham is embedded
within a rural road network ' Isn't' this what we have been telling
UDC Planners for 8 years!
' It is unclear that
any of these routes are fit for purpose to the extent that Elsenham
would be able to overcome its overall connectivity disadvantage and be a
sustainable location for growth on this scale' Isn't that what we
have been telling U.D.C Planners for 8 years!
This report is a
damning indictment of the U.D.C Conservative Administration and the
U.D.C Planners. This plan has been in the making for 8 years at a cost
of goodness knows how much to Uttlesford Council Tax Payers. Now we are
in the same position as we were 8 years ago. No plan, giving a
developers charter to build in the whole of Uttlesford. I would expect
to see heads fall at U.D.C. It has taken local residents to point out
the stupidity of this plan to a Planning Inspector.
I could go on, but a
drink first. If you bump into Petrina Lees, Peter Johnson, Don Sturgeon,
Simon Lee David Morson or Bill Bates please shake them by the hand.
They have worked selflessly for 8 years to achieve this result.
Now we still face the
800 house appeal, but you can be assured that we are working very hard
to make sure the Appeal Inspector sees the comments of the Plan
Have a wee dram
3rd December 2014
Note From Bill Bates
The driving force, leadership and inspiration throughout
this whole campaign has been Nick Baker. He has worked tirelessly
since 2007 to keep the whole thing together. His chairmanship has
been superb, but above all it has been his optimism when other heads,
including mine have been downcast. Brilliant Nick.
Fairfield Submit Yet Another Planning Application
the ink dried on Fairfield’s QCs closing speech to the Planning Inspector on
Monday 24th November then they were submitting a new planning application on
the same site for 800 dwellings. Yes you read that right, Fairfield have
resubmitted their planning application for 800 houses in NE Elsenham
immediately following their appeal against refusal on the same site. The
application seems to be treated with some urgency by U.D.C Planners and we
expect a further consultation over Christmas and the New Year!
they doing this when the Planning Inspectorate has said that the Minister
will rule on the 800 home development on 15th June 2015 after a three week
hearing? Well Fairfield say they are expecting the decision on the Draft
Local Plan Hearing fairly soon, which places 2100 dwellings on the same
site, and therefore the application for 800 is helpful to
planning future housing in Uttlesford.
amongst us would suggest that this is a blatant attempt by Fairfield and
others to try to bypass planning processes and secure planning permission by
the back door before the judgement on 15th June. It is disgraceful that a
planning system can be used and abused in this way.
I hope to
see many of you at the
Local Plan meeting on
when we will show the Inspector the absurdity of placing large scale housing
development on the Elsenham site. Meanwhile we will be taking planning and
legal advice from our consultants on how to deal with this latest
30th November 2014
Fairfield against the refusal of 800 dwellings in NE Elsenham
has now finished. The Inspector goes away to write his report to the
Secretary of State. He hopes to complete this in March 2015. However we have
been told by The Planning Inspectorate that the Secretary of State will
issue his decisions on or before 15th June 2015. The reason for this target
date is that the general election is due to be held on 7th May 2015 and new
planning Ministers are likely to need a period to prepare for their roles
before taking decisions such as in this case.
Examination has sat for 4 days and commences again on
for another 4 days. The first 4 days were spent on sustainability, housing
numbers and access routes etc. We feel our team did very well in arguing our
case. Starting on Tuesday the Inspector will look at individual sites
identified in the Local Plan. Tuesday 2nd is a day set aside to examine
the Elsenham site. We encourage you to come along and listen to this
examination. It starts at
1000 hrs at
the Saffron Walden District Council Offices.
Just a word of warning, this Inspector seems to be very fair and listens
very carefully to the evidence.
It would be
wise to listen and not get upset if you hear something you don't agree with.
We have an expert team who will articulate our case on your behalf.
to seeing you on Tuesday.
27th November 2014
Launch of the SOV Hundred Club
Please Click Here
Your Help is imperative to our
Sir Alan Canvasses the Minister of
State to favour Elsenham Housing Application citing Conservative 'Blood on
The ‘Save Our Villages Committee’ is shocked and
dismayed at an apparent attempt by Sir Alan Haselhurst MP to influence the
Minister of State for Housing and Planning prior to the appeals by Fairfield
and Land Securities against refusal of planning applications in NE Elsenham
and West of Dunmow
Click to View
We have now had a chance to look at the Local Plan Examination. In fact it
now starts on
Tuesday 18th November,
but the best day to come along is
December at 1000 hrs
when the Elsenham Site will be discussed .
Venue Saffron Walden Council Offices
Can you please pass to anybody in your Henham Elsenham address book.
14th November 2014
Just to keep you
updated on the situation with the Fairfield appeal and the forthcoming Local
The Fairfield Appeal
against the refusal by UDC Planning Committee of 800 houses has now
virtually finished save for some closing speeches on 24th November. The
matter will then be reported to The Secretary of State ( Eric Pickles) for a
decision. We are not expecting this until spring 2015.
The Local Plan
Examination commences on
Monday 17th November
(see above for important change)
at the District Council Offices in Saffron Walden. This Local Plan places
2100 dwellings in NE Elsenham. The hearing sits for one week and misses one
week and then recommences the following week. This Hearing is entirely
different to the appeal by Fairfield which was a court hearing. This time
the Inspector has already read the papers submitted by all interested
parties. The Hearing is an informal round table discussion led by the
Inspector. He will introduce a subject and invite participants to speak to
reinforce the views already given in the submitted papers. We are
represented by Geoff Gardner our Planning Consultant, Lisa Foster our
Planning Solicitor, and Bruce Bamber our Transport Consultant. We have
obtained one seat at the table and our experts will be 'hot seating' as the
We would encourage as
many of you as possible to attend the hearing, especially on day one at 1000
am. Can you please copy this update to anyone in you address book who might
be interested in the arrangements.
Thank you to all those
who contributed to the Save Our Village Funds. We have, so far, raised over
£35,000 from residents to support our position on these developments.
Without these contributions we would have just rolled over and had to accept
the will of our Conservative District Council. This amount, combined with
Parish Funds, has enabled us to put up a robust, articulated case against
these threatened developments in this completely unsuitable location. If the
JPCSG had not fought this issue for over 8 years we would already have had,
by now , the first phases of the development built! If you haven't
contributed and would like to, our Bank Account details are JPCSG, 20-36-98
10490792 or hand a cheque to any Parish Councillor.
7th November 2014
Further Appeal Update
The Fairfield Appeal
against the refusal of 800 houses in NEElsenham concluded on Wednesday, save
for some final speeches on Monday 24th November. Our Barrister gave her
closing speech on Wednesday afternoon and covered all the points we had
agreed on before the hearing. The Inspector walked the site on Wednesday
morning and has a good understanding of the transport and sustainability
situation. I have attached the final speech in case any of you want to read
Click here to view.
We expect to hear the
decision in 2015 perhaps as late as May. We don't, at the moment, fully
understand how the Local Plan ties in with the Appeal.
So onwards and upwards,
we start the Local Plan Inspection on 17th November at the Council
Offices in Saffron Walden. This is quite a lot different to the hearing over
the 800 homes. The purpose of this hearing is to ensure that the UDC Draft
Local Plan in sound. We have submitted a large amount of papers to the
Inspector to show that we believe the Plan is unsound. There will be a lot
of interested parties at the Local Plan Inspection including other protest
groups and developers. We are well represented. We will contact you nearer
the hearing to advise on attendance when we know a little more about the
Appeal - Update
Tuesday 21st October was, for the most part,
taken up by the evidence in chief from the Fairfield planning expert, Mr.
Copsey of David Lock Associates. He expounded the alleged virtues of their
proposed development and subsequently our barrister, Miss Wigley, and the
representative for Land Securities (The Great Dunmow Appeal) cross-examined
him with a view to demonstrating to the Inspector the many flaws in the
Tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd October will be in
two parts. The morning will be devoted to a site visit by the Inspector and
the afternoon, from 2.00pm onwards, will be at the U.D.C. Council Offices,
London Road for the closing address by our barrister, Miss Wigley.
Apologies to those residents who today went to the
Western Homes venue not appreciating that this was just a temporary venue
whilst the Council Offices were unavailable the week before last.
21st October 2014
Fairfield Appeal Hearing
As I write
this update we are finishing the second week of the Fairfield appeal against
the refusal of planning permission on the site at North East Elsenham.
I will start with an
update on our fund raising, the total received so far from individuals, not
including Parish Councils, is £32,147.15, which is a splendid amount, and,
together with Parish Funds means we can carry on paying our legal team.
We still need more
funds as we have to appear at the Local Plan examination which commences on
17th November at District Council Offices in Saffron Walden. This is a two
week examination and as you know the Local Plan allocates 2100 homes in NE
Elsenham. We must object to this plan in the strongest possible terms mainly
on the grounds that the single site selection of Elsenham was unsound, as
other, alternative sites had not been properly examined. We have always said
the selection of Elsenham was a political decision and not one based on
Anyway back to the current appeal. You may remember that the Fairfield
appeal has been conjoined with an appeal by Land Securities against the
refusal of planning permission for 700 homes West of Gt Dunmow. This has
proved quite helpful to us, as part of the Land Securities case is that
their site is superior to the Fairfield site. The first few days were taken
up with arguments over the required housing numbers needed by Uttlesford
under Government direction. UDC have arrived at a figure of 523 new homes a
year, Fairfield and land Securities figures were much higher and
unsurprisingly ours is a little lower. We hope that we have robustly
defended our position and await the opinion of the Inspector.
The next few days were taken up by the evidence for and against the Gt
Dunmow site, and it was last Tuesday that our team began their case for the
continuing refusal of 800 homes at NE Elsenham. Our first witness was our
transport consultant who, I think, did an excellent job taking apart the
road infrastructure around the site, and Fairfield’s view that the exit road
down Hall Road to the Takeley crossroads is a desirable alterative to going
through Stansted. His evidence took most of the day with cross examination.
We hope that the Inspector, who has spent a lot of time driving the routes
before and after the daily hearing, has now got a good grasp of the very
serious infrastructure difficulties. Our planning consultant then gave
evidence on the stupidity of putting a further 800 homes attached to the
village of Elsenham. He argued very well, that to locate a further 800
houses in such an isolated location was unsustainable.
Fairfield started their case on Thursday morning and as you would expect
tried to claim that the site was wonderful and would be of huge benefit to
the existing Elsenham community. We hope the Inspector won't be hoodwinked
by what, in the opinion of residents who attended, was a wildly optimistic
view of the development..
So what happens next? Well the hearing continues on 21st and 22nd October
and closing speeches will be on 24th November. We expect to hear the result
in May 2015. Meanwhile as I said the Local Plan Inspection starts on 17th
November. What happens if....? I hear you say. Well nobody knows how the two
hearings tie together, so we will have to wait and see.
Any Villager who wants to support our appeal can make bank transfer to
Barclays, 20-36-98 ac JPCSG 10490792, or hand a cheque to any Parish
The Appeal is Under Way
The appeal by
Fairfield against the refusal by U.D.C planning committee of 800 houses
commenced on 23rd September. As stated below, Save Our Villages are
represented by Jenny Wigley, a planning barrister, Lisa Foster planning
solicitor, Geoff Gardner planning consultant and Bruce Bamber transport
The first two days
were mainly taken up with technical issues over how many homes Uttlesford
are required to build per year. The Developers Fairfield and Land
Securities, who have joined the appeal against the refusal of 700 homes West
of Dunmow, would like to show that the Uttlesford figure is far too low. We,
on the other hand, argued that the Uttlesford figure was too high. We will
hear the Inspectors view in due course.
West of Dunmow appeal is being heard first and will conclude on 3rd October.
We commence our case on Tuesday 7th October at 1000
We would ask that as many of our supporters attend as
possible at the start of proceedings and the following days, to show the
Inspector the strength of feeling against this development.
The venue is Western Homes, The Stansted Centre,
Parsonage Rd, Takeley, CM226PU. We
understand there is plenty of car parking space available.
27th September 2014
It is now Getting Really Serious
As we head into the final week before the Hearing of the Appeal by Fairfield
on the refusal of 800 homes on the Fairfield site at NE Elsenham, I though
an update was in order. Our 'team' consists of Jenny Wigley a Planning
Barrister of high reputation, Lisa Foster, a Planning Solicitor who comes
highly recommended, Geoff Gardner, who has been our Planning Consultant for
over 8 years, and Bruce Bamber, who is our Transport Consultant. We believe
we have assembled a team who can successfully argue that NE Elsenham is the
wrong place to put a development of this size.
We have held two long conferences with our team and are now confident they
have an excellent grasp of the issues. Our fund raising to date has raised
nearly £23K, which together with Parish Funds from Henham, Elsenham, Ugley,
Widdington , Newport and Stansted mean that we can fund most of the appeal.
However, we still need donations as the next stage, the Local Plan
Inspection, which starts on 21st November to hear the case for the
allocation of 2100 homes in NE Elsenham. We will need some of our
consultants to advise us on how to approach this Local Plan Hearing.
The Fairfield Appeal is running in conjunction with an appeal by Land
Securities to refuse 700 homes West of Dunmow. Both appeals start at 1000
hours on 23rd September at the UDC Council Offices in Saffron Walden. The
first day will deal with openings and the debate on housing numbers, and all
parties will be present for a couple of days. The Save Our Village
Committee encourages our supporters to attend this meeting by assembling
outside the Council Chambers at 0930 on the 23rd, to show the Inspector the
strength of feeling against this development. It may be that not
everybody will be able to get into the actual hearing on that day. The Land
Security part of the Hearing will start on the Thursday25th.
The main part of our Hearing against the Fairfield appeal will commence on
7th October at 1000 hours at the Conference Centre, Weston Homes Business
Centre, Parsonage Road, Takeley, Essex CM22 6PU. This will be an opportunity
to hear our case outlined by our team and we would again be delighted if you
could attend and show your support. Parking is available.
These hearings are conducted in a 'Court Room' atmosphere and we would ask
our supporters to show respect for the Inspector and his Courtroom.
We will attempt to keep the Save Our Village website up to date as things
The result of this hearing is not expected until well into 2015. The Local
Plan Inspection will follow this timetable.
15th September 2014
Latest Chairman's Update
Thought I would give you an update on the 800 home
appeal by Fairfield. The appeal will start on 23rd September 2014 and is
expected to last 3 weeks. You may be aware that the appeal is being heard in
conjunction with an appeal by Land Securities on the refusal of 700 homes
northwest of Dunmow. This means that although the individual appeals will be
heard separately, there are matters of commonality between the cases and
these matters will be heard together. U.D.C has decided not to support the
refusal decision on the Fairfield case, but to support the refusal of the
Dunmow site. This means that we will be standing alone supporting the
refusal of the Fairfield homes.
Our defence team has been formed and we have retained a
leading Barrister who comes highly recommended. She will be supported by a
solicitor who specialises in planning cases plus a planning expert and a
transport export. We consider that we have retained the strongest team
Unfortunately these experts cost money and we are
asking all of our supporters to dig deep and provide us with as much
financial support as possible to fight this outrageous Fairfield Appeal. All
contributions will be allocated to the Joint Parish Council Steering Group (JPCSG)
fighting fund to ensure we have the best possible chance of success at
sustaining the quality of life we have enjoyed for so many years in our
rural communities. Every pound will make a difference. Without your support
we are lost.
Please can you forward cheques, payable to JPCSG, to
any Parish Councillor or pay directly into our JPCSG bank account. Any
requests for anonymity will be respected. The bank account details are:
Barclays 20 36 98 Ac 10490792 JPCSG
Thank you for your continued support
3rd August 2014
Yet Another Twist in this Ongoing Saga
reference to the entry below this:-
heard from U.D.C that they have decided not to defend their Planning
Committees decision to refuse 800 homes on the Fairfield Site. At a meeting
of the Planning Committee on the 25th June, (not a meeting open to the
public), the Planning Committee agreed they would not be presenting
evidence at the inquiry. John Mitchell, the CEO of U.D.C, says that since
the Council has approved the draft Local Plan they cannot take a position of
seeking 2100 homes in Elsenham and defending a decision not to put 800 homes
on the same site.
John Mitchell is wrong, the full council did not approve the
draft Local Plan. Earlier this year they approved that the pre-submission
draft version could go to public consultation. The results of this public
consultation are still under consideration. That is very different from
approving the draft plan. Mr Mitchell can explain this position to the
Inspector at the Planning Appeal.
Our Village will be represented at the Inquiry Hearing and we hope that an
Inspector will see that a planning decision that has been twice refused by
the U.D.C Planning Committee for very sound Planning reasons, cannot be
pushed through by senior U.D.C officers and U.D.C Cabinet members who are
continuing to push through their unpopular Local Plan and sites irrespective
of public opinion. Shame on them, and their policies, which will once
again force the electorate to fight for justice themselves against this
Chairman Save Our Village
1st July 2014
(apologies for the delayed entry on the
web site - I was away on holiday when this news broke - BB)
Latest News On
We have just heard
(13.6.2014) that Fairfield's appeal against the refusal of 800 homes on the
NE Elsenham site will be heard on 23rd September. It has been joined with
the appeal against 700 homes north of Great Dunmow by Land Securities. The
Inspector will hear both appeals together and make a decision. It seems that
this could become a Beauty Competition between the developers. However we
must be aware that the Inspector could allow both applications ( or
neither!). The Save Our Village committee will fight this appeal with
everything we have. If the appeal is refused it makes it extremely difficult
for the Fairfield site of 2100 homes to be included in the Local Plan. Land
Securities want their 700 home site to be extended to take 5000 homes.
Thank you for all Residents who responded to the last consultation. We will
be in touch with you to tell you how you can help with the Fairfield Appeal.
Save Our Village
13th June 2014
Please take a few minutes to
listen to Cllr Barker, the architect of Option 4 justify her position in a
Radio Essex interview yesterday.
Click here to listen.
This interview follows an
interview with myself concerning the latest consultation. This Councillor,
who proudly admitted six years after the event, that she had orchestrated
the infamous Option 4 Fairfield development, tries to justify her actions.
She says she has only received two e mails commenting on the Fairfield
development during this latest consultation.
She is the Cabinet Official
responsible for the Local Plan. Does she not realise that the many
thousands and thousands of objections over the years are aimed at her and
Does she want us all to divert
from the process and write to her? Sheer arrogance! She invites residents
to e mail her with their views, well let’s send her a few. Feel free to
tell Cllr Barker what you think of her Local Plan and her suggestion to dump
2100 homes in Elsenham. . Her e mail address is
3rd June 2014
Objections to the Local Plan submitted
Today, Monday 2nd June 2014 at 2.00 pm, the Save Our
Village Committee delivered a magnificent
2211 letters from local residents vehemently opposed to the
U.D.C Local Plan and the siting of 2100 homes in NE Elsenham. For eight
years now the residents of Elsenham, Henham, Ugley and Widdington have
opposed plans to build 2100 homes on high quality farming land between
Elsenham and Henham. The residents, in a four page submission, say the Local
Plan is unsound and fatally flawed because:
it is overdevelopment on the edge of only a key village
coalescence of Elsenham and Henham, destroying the special character
of both villages
it is not a sustainable location in any sense
there is inadequate provision for education, health and community
the road system serving Elsenham is seriously sub-standard for the
establishment of an extra 2100 homes
the development would destroy local landscapes and the open
countryside and lose a valuable agriculture asset
public opinion, as expressed by thousands of objectors is being
Nick Baker, OBE, Chair of Save Our Villages, said,
‘It is about time that U.D.C saw
the stupidity of this housing proposal and acts before it is too late. The
Government Housing Inspector will reject this Local Plan as being unsound.
Please U.D.C wake up to this appalling situation before it is too late, and
accept that the Local Plan is fatally flawed’
In addition to the 2,211,
representatives from Newport delivered a further
200 and the We Are Residents campaign group from Saffron Walden a
further 500 hard copies. Saffron
Walden have also submitted an unknown number of electronic copies making a
conservative total of over 3,000
objections to the plan.
Unfortunately, there was nobody from
U.D.C Planning Department or Planning Committee or Councillors
available to receive the submissions and they were left at reception.
The Save Our Village Committee would
like to thank all the residents from Elsenham, Henham, Ugley and Widdington
for taking the time to fill out the forms and in particular to all the
volunteers who spent days knocking on doors and explaining why we had to
endure yet another consultation on this long running saga.
DRAFT LOCAL PLAN - CONSULTATION FINISHING ON MONDAY 2ND JUNE
The Save Our
Village Committee met last night, (Wednesday 7th May 2014), to decide how
best to respond to the current consultation on the Draft Local Plan. You
must respond to this consultation if you share our view that this is the
wrong place to place housing. This is the last consultation before the
matter goes to a Government Inspector in the Autumn. The Inspector will
judge if the Plan is sound.
If you don’t
respond you will effectively be accepting that placing 2100 homes in NE
Elsenham is OK.
The Test of
Soundness is very technical and means that the Inspector must be
satisfied that the Plan is positively prepared, justified, effective and
consistent with national policy.
that the Plan fails on all 4 counts.
employed Planning and Transport Consultants to articulate the technical
reasons why the plan is unsound and have prepared a short paper for
submission to the consultation on behalf of Save Our Villages. We ask that
you, and members of your household, associate yourselves with this
report by completing a Contact Details Form designed by U.D.C. We want to
show the Inspector the sheer numbers of local residents who very strongly
object to the way U.D.C have dumped these houses on a remote part of the
District without proper appraisal. We want hundreds of responses.
consultations, as you are no doubt aware, we have asked you to individually
respond to the U.D.C either on Limehouse, by email or by hard copy. This
time, because of the technical nature of the test of soundness, none of
these would be appropriate.
completing a Contact Details Form, (see below), residents can
associate themselves with the report from our planning consultants to show
the weight of feeling.
receive Contact Details Forms through your letter box or by personal
delivery in the next 10 days. Additional forms can be
complete the forms and return them to your delivery person; (their address
is on the form put though your letterbox). If you are a
Henham Resident, you can use the box in the Village Shop.
will be submitted with the master copy of the report which you can view by
clicking on one of the following:-
Henham, Widdington and Ugley version can be read here.
Elsenham (who will be submitting a slightly different
version) can be read here.
Parish Councils will also be submitting individual further responses which
will be much more detailed
THIS IS THE LAST
CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY - WHEN YOU ARE CONTACTED PLEASE SUPPORT US
Chairman of The Joint Parish Council Steering Group
8th May 2014
The Latest Consultation
With reference to the item below:-
Since 2007 we have been asking you to impress on Uttlesford District
Council what you think about the ever-changing housing policies they have
put before you via the seemingly never-ending consultations we have had to
We are now faced with yet another consultation which will end on
2nd June 2014. The response to this
one will be put before the Planning Inspector in the late Autumn and though
you must be feeling battle weary and very cynical about how much notice is
taken of your views, this consultation is vitally
important as it appears to be the only one the Inspector will take
into consideration. We are ardent believers that the District
needs extra housing and have always advocated this. This housing
primarily needs to be 'affordable' in its broadest sense and integrated into
our community sensibly and with due regard to existing infrastructure and
the rural nature of Uttlesford. In this we do not appear to be in accord
with U.D.C who appear to have taken scant regard of your views and produced
an L.D.F which is 'developer lead' and flawed in so many ways.
Yet again we ask you to be patient and hold back on responding to the
Consultation until we have taken both legal and expert advice on how you can
influence the Planning Inspector that what will be put before him/her by the
Administration and Planning Department is not worthy of endorsement.
17th April 2014
CONSERVATIVE WHIP SAVES THE DAY
DISGRACEFUL BEHAVIOUR SEES U.D.C APPROVE THE DRAFT LOCAL PLAN
Before the meeting of the
Full Council was held on Tuesday 8th April 1014 at 7.30 pm, the
draft Local plan had already been rejected by Uttlesford residents when 99%
of public consultees objected to the draft in 2012 and again in December
2013. There was further overwhelming objection to the updated plan for
including 2100 homes in North East Elsenham. The updated plan was deemed
unsound because it was unsustainable and fell short because of unresolved
issues with regard to -
Views of towns,
parishes and the public not being properly considered.
Simon Lee, Henham Parish
Councillor and a member of Save Our Village Committee was one of eight
speakers, none of whom supported the plan. For the first time proceedings
were broadcast live on a sound link on the internet. A full recording
can be heard on
contribution can be heard about 20 minutes into the broadcast.
Councilors didn't turn up, but six dissenters did. Well done to them for having the courage to represent the
views of their constituents. Of our local District Councillors, Joe Rich,
Stansted, who was present at the beginning of the meeting was absent for the
vote, and John Salmon Stansted voted for the plan. The Chairman, Eric
Hicks, Conservative, threatened, more than once to clear the chamber when
members of the public reacted to the various speeches. He even threatened to
hold the meeting in camera!!! The meeting was conducted in a very bad
atmosphere, with the Tory inner cabinet resolved to defend their position no
matter what was suggested or debated. When it came to the vote there was a
balanced cross-party opposition to the plan with six Conservatives, five
Liberal Democrats, and all three independents pushing for refusal, but with
the Tory whip, the result was 23 votes in favour to 14 against.
YOUR COUNCILLOR VOTE?
you want to e mail your councillor to ask them why they voted the way they
did, use the table below to see what they did.
We are now faced with another imminent
consultation before the plan goes before the Planning Inspector, probably in
the Autumn. More of that later.
Nick Baker - Chairman
9th April 2014
L.D.F Now Goes Before
the Full Council
On Tuesday evening 8th April
at 1930 the Full Council will be discussing the Draft Local Plan
in Council Chambers at Uttlesford. The plan still places 2100 homes at North
East Elsenham. This follows the unseemly haste last Monday when the Draft
Local Plan was passed by the Local Plan Working group and the Conservative
Cabinet on the same day! The Local Plan Working Group has 4 of the Cabinet
members sitting on it. So much for democracy! The Plan now goes to Full
Council for ratification before going out for a
We plan to speak at the Full Council and ask all
our supporters to attend to show the continuing strength of feeling against
this development. Please try and come along on Tuesday, it will be our last
chance before the hearing in front of a Government Inspector later this
year. We need to document and record the opposition to this sham Local Plan.
4th April 2014
Council Meeting - L.D.F
This Monday 31st March, the U.D.C Conservative
Administration have again chosen to hold a Local Plan Group meeting before
the Main Council Meeting in the evening. This is to approve the draft Local
Plan. The plan still includes 2100 houses at Elsenham. The results of the
last consultation are completely ignored as the juggernaut rolls on. The
Local Plan Group has 4 members of the Conservative Cabinet as Members! This
whole process is a sham. Normally we would urge you to attend to show your
disapproval, but I'm afraid we have lost all faith in the local democratic
process and will now rely on the processes outside U.D.C to demonstrate
the broken administration we have in our District.
Having only just been adjudged the best place in
Britain to live, U.D.C. seem to be doing their best to reverse this.
Save Our Villages
The Local Plan is out for
consultation again in April/May. The bad news is that the NEE
development still forms a recommended development area for 2100 homes
despite the overwhelming 'NO' in the last consultation. Our District
Councillor David Morson asked the leader of the Conservative
Administration Jim Ketteridge the following question-
How can the major component in the new emerging Local Plan of 2,100
houses in NE Elsenham have any planning validity when a lower number of
800 houses on the same site has twice been rejected by the Planning
This is his reply,
'The Planning Committee
refused the application for 800 homes and supporting infrastructure
because it represented a departure from the Council’s Plan adopted in
2005 and it could not attach much weight to the emerging plan as it had
not yet been submitted for public examination.'
For those of you who attended
the two planning meetings this is a blatant insult to the process that
took place. The U.D.C Planning Officers recommended that Fairfield's
plans were accepted and they were rejected for sound planning reasons.
Not once did any of the committee refer to the 2005 plan; they referred
to the 5 year housing shortage and other planning issues. This response
is duplicitous and downright wrong and misleading. The Administration
has to explain this question to a Planning Inspector in due course and
this is what they have come up with. We have a full transcript and
recording of both meetings and a record of events from our legal team.
This response is quite frankly a disgrace and will be shown to be so.
So we fight on. We will be advising how to respond to the next
consultation when our planning and legal team have digested all of the
|With reference to the item below - Mr. Roger Harborough's response to Mr
Cooper (dated 4th March) can be viewed by
The Saga Continues - (reference below)
Mr Cooper has penned a
further letter to Cllr. Ketteridge (received by me on 27th Feb) which can be
In it, as you can see, he attached two further PDF files for reference which
can also be viewed.
File One File
He received an interim reply from Mr. Roger Harborough of the
Planning Department which was a briefing note to Cllr. Ketteridge. Mr Cooper
awaits the full reply from Cllr. Ketteridge
BB - 3rd March
(Apologies for not updating the web sooner) and by the way, both North Hall
Road and Old Mead Road are still flooded in parts today and only passable
with extreme care by alternating traffic.
With Reference to the
letters below, please click below to view the reply from Cllr.
Ketteridge and the subsequent response from Mr. Cooper dated 25th February
Thank you for your
belated response. Much of it is highly technical and I do not feel qualified
to comment on whether or not it is accurate or best practice. Perhaps others
copied into this email can help out here. I would point out though that in
recent weeks the Environment Agency has not proved itself to the the most
competent of bodies and I think many people would have severe misgivings
about its advice or recommendations.
The facts are that you
are proposing to build houses and workplaces within the floodplain and that
the development will itself greatly increase the risk of flooding.
How do you think the current residents of Old Mead Road and Old Mead Lane,
who have suffered most directly in the recent floods, who have seen water
gushing out of the drains in the road and cascading down their driveways
from the fields behind where the new houses will be built - how do you think
will feel about that? How will it affect their insurance premiums and the
value of their properties? How will it affect the people in the wider area
who have had such difficulty driving along Old Mead Road over the past three
It is utter lunacy to
build 2100 houses on this site and your inability or unwillingness to take
these recent events into consideration is a sign of extremely poor
Update re below - Still no reply from Cllr.
Ketteridge. Mr Cooper has penned him another very polite letter requesting a reply
and adding further observations. - BB 18th February
Flooding in Henham and Elsenham
The following is a copy of a letter from one of our residents to
Cllr. Jim Ketteridge, Leader of U.D.C. regarding the current flooding in our
Dear Mr. Ketteridge
I thought you might be interested to see this map of the land which forms
such a significant part of your Local Plan, to which I have added a number
of photographs taken this morning. Most of them were taken along the length
of Old Mead Road, up to the Henham turning, beyond which the road was closed
due to the flooding.
I counted 6 drains that were overflowing along Old Mead Road. Houses on the
left-hand side of the road had water lapping against their front doors.
Houses on the right-hand side of the road had water cascading down their
drives from the farmland behind them.
Do you seriously believe that this site is suitable for building 2100 or
even 800 homes?
Click Here to see a copy of the map which Mr. Cooper
It really does not take much imagination
at this time of severe weather to evaluate those parts of our district, (not
just Henham and Elsenham), where it would be most imprudent to build houses.
The flooding in the area highlighted by Mr. Cooper is not by any means an
here to view a page posted on this site in July 2008 by
Jonathan Leech in which he calculated how the drainage problems would
be exacerbated by building houses on the so called "land to the north east
of Elsenham" when we were at that time threatened by the Eco Town.
The following February, (2009), we again experienced severe
weather and more disruption.
here to view these pictures, particularly of North Hall Road,
which again has been closed for quite some time during the past week due to
Whilst we cannot by any means claim that we have suffered as
badly as other parts of the country, the current bad weather, (which seems
increasingly prevalent), has again illustrated how fragile Uttlesford's
development plan is. I wonder how Mr. Ketteridge will reply to Mr.
BB (8th February 2014)
Further to the above, shortly
after I posted this report I received an email from a very concerned
resident of Old Mead Road.
(Click here to view)
Consultation Period Closes - Update
consultation on the L.D.F has now concluded.
Thanks to you all
for responding. We await the results from U.D.C. to see if the overwhelming
opposition to the Elsenham site changes their position.
We are given to
believe that Fairfield will not appeal the U.D.C Planning Committee decision
regarding the application for 800 houses on the same site. Instead they have
decided to join forces with U.D.C to promote the 2100 houses in the L.D.F.
How could U.D.C promote a site that they have already rejected?
We believe this latest L.D.F. consultation is unsound. You can't just cherry
pick a few sites to 'up' the housing numbers and then have a consultation on
just those sites. If you have to have increased housing numbers, then all
sites should be examined.
How have U.D.C.
got themselves in this position where a developer is leading the Council
Administration by the nose? It is wrong and shows a weak, badly advised
administration who have dug themselves into a hole.
We believe we will probably find ourselves in front of a Government
Inspector towards the end of the year. He will test the fairness and
soundness of the U.D.C Plan. Be assured that our legal team will be armed
and ready to show that this plan flies against public opinion as shown in
the consultations, is grossly unfair and completely unsound.
Chairman - 15th January 2014
End Of The Consultation Is Drawing Very Close
May I take
this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year
promises to be an interesting year in the life of 'Save our Village' as we
proceed through the new LDP and any appeal by Fairfield against the refusal
of 800 houses.
purpose of this message is to remind you that the consultation finishes on
13th January. It is absolutely vital
that each and every member of your household responds to the consultation.
please also remind everyone living in our area who may have forgotten the
consultation closing date.
If we are
to continue our successful campaign we need a huge response to a Council who
seem hell bent on ignoring their residents!!
Please refer to the paragraph below
for further details
Chairman - 3rd January 2014
The Latest Consultation
Tell U.D.C what you
previously reported, the U.D.C consultation on the Local Development Plan
started on 18th November 2013 and ends on 13th January 2014.
allocates 2100 houses on the Fairfield site on top of the 500 houses already
allocated on separate Elsenham sites. This is despite the U.D.C. Planning
Committee turning down an application from Fairfield to build 800 houses on
the same site.
now in receipt of technical and legal advice from our consultant and it is
of paramount importance that as many people as possible respond to the
household in Elsenham and Henham will receive envelopes containing the above
advice and forms to be filled in and sent off to Uttlesford Council.
here for a copy of the advice
click here for copies of the form.
(Please note that these are Word files and may take a little time to
download depending on your computer)
respond in four ways
an empty box on the response form which you may like to use to tell the
U.D.C administration and planning department what you think of the way they
are handling the Local Plan.
suggested answers produced by our planning adviser are for you to use and
these can be cut and pasted by opening up a copy by clicking here.
However please personalize your responses as much as possible.
faced with the second campaign held over the Christmas and New Year period.
Those of you who attended the planning applications for the 800 houses will
be aware of the way in which the meeting was conducted. Whatever you feel
about the current situation this is your opportunity to unburden yourself.
encourage everyone in your household to complete a form. Extra copies can be
pick yourselves up, dust yourselves down, and make sure you don’t give U.D.C
any excuse to say that the response to this consultation was poor. People
who do not respond are giving U.D.C a ‘Yes’ vote to the extra homes at
Elsenham and Henham.
the closing date is 13th January 2014.
Parish Council Steering Group
The J.P.C.S.G met on Tuesday 3rd December 2013 to formulate our response to
the current L.D.F consultation. We are seeking expert advice. It will be
placed on the website as soon as it becomes available.
Please wait before responding. It will be vital that you and all
members of your household take a few moments to register your views.
Planning Permission Refused
Today, Wednesday 20th November 2013, the Planning Committee of UDC met to
revisit the decision taken on 2nd October (see below)
when they had rejected Fairfield's application for 800 houses on the land
between Elsenham and Henham. I am pleased to say that they voted six to four
in favour of their original decision.
Latest LDF Consultation
The UDC consultation on the additional LDF
started today, (18th November) and ends on 13th January 2014. It
allocates 2100 houses on the Fairfield site on top of the 500 houses already
allocated on separate Elsenham sites. It will be very important that
everybody responds to this consultation and we are seeking both legal and
technical advice to advise you on how best to respond.
Please do not respond until we have sent this advice.
Keep up to date by visiting this
The important planning meeting
is being held at UDC Council Offices on
Wednesday 20th November at 1400 hrs.
below regarding transport). Please try and attend. We have
retain a QC to represent our interests.
Meeting of the Scrutiny Committee 11th November 2013
Last night at a Uttlesford District Council meeting the Scrutiny
Committee voted 5 to 3 with one abstention to continue the new LDF plans which
puts 2100 homes on the NE Elsenham site.
I'm afraid that the ruling Conservative
Administration closed ranks and would not consider a full Council meeting to
discuss this new plan. They blame the Coalition Government for the raised
building figures and seem to ignore the fact that it is the location of the
extra homes we are fighting, not the additional figures, albeit we
considered the new figures to be wrong. Cllr Susan Barker did admit proudly
that she was the architect of the infamous Option 4, something she has not
We are now faced with a battle similar to the Option 4 fight some 7 years
ago. We will face consultations on the new plan similar to the consultations
in the past.
Please make every effort to attend the
meeting on Wednesday 20th November at 2.00pm. Please see below
regarding transport if required.
Planning Meeting on Wednesday 20th November 2013
A 52 seater coach has been booked for the planning
meeting on 20th November
If you would like a seat on the bus please telephone Petrina on (01279)
816675, or text 07713074656.
We will be leaving Elsenham at 12.55 and Henham 13.05
to be at the offices by 13.35
The return journey will be when required!
The cost is £2.50 per person.
With reference to my update below:-
The Scrutiny Committee of the District Council is due to meet at
UDC offices on Monday 11th November at 1930.
The purpose of this meeting is to 'call in' the decisions taken
last Friday in respect of the new LDF which includes putting 2100
homes at Elsenham and some at Saffron Walden and Dunmow. (Please see a
helpful guide to ‘calling in’ on the Wikipedia site by
The questions we would like answered are:-
the unseemly rush? The LDF Working Group met on Friday morning,
This group consisted of ten District Cllrs., including four Cabinet
members. What work had been done by the Group which enabled them to
come to these decisions? How were they arrived at? How can a
decision to place 2100 homes in Elsenham be made so soon after the
UDC Planning Committee refused 800 homes on the same site? The sites
were approved by seven votes to three.
did the Cabinet, consisting of seven councillors, meet on the same
day? Again, why the rush? How can four members of the Working
Group be on the Cabinet. A Working Group is supposed to make
recommendations to the Cabinet. How can this work?
are now faced with a consultation over Christmas. This happened
seven years ago over the infamous Option Four. Instead of 3200 homes
in Option Four we are now faced with 2600 homes in the new LDF, This
was rejected over seven years and three consultations. How can it
reappear in this secret and underhand way?
Can you please do two things:
e mail to Cllr. Godwin, Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee asking some
of the questions above or others you are concerned about.
firstname.lastname@example.org . I
ask you to be fair, polite and courteous to her in your comments.
It is important for her to understand the depth of feeling in the
community about the process whereby the decisions were made.
the petition on
If any of you can make the Scrutiny Committee on Monday great, be
pleased to see you
Save Our Village Update
forces with other prominent Residents Groups throughout Uttlesford to
call for a new Local Plan to replace the present disgraceful one.
Today, Friday 1st November 2013, UDC held a hastily convened Local
Development Framework (LDF) Working Group to recommend a new LDF which
includes 2100 houses at Elsenham. It was passed by the working group by
seven votes to three.
This group, which is supposed to make recommendations to the Cabinet,
has four members who are on the Cabinet itself! How can this be right?
The Cabinet itself has only seven members! We have a situation where
seven elected Councillors from the administration are riding roughshod
over crucial decisions on housing in our District. We have had seven
years of this shambles, enough is enough. It’s time the residents of
Uttlesford stood up and said very clearly, 'no more'.
The UDC Cabinet have allowed a position to happen whereby it has become
open season in our district for every developer to apply for planning
permission, wherever they want, with a very good chance of success. They
have pitched area against area, causing some residents/groups to take
legal action. We alone have spent £91,475.62, from money raised
locally, in fighting the Elsenham development. For what? It could well
be for nothing.
Residents Group has been named
Today, before the Cabinet meeting at UDC offices in London Road,
representative members of the new group presented a letter to the Cabinet,
followed by a short presentation
The letter calls for a brand new local plan development process be put in
It should be
strategic, evidence based, open and transparent with engagement with Town
and Parish Councils and local residents, and most importantly timely.
Click here to view the letter.
A new website for ‘Uttlesford United Residents’, (click
here to view), includes an
which the Save
Our Village Committee asks each and every resident to sign. Everybody from
each household should sign
Together we can win this fight!
Don't forget the Housing Committee meeting on
November at 1400
Offices. Please make every effort to come along.
Read What the Saffron Walden Reporter has to say
25th October 2013
Yesterday UDC published their new LDF. They claim that the Government
has forced them to take a further 2680 homes before 2031. Those that
have been following the SOV web site know that we challenge this figure
as being too high. UDC go on to say that these numbers are so great,
that the proposal for the creation of a new settlement becomes
inevitable. They therefore propose 2100 new homes in Elsenham. They say
that it is in Elsenham, because that is where the landowners are
prepared to sell their land.
So where does that leave us? Well back to square one I think. The new
LDF has to go out to public consolation at the end of the year in
exactly the same route the old LDF went 7 years ago, when the infamous
Option 4 was the centerpiece of the then LDF.
Meanwhile we still have the planning application for 800 new homes in
Elsenham to deal with. This will be dealt with under the old rules and
the old LDF, which doesn't include the Fairfield site, as we
successfully got that taken out of the current LDF. The hearing is on
20th November at 1400 at the Council Offices and we need you to come
along and show your opposition to this development.
Please watch this site for further updates.
Fairfield Planning Application
Residents will by now be aware that at the UDC Planning Committee
Meeting on November 2nd the Fairfield Planning Application for 800
houses was refused by 6 votes to 5. This was an outstanding victory for
good common sense, and we thank those District Councillors who
understood how flawed the application was and agreed it was the wrong
location to 'dump' 800 houses.
However, it now looks as if the decision will be revisited for no good
apparent reason other than the UDC Planners didn't like the result of
the democratic process, and are trying their best to reverse it.
The revised date for the reconvened Planning Meeting is
Wednesday 20th November at 1400 hours at
UDC Offices in Saffron Walden
(and not Wed. 23rd Oct as was first published in this bulletin). The
SOV committee has asked the UDC Chief Executive for details of the
meeting and why the decision of the 2nd October is being revisited.
There also seems some suggestion that two of the District Councillors
absent from the planning meeting on the 2nd may be allowed to vote on
the application despite the fact that they were not present to hear the
presentation and debates on the day.
The SOV Committee see a clear abuse of process here and will seek legal
advice when we clearly understand the reasons for the recall from UDC
Officers. This whole situation smacks of a stitch up of the first
Please watch this Web Site for further information as the situation
develops. Meanwhile, put the date in you diary to come along on the
20th and express your views on this appalling situation.
am delighted to be able to tell you that the Fairfield Planning
at today's planning meeting by 6 votes to 5 votes. Thank you to
everybody who attended, we think we must have had 200/300 residents
there to show their opposition to the application. The result was
achieved despite the Chairman, Cllr. Cheetham being determined to see
the application successful, supported by Andrew Taylor the Planning
Officer, who in a great volte-face, also doing his very best to get the
We thank the 6 District Cllrs who voted for the application to be
refused, proposed by Cllr. Mackman seconded by Cllr. Loughlin who with
Cllrs. Goodwin, Menells and Perry spoke sound common sense.
So we live to fight another day, we expect Fairfield to appeal against
the decision, and at a date in the future to face a Planning Inspector
inquiry. The Save Our Village Committee are already planning and taking
advice ready for this hearing.
Well done to everybody who attended, wrote, emailed Cllrs. before the
meeting. And well done to our Save The Village committee for 7 years of
effort to get us where we are today
Save Our Village
2nd October 2013
With reference to the planning
application below, this letter has been sent to all UDC District
Ccouncillors in advance of the Planning Meeting on Wednesday 2nd
Click Here to view
Fairfield Planning Application
We heard yesterday morning (24th Sept) that the Planning Committee
meeting to hear the Fairfield Planning Application will be held on
Wednesday 2nd October at 1000 am.
This caught us unawares as we were still responding to additional
material on 22nd September.
Worse still, the Planning Officers recommendation to the Planning
Committee is for
We are currently planning for the meeting, but will need as many
people to attend the Council Chambers as possible to show our
disagreement to the application.
We have worked for 7 years to change the local Development Plan and
remove the single settlement Fairfield Site. This situation beggars
belief. Please watch this site for further information.
ELSENHAM NEEDS YOU NOW!
again, an application for large-scale housing in Elsenham has been
already have two applications approved (for over 300 houses) :
has refused other planning applications where many local people have
objected by writing to the Council – ELSENHAM MUST DO THE SAME.
planning application by Gleeson is for up to165 homes on land to the south
of Stansted Road running up to the motorway bridge.
Planning Reference UTT/13/1790/OP
- Land South of Stansted Road, Elsenham
Respond by letter
The Planning Team
Uttlesford District Council
Please, please respond; talk to your neighbours and friends. Our mass
response to the Fairfield Partnership’s application has made a difference.
We can do so again.
Below are some suggested pointers to include in your response:
The housing land supply calculation has been miscalculated;
there is an adequate supply. Neither Uttlesford nor Elsenham need these
This urban extension into open countryside is contrary to the
adopted Local Plan.
This site may contain artifacts from the Bronze Age, Iron Age
and Roman periods.
Noise from the M11 will impact upon new residents.
Locally protected reptile species have been found on the site.
Elsenham has already been given over 300 homes: a 30% increase
to the existing village. This extra housing will increase that to over 45%.
Existing village infrastructure and facilities are already
becoming overloaded; this new housing will worsen the problems even further.
New proposed site access road will increase traffic congestion
on a busy road during peak periods and on a road of limited size.
Closing date for our responses is 7th August
If you need more information,
( Peter Johnson 812704, or
( Petrina Lees 816675, mobile
FAIRFIELD PLANNING APPLICATION
Planning Application for
leading to 3000 houses,
between Elsenham and Henham which was due to
take place at the Uttlesford District Council
Offices on Wednesday 17th
July at 1400 hrs. has been postponed,
apparently until a date in September.
The reason is not as yet known
Joint Parish Council
Steering Group. 2nd July 2013
It has transpired that one of our helpers
decided to personally address and post our consultation advice to residents
instead of delivering by hand. Unfortunately, this person failed to
attach the correct postage to the oversized envelope which has resulted in
the letters having to be personally collected from Bishop Stortford Post
Office upon payment of a handling fee. We are unsure of how many
letters have been thus delivered, but the J.P.C.S.G would like to sincerely
apologie to anyone who has been inconvenienced, both in time and
We have heard today
(25th April 2013) that UDC have extended the Fairfield consultation
until 17th May. This gives us a bit of breathing space for our responses.
RESPONSE TO PLANNING APPLICATION
Over next weekend residents will receive a communication from Save Our
Village advising how to respond to the Fairfield Planning Application.
Fairfield has applied for planning permission for
houses leading to
3000 houses on land between Elsenham and Henham. We have until
our objections with Uttlesford against this development. It is vital
that we again show Uttlesford the strength of feeling against this
opportunistic development. The Save Our Village Committee will respond
with a detailed technical paper setting out the reasons for our opposition.
You will receive two copies of a suggested response by residents. If you
agree with the letter simply add your name and address and sign and post the
letter in the envelope provided.
If you want to make additional points please do so in the space provided.
Should you prefer please download the document from the website and edit to
your individual style.
Please copy additional letters for other members of family and friends.
Contact a member of your Parish Council for additional copies or ask them
to post the letters for you if needed. Please send responses to Planning
Team UDC, Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden.
VITAL THAT EACH AND EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD RESPONDS TO THIS PLANNING
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO VOICE YOUR OPINIONS
Click Here to open Copy Letter
On Wednesday 3rd April Fairfield delivered
their planning application to UDC. J.P.C.S.G. picked up a copy immediately
and are presently analysing the documents. We hope to have completed this by
the 12th April and have advice on how to respond through your letter box
weekend of 20/21st April. This timescale is very tight as responses need to
be at UDC by 2nd May. However we have made your suggested response as easy
as we can, so a response by 2nd May should be doable.
7th April 2013
Planning Application by Fairfield
expect Fairfield to lodge an outline planning permission application on or
about the 20th February for 800 homes leading to an eventual 3000 homes.
ready to deal with this application albeit that the timescale's are very
short. Fairfield are applying for planning permission in the knowledge that
there is no support whatsoever in the community for this development. They
are, as ever, cynically attempting to get planning permission despite
residents objections. We have something like 3 weeks to respond to
Uttlesford District Council.
residents to hold fire in responding to the application until we have heard
from our consultants on how best to articulate our objections. We will be
posting our suggested objections through your letterboxes leaving plenty of
time to post your views to Uttlesford.
moving towards the end game in this long running saga, and ask that you
respond to this planning application as soon as you receive our advice.
Parish Councils Steering Group
17th Feb 2013
PLANNING APPLICATION FOR HENHAM BY CHARLES CHURCH
The following is an email I received from
Mr Michael Smith of
2 Exchange Court, London Road,
Colchester, Essex, CO5
D: 01376 572999 | M: 07824 882568 | T:
01376 572977 | F: 01376 573774
I am a planning consultant
working with Charles Church on initial proposals for a small housing
development on the land to the south of School Lane and Vernons Close,
comprising around 30 homes, a play area within public open space and a new
car park for the school. The site has been allocated for residential
development in Uttlesford District Council’s draft Local Plan, which is
expected to be issued for consultation in the New Year.
Discussions are still at a
very early stage, but we know that the residents of Henham have a good
understanding of how the planning system works through their involvement
with the potential development on the edge of Elsenham, therefore we are
arranging a public exhibition at OSCA on the afternoon and evening of 10
December to introduce ourselves and explain what we hope to do with the
site. Flyers are being distributed to all homes in the village today (a copy
is attached), but would it be possible add a note to both the village’s
and the Save Elsenham & Henham Villages website (www.saveourvillage.co.uk)
to spread the word a little further?
Please call if you would
like to discuss the exhibition in more detail, but in the meantime, thank
you for your help.
Click here to see a flier of the event
What The Papers Say
Click here to view
the Herts. and Essex Observer article and to submit your comments -
The Web Site Blackboard
Its three years since we last used the
Blackboard page on this site to express your individual views. Please
send me your emails concerning the Fairfield Presentations. May I ask
that your comments are made in the constructive, fair and well mannered
spirit in which we have conducted our campaign from the outset. - BB
have finished the week of Fairfield Exhibitions, starting at Henham on
Saturday 10th November and finishing at Elsenham on the 17th November. If
Fairfield wanted the public to show support for their development they must
be sorely disappointed. Their disgraceful policy of encouraging residents in
Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow to support their development, by telling
residents (which they did) that they should dump all the housing in Elsenham
has spectacularly failed.
analyse the Exhibitions, at Henham 288 residents attended a 'shortened'
session between 10am and 2pm. Our 'Save our Village' reps met all residents
attending and not one was in favour of the development. We then had the
mid-week exhibitions in Saffron Walden from 2pm to 8pm, this Exhibition saw
23 attendees, yes I'll say that again 23 attendees, including some from
Henham/Elsenham. Again all were met by our members who report that 6 people
were in favour of the development.
Stansted we saw an attendance of some 100 residents, and again each resident
was met by our representatives. Nobody favoured the development. At Great
Dunmow we saw an attendance of 28 residents and again no one supported
Fairfield's plans. We finished at Elsenham, again a shortened event, where
some 300 residents came to show their opposition to Fairfield's 'New Town'.
expensive series of exhibitions attracted 739 Uttlesford residents, of which
6 were in favour of the Fairfield single settlement. I wonder how Fairfield
will 'spin' this result. We can be sure that they will find something
positive for their daft plans. Isn't it time that Fairfield gave up on their
development, and accepted that nobody wants their flawed settlement with its
false and ridiculous claims. We await the planning application in January,
and look forward to its rejection by Uttlesford Councillors, as a plan that
exposes this developer as a greedy company, that is interest in profit only,
and ignores local residents’ opposition.
must be the single most unpopular development plan in the Country.
With reference to the
entry below this, the following is a message from Nick Baker OBE, chairman
of The J.P.C.S.G:- Remember there are other meetings this week,
especially at Elsenham on Saturday 17th November -
Fairfield Exhibition at
Thank you to the 300 residents who came to the Fairfield Exhibition at OSCA
on Saturday 10th to register their objections to 3000 house
between Elsenham and Henham. There are 420 houses in Henham, and this does
represent a huge percentage objecting to this outrageous development. You
won’t be surprised that Fairfield had no representatives to face the
residents. They had chosen to have consultants present, who had little or no
knowledge of the area, the problems, or the understanding of the objections.
One of them admitted that he did not know the village but had driven around
two days before to try and understand the objections from residents!! Mr
Stephen Briat, the main Fairfield representative ‘could not attend’, we were
told he had a ‘prior engagement ‘, or alternatively he was ‘unable to attend
at the last minute’. Let’s accept the truth; he was incapable, or perhaps
afraid, to defend his development.
Fairfield brought two ‘bodyguards’ with them, they expected such heated
objections that they felt they had to protect their staff. They had the
decency to thank the ‘Save the Village’ campaigners for their courtesy
afterwards. We are not hooligans and intend to defeat this stupid
development by sensible objections and not violence.
So what of Henham residents who did not come along to OSCA. Is there a
complacency that says we will not get the development so why bother to
attend? Fairfield recorded every visitor so they could gauge the local
opinion. The people, who have worked their socks off for ‘Save our Village’
for over 5 years have no complacency. They know we still have a real battle
on our hands and need the support of every resident We have presented
logical arguments to Uttlesford District Council (UDC), and changed their
position from a single settlement to a dispersed option. It was sensible of
UDC to change their position. We need to support them.
So we will continue to fight. Fairfield will put in planning applications in
January 2013. We hope to show that 100% of Henham residents object
to these plans. If you welcome the development fine, we respect your view,
but if you object, and we believe most of you do, please support us and give
us some encouragement by showing it. If Fairfield win, Henham will never be
the same again, property prices will fall, we will be part of an urban
sprawl from Bishops Stortford to Henham, roads will be choked, and our
unique village will be ruined.
Chairman Save Our Village.
Fairfield and their
As you are now most likely aware,
Fairfield are holding Public Meetings in preparation for submitting their
planning applications (See list below).
It is of the utmost importance that as many
residents as possible attend these meetings to register their views.
Please ensure that your views are recorded on paper on the facilities
provided by the developer. The quality and quantity of these views
could play a crucial part in the subsequent decision making processes.
The Joint Parish Council Steering
Group met on Monday 29th October and Nick Baker our Chairman will be
updating you in the next couple of days. You will also be receiving
notices through your doors
Margaret Shaw, as many of you know,
has an email list of people willing to help in our efforts to oppose the
development. She has already sent out an email which many of you may
have received. However, if you have not received it it may be because
you are not on the list or have changed your email address. We are
looking for volunteers for various tasks in relation to the meetings so if
you wish to help please email her on
We are looking for a maximum turnout
at the Henham and Elsenham Meetings and as many as possible at the other
meetings which are as follows-
Saturday 10 November 2012 10am to 2pm at
the OSCA Centre, Crow Street, Henham, CM22 6AH
Wednesday 14 November 2012 2pm to 8pm at Stansted Free Church, Chapel Hill,
Stansted, CM24 8AG
Thursday 15 November 2012 2pm to 8pm at St Mary’s Church Parish Rooms,
Church Path, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1JP
Friday 16 November 2012 2pm to 8pm at the E T Foakes Memorial Hall, 47
Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1DG
Saturday 17 November 2012 10am to 2pm at Elsenham
Village Hall, High Street, Elsenham, CM22 6DD
The developers Charles Church
have arranged another public exhibition of the latest proposals for the
redevelopment of land adjacent to Hailes Wood, Elsenham,
Elsenham Memorial Hall
on Friday November 9 between 3pm and 7pm
The proposal includes 36 new homes, a car park and a new children’s play
In addition to the meeting on the 9th November, Charles Church and their
highway consultants are presenting to Elsenham Parish Council at the
Memorial Hall at 8:00pm on Monday 5th November.
All Parish Council meetings are open to the public.
The Fairfield Partnership announces plans for new homes to
the North East of Elsenham.
We have today (Tuesday 11th Sept 2012) received a letter from Fairfield
saying it is bringing forward plans for up to 3,000 new homes, new jobs, new
schools and associated infrastructure and services on land to the north-east
of Elsenham. The times scales are to submit a planning application in early
2013 for the first phase of 800 homes to be delivered by 2018/19,
Consultation by Fairfield on the emerging plans will take place in November
2012 in Elsenham, Henham, Stansted Mountfitchet, Saffron Walden and Great
The Save Our Village (JPCSG) Committee will be advising residents on the
best way to fight this development. We are still awaiting the UDC
Consultation on the dispersed option, and this is yet another attempt by
Fairfield to bypass the legitimate consultation process and appeal to
residents of Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow to dump the housing on
Elsenham. We will need a lot of support from residents to fight this
development, we will need to be well organised, and have our arguments well
mustered, to convince the officers that this is the wrong place for a
development of this size. We will need to show the powers to be that the
residents of Henham and Elsenham are 100% opposed to this development.
We have been preparing for this for nearly 5 years. If you feel that you can
give some time to help as our campaign unfolds, please let me know at
Click here to see a copy of Fairfield's letter to
Fairfield Partnership have written to
our Chairman, Nick Baker setting our their objectives. Please
click here to view. Nick has written back and similarly
to view his letter.
As mentioned below, the latest and perhaps
the most important
consultation on housing in our District and
in particular our village started on Friday 8th June,
and will run until Monday 23rd July.
Fairfield have written to all Uttlesford Councillors
criticising the Council's latest policy and asking that Option 4 be
reinstated with a first phase of 800 hours on the HENHAM farmland between us
and Elsenham and stressing that the site can take 3000 hours.
They are also targeting Saffron Walden, Dunmow, Newport
and Takely with flyers asking people to support Option 4. I am at a
loss for any more words that are printable.
If you haven't yet responded to the consultation please
do do before the 23rd.
U.D.C. Proposals for a Draft Local Plan
Friday 8th June
to Monday 23rd July 2012
your Henham Elsenham and Ugly response form by clicking here)
Thank you for your
Our consultant has now
reported back and we are taking his advice.
Uttlesford District Council have detailed how you can respond to the
consultation and you can view this and peruse the draft plan by
clicking here. As usual, Limehouse is
available should you wish to avail yourselves of the facility.
we are asking you to respond by letter
which should make things much easier for you and your family.
Please read on:-
The difference between this
consultation and the previous consultations, is that UDC have now accepted
that the infamous Option 4 was a silly and impracticable idea, and
are recommending a dispersed housing solution, with the main towns of
Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow taking a larger share of development.
Key villages, including
Elsenham and Newport, take some housing and villages such as Henham
are being asked to take a small housing allocation.
It is very important
that you respond to this consultation. When we
were severely affected by the Option 4 proposal you responded magnificently.
This time we expect Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow to object, so we must
balance this weight of opinion with our support for
the new strategy.
To this end, over the weekend of
23rd and 24th June information packs
will be prepared and nest week delivered to all houses in Henham, Elsenham
and Ugly. Please read the advisory letter and complete the pre-prepared
form. You will notice that our Consultants advice is included on the
form. All members of your household and family are entitled to respond
and we are asking you to make sure that they do.
All you have to do is
write your name and address and sign the form, nothing else, pop the
completed forms into the envelope provided, put a stamp on and post
the response - it’s that easy. For those in Henham (and indeed
Elsenham), there will be a box in the Henham Village Shop should you wish to
use it and we will ensure that the forms are taken to the council offices.
Alternatively, you may
wish to sent your response as an attachment(s) (see
above re downloading) to an email addressed , i.e.
My advice is to rename your attachments individually.
please take a couple of minutes to complete these forms and send them off.
Together we have done so well in getting Option 4 off the agenda. Don’t
become complacent now!!
In respect of Stansted and Newport, these
villages will be making there own local arrangements tailored to their local
needs and how the draft plan affects them.
UDC Public Exhibitions
exhibitions open from 10am to 8pm, will be held on:
Tuesday, 19 June
- Town Hall, Saffron Walden
June - Church House, Newport
June - Priors Green Community Centre, Takeley
Friday, 22 June
- Community Information Centre, Thaxted
Monday, 25 June - Memorial Hall, Elsenham
Tuesday, 26 June
- Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow
June, Community Centre, Great Chesterford
June - Day Centre, Stansted
Latest Housing Consultation
mentions below, the latest and perhaps the most
important consultation on housing in our District and in particular our
villages has started today, Friday 8th June,
and will run until Monday 23rd July.
Many of you will have received emails from Uttlesford District Council
asking you to respond on Limehouse, etc. This is the first time we
have been able to see the exact nature of the survey and as a matter of
urgency our consultant expert will be examining the consultation document
and reporting back to the Joint Parish Council Steering Group with his
It is therefore asked that you be patient before
responding so that you may consider what he has to say. We will update
you as soon as possible.
Chairman's Update - 11th May 2012
At a Cabinet Meeting of the Uttlesford District Council held last night
(10th May 2012), the infamous 'Option 4' was rejected as the Districts Local
Development Framework (LDF) strategy in favour of a hierarchical approach.
This decision is still subject to the next housing consultation commencing
on 8th June. It will be essential that residents respond to this
consultation supporting this Cabinet decision.
We can no doubt expect a planning application to be submitted by Fairfield,
in an attempt to overturn this fair and open LDF process. The Joint Parish
Council Committee is working to prepare for this application and will
publish details as they emerge. Meanwhile please wait for advice on how to
respond to the next consultation
(Update - with reference to the meeting
below, the Dispersal Option was passed to the Cabinet (see above) on an 8 to
Scrutiny Committee - 8th May 2012
The Scrutiny Committee of Uttlesford District
Council will discuss and recommend a Distribution Strategy for the Local
Plan. A very important meeting which could see the beginning of the
demise of the infamous Option 4 in favour of a dispersed housing strategy.
Please see the following documents
Item 5 - Distribution Strategy for Local Plan
Item 5 - Distribution Strategy for Local Plan Appendix
Chairman’s Update - 29th February
On the 5th
March we come to the end of the current consultation on the Local
Development Framework. If you haven’t responded yet
please do so immediately. We need a
response from every member of the household please.
Fairfield, the Developer of Option 4,
have produced a glossy brochure extolling the advantages of their
development. They sent the brochure through the Royal Mail to every
household in Uttlesford. They produced the brochure in the Uttlesford
District Council (U.D.C) consultation colours, trying to convince residents
that it was an official consultation document from U.D.C. U.D.C have issued
a disclaimer on their website. Fairfield's message to Uttlesford
residents? If you support development in Elsenham, U.D.C won’t need to put
more development in your area. What a cynical approach, they are unable to
support their development on grounds that it is the right development in the
right place, so they resort to blackmail. What lovely people to work with!
If this doesn’t make you cross enough to put pen to paper nothing will.
The J.P.C.S.G Parish Councils have
responded to the consultation and are reassured that the right decision will
be made by U.D.C. We can expect a planning application from Fairfield in the
future, but are confident it will be rejected.
Developing Uttlesford Consultation
20th Jan to 5th March
Our campaign seems to have been littered with
requests to respond to consultations and as explained by
Nick below, whilst we
appear to have been successful up to now, we cannot relax as we enter the
period of this latest one.
In the next few days the information packs
from the Joint Parish Council Steering Group with be arriving through
your letter boxes. In preparing the advice contained therein we have
yet again commissioned our expert to examine closely the latest U.D.C
policy, source documents and consultation questions. Enclosed in the
packs you will find a summary of his advice together with a response form
and another U.D.C questionnaire called ''About You" which apparently they
are legally bound canvas you.
We ask you to pay close attention to the
experts advice. Be unambiguous in your contributions and as far as
possible express your reasoning in your own words.
U.D.C have been very thorough in producing
information which outlines the purpose of the consultation, and with
providing links to related documents, etc. (Please
click here to view).
Particularly important is the section
entitled, How do I get Involved?. I will not repeat the
information contained therein, but you will find links to the Limehouse
Electronic System of responding and to the forms should use
should you wish to answer by Email or by Post. There is
also an explanatory animated Site Tour should you wish to take it.
Whatever way you choose to take part please
remember that it is essential we have as many
responses as possible. That means all members of your
family. The future of our villages and way of
life depends on your contributions.
Please also remember that there are Public
Exhibitions (10.00am to 8.00pm) on Developing Uttlesford on the following
dates and locations.
Friday, 27 January
- Community Information
Monday 30 January
- Church House, Newport
Tuesday 31 January
- Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow
Thursday 2 February
- Priors Green Community
Friday 3 February
Memorial Hall, Elsenham
Monday 6 February
Tuesday 7 February
- Town Hall, Saffron Walden
Thursday 9 February
- Community Centre, Great
Chairman's Update 23rd January 2012
The latest U.D.C consultation about the
Local Development Framework (L.D.F) has started and runs until 5th March.
This Consultation asks residents where they would like future housing in the
District. It suggests a hierarchal system with Saffron Walden and Great
Dunmow taking much of future development with seven key settlements taking
some development. Elsenham has been identified as a key settlement. It also
identifies villages that are suitable for a scale of development that would
reinforce their role as a local service centre, Henham is in this category.
The infamous Option 4 is no longer the preferred option, but the housing
land at this location is included in a list of sites across Uttlesford as
having potential for housing development.
We need to respond to this latest
consultation with the same energy and vigour we have achieved in the past.
Our response to earlier consultations has changed the thinking on where the
housing should be placed in Uttlesford. This is not the time to relax; we
absolutely must get each and every resident to respond to this consultation.
To this end the J.P.C.S.G (Save Our Village) campaign has prepared an pack
which will be delivered to every household in Henham and Elsenham advising
residents how to respond to the consultation. Also in the pack is advice on
how to respond to the consultation questions. When
you receive the pack please take a few minutes to respond.
We shall be collating the packs at OSCA
in Henham on Thursday 26th January at 1900 hrs. If you can spare an hour to
help us we would be more than grateful.
Chairman's Update 21st December 2011
As expected the
Uttlesford District Council Cabinet met last night (20th) and approved the
papers for the upcoming Local Development Framework (L.D.F) consultation.
This action abandons the old L.D.F options including the infamous Option 4
and recommends a policy of sharing the housing needs across Uttlesford. An
exact housing figure is not as yet given.
The consultation on the
new L.D.F starts on the 20th January and runs until the beginning of March.
The J.P.C.S.G is meeting on the 12th January to help prepare the community
on how best to respond to the consultation. Please do not respond to the
consultation until you have read the recommendations we shall offer you. We
expect to get something through your letterbox by the end of January.
Further to Update below
The Agenda and Cabinet Papers for the
Meeting on 20th December can be viewed by
Apparently I have been advised that members of the public can attend Cabinet
meetings and if so desired, speak/ask questions at the beginning of the
meeting, subject to the usual 2 days notice.
Also, please see our District Councillors U.D.C update on the Henham website
Chairman's Report -
I wonder if any of our supporters
against the development in Elsenham expected us to still
be campaigning four Christmas's and New Year's later. Well we are, and
although things have changed quite a lot, the threat of a development of
some size is still real, and hasn't gone away. What has hopefully changed
however is the Local Development Framework (L.D.F) document. The last draft
L.D.F showed the infamous Option 4 as the preferred Option by Uttlesford
District Council (U.D.C). This is now changing and on 20th December the
U.D.C Cabinet will consider a dispersal option for housing initially in
eight settlements. You may remember that this has always been the favoured
option of the 'Save Our Village' campaign, If the Cabinet accept this
dispersal option it will replace the present draft L.D.F and Option 4 will
cease to exist.
The new L.D.F, with the dispersal
option, will then be consulted on in exactly the same way that the Option 4
L.D.F was three years ago.. The timeframe is, consultation with residents
between 20th January and 5th March. The results of the Residents
Consultation will be analysed and published and proposals for the New L.D.F
published by July/August.
None of these processes and procedures
can stop Fairfield from applying for planning permission on the NE Elsenham
land. However if Option 4 is no longer the preferred option on the new
L.D.F, then we hope we can fight this planning application in a forceful
manner, this time alongside U.D.C.
Your J.P.C.S.G will be meeting early in
the New Year to discuss how to advise you to respond to the consultation. In
the meanwhile the J.P.C.S.G wishes you a very Happy Christmas and wishes us
all a very successful 2012.
|Reply by Sir Alan
Haselhurst MP to the letter of 22nd September
Click here to view
- Click here
to view a subsequent reply from Sir Alan
you to sign the National Trust Petition. Can I also encourage you to send an
e mail to the Government. It only takes a minute and the format can be found
at the Campaign to Protect Rural England web site at
Nick (4th Oct 2011)
|Letter From Joint
Parishes to Sir Alan Haselhurst, our MP.
22nd September 2011
Click here to view
Chairman's Report -
You have probably seen from the
newspapers and media that the planning issues advanced by the Coalition
Government are out for public consultation. I don't suggest that you respond
to the consultation as individuals, because it is a lengthy technical
document and your Parish Council has responded on your behalf. However The
National Trust and various other bodies are up in arms at the Governments
push to build houses with a 'presumption in favour of sustainable
development' and I urge you to sign the National Trust petition at
below). It is vital that the current plans are overturned and that the
communities, who were promised that development would only go ahead with
their consent, have their say in any planning process.
You may want to make your views known to
Sir Alan Haslehurst . The JPCSG are writing to Sir Alan expressing our
disquiet over the National Planning Policy Framework, and particularly
the suggested presumption in favour of sustainable development without
local communities involvement.
The National Trust is campaigning for people to respond to
the Government’s reform threats to our green spaces. Join their petition by
|Sunday 7th August 2011
The Sunday Telegraph featured a well balanced full page
article by Andrew Gilligan headed 'Developers get the green light after Tory
about turn'. Prominent in the article was our campaign. A condensed
version (not including the picture of our protesters) can be found by
As a personal aside, having just watched Country File on
BBC which talked about food shortages and escalating prices of grain crops,
what sort of 'political logic' could allow the
concreting over of a square mile of fertile grain crop producing land? It
beggars belief. - BB
thought it is probably time to update you on the infamous 'Option 4' and the
latest position on the housing development. As you know the attempt by
U.D.C to rid us of the 'top down' housing figures failed, after a developer
took the Government to Court and successfully argued that, until the figures
were revoked by law they should stay. So, until the Government pass the
Localism Bill, the top down housing figures remain with us. The Bill is
expected to become law in April 2012.
However, we are now faced with the Government's new planning rules,
published last week. In an effort kick-start the economy, the Government is
creating a presumption in favour of development. Yes, the Government has
ended the hated top down targets that imposed estates on unwilling parts of
the countryside. Yes the Localism Bill will push power down to local
people. But, the Government's national planning policy framework says that
local authorities must approve all proposals wherever possible, changing the
default on development from "No" to "Yes" or if not why not?
For the first time since the 1980's, this will make it harder for local
people to oppose the schemes.
is not yet clear what will actually be built. Architects and developers,
like all of us, are confused by the conflicts within government policies.
The Government has simplified 1,000 pages of planning policy down to 52.
The 52 pages are open to wide interpretation and the balance between
developer, local authority and residents is likely to be thrashed out in
appeal hearings, case by case.
Ministers clearly hope to encourage growth, placate the building trade and
convince enlightened communities that they are 'empowered'. Well we know
what we want in this community and we will not hesitate to fight any
suggestion of this development returning under these new planning changes.
The formulation of neighbourhood plans where the community articulates the
housing needs was the backbone of election promises.
I thought it was time to update you on
the present position with the proposed housing development in Elsenham. You
will remember that any progress on the Local Development Framework (L.D.F)
was suspended late last year, whilst Uttlesford District Council (U.D.C)
conducted a housing numbers appraisal to ascertain exactly how many houses
it needs for the period up to 2027. This work has now been completed and at
the LDFG held on the 28th February a number was arrived at which the U.D.C
planning officers felt would satisfy the Inquiry Inspector in due course
that the L.D.F was 'sound'. That number was 2,500 dwellings over the
planned period to 2027 being a build rate of 295 per annum. It is
interesting to note that the recent build rate is 430 per annum. This
substantially reduces the rate of growth previously imposed by Labour
Government targets from the additional 4,200 dwellings in the plan period,
(over and above existing planning consents) to the 2500, now accepted by the
District Council at the Environment Committee on the 17th March 2011.
You may ask that as the Housing figures
have been reduced, why can't U.D.C just scrap the existing L.D.F including
Options 3 and 4 and start again. I have asked this question and been assured
that legally this cannot happen, but what can and will happen is that the
L.D.F, with the new housing figures, will be consulted on again in October/
November 2011. It is plainly obvious that Option 4 no longer an option, as
there is no need for a single settlement of 3200 dwellings as we only need
2500. However Options 1,2 and 3 are still on the table until the fresh
consultation takes a new direction. Option 3 is potentially very damaging
with 1400 houses and the fear that if they are built, the development could
be added to in years beyond 2027.
However I asked U.D.C Planning for their
comment, and although the answer is a little obscure, the statement finishes
off on a optimistic note.
' Limited weight can be attached to
consultation documents that are part of preparing a new development plan in
determining planning applications, particularly where the response to
consultation does not indicate general support for the proposed approach.
Hopefully the reduced scale of housing growth on which the council will be
consulting later this year will attract greater approval from communities.
Reducing the scale of growth will necessitate a review of where it could
best take place, as a new settlement would be too
small to have the range of facilities its residents would need. These
implications will need to form part of the planned consultations.'
I also asked our MP Sir Alan Haselhurst
his view and he said, ' I welcome the council's decision to reduce the scale
of it's housing plans in view of the impending disappearance of the Regional
Spatial Strategy. Although there are legalities to be observed and
procedures to be followed before a new L.D.F can be endorsed, it is clear to
me that the slate has been effectively wiped clean. What is needed now is
not what was needed on previous assumptions. So, if anyone asks me, I would
say that options one, two, three and four are dead in the water'
Complicating all of these issues is the
Budget announcement that seems to be at odds with the Governments stated
policies on communities having a large say in local developments. The Budget
seems to say that planning applications for developments would have a
'presumption of acceptance' with a much faster process than at present. In
addition the Government is offering District Councils large inducements to
build more dwellings, especially affordable homes. We are taking
professional advice on these matters.
So there you have it. Some cause for
optimism but with an strong underlying message of caution. Your Save Our
Village committee continues to work very hard to steer a path between these
mixed messages. I am sorry this note is a little long, but best you are all
updated in the fullest possible way.
Dear All - Christmas 2010 was our fourth 'Option 4
Christmas'. I wonder what was on your wish list for the coming
year. Best wishes and thank you for your continuing support.
May 2011 see the end of it all.
Chairman's Report - November
may have seen that the Government lost a High Court case on Wednesday, which
declared Eric Pickles action of abolishing the top down housing figures
illegal. The case was brought by a number of building companies who had
advanced planning permission for some large scale housing developments
before they were cancelled by Local Authorities using the Pickles decision.
shouldn't worry the Save our Village campaign as no planning applications
are in place for the Elsenham development. The Government intend to enshrine
the abolishment of the housing figures in a Communities Act which will
starts it's passage through Parliament later this month. If developers apply
for planning permission before this Act becomes law, expected to be in about
12 months time, Local Authorities have to take the fact that the top down
housing figures are about to be abolished in account when decided the
12th November 2010
Chairman's Report - October
We now enter what will be a quiet spell for the Save Our Village
campaign. The decision at the Uttlesford Council Environment Committee
means that a housing needs survey will be carried out to try and
ascertain exactly how many houses are needed across Uttlesford. We hope
that this survey will establish that there is no need for a single large
development and that future housing needs can be met by planned growth
across the towns and villages.
The Parish Councils in the Save our Village group, will be looking at
whether they need to plan for some housing, including affordable
housing, in their villages. This process can take place over the winter
We hope that common sense has now prevailed, and the threat of housing
on the totally unsuitable site at Elsenham has gone for ever. We are
determined that no creeping development takes place on the site, and
that any development in the villages is conducted with the residents and
Parish Councils. We will keep you updated with any news.
Committee Meeting - Tuesday 7th September 2010
three years to the day when the Environment Committee introduced their
notorious preferred Option 4, the residents of Henham and Elsenham turned
out in large numbers to hear the latest progress on the Core Strategy.
Prior to the start of the meeting, our Chairman Nick Baker
gave an excellent address to the committee which set out the feelings of the J.P.C.S.G, (click
here to view). The Chair of the meeting, Councillor Barker,
welcomed residents by saying that with
the new government, 'we had a new opportunity to move towards a new plan'.
Roger Harborough, Uttlesford's Development Director summarised the latest
consultation, which reinforced, yet again, the strong opposition to a single
For the first time since I have been attending these
meetings I found myself listening, (for the most part), to a constructive
discussion on the change in planning obligations on local government and in
particular, the motion before the committee which was, 'That a review of
the scale of growth appropriate for Uttlesford be taken'. The
leader of the council, Councillor Ketteridge, proposed an amendment which
read, 'That a review of the scale of growth appropriate for
Uttlesford be taken and subsequently a location of that growth'.
He made the point that new guidelines from the government have yet to be
published although it had been stressed that the 'top down' allocation of
housing numbers was a thing of the past.
It was also stated that the council believed that when the
number of houses needed was calculated, the 2,500 houses already in the
pipeline with planning permission be taken into account.
Various views were expressed including that parishes should be
consulted on local need and location and any initiatives should not be
'development led'. Councillor David Morson stressed the need for the
political parties to work together for the good of Uttlesford. He
asked that a the committee should state that the threat of a single
settlement be removed. This was obviously met with great support from
local residents. Councillor Ketteridge again spoke and it seemed from
what he was saying that we were back to the drawing board. Addressing
residents he said words to the effect of, 'I am not sure what you are worried
about - you have got what you wanted'. However, the Committee, for
reasons best know to themselves and to the disappointment of residents,
refused to categorically confirm that option 4 was no longer an issue.
For the first time that I can remember a motion relating
to the issue passed
That does this mean? We will wait and see. It
seems that it will be at least a year before the housing need analysis
becomes available and after that? - who knows.
Perhaps maybe the 'Sword' of Damocles' has
been removed for the time being and replaced by a 'Penknife'.
Subsequent to the above, in the front page article in
September 9th's Dunmow and Stansted Observer, Steve Biart the director of
land for the Fairfield Partnership apparently said that the company would
still press ahead with its proposals.
here to view the agenda and relevant documents
Click here to go to U.D.C.'s Core Strategy
page to view the results of the 2010 consultation
This is a short note to update you on
the present position with the housing at Elsenham. The results of the last
consultation have now been published and can be found on the link on our
website. You will be pleased to know that 64% of the responses were against
Option 4, and generally, the responses to the related issues were in our
Of course, since the end of the
consultation, the Coalition Government have written to Councils taking away
the obligation to built houses based on the last Governments top down
figures. U.D.C have always said that their hands were tied by these housing
figures, hence the Local Development Framework (L.D.F) and the threat of
3200 houses at Elsenham. In future U.D.C will be able to set their own
housing figures based on the needs of the District.
The J.P.C.S.G agree with this approach
and on Tuesday the 7th September at 1930 hrs at the U.D.C Council Offices,
the Environment Committee will consider the results of the consultation and
agree a way forward. The way forward, as recommended by the officers, is to
park the present L.D.F process and conduct a housing needs study, which
would report back in autumn 2011. Whilst this is sensible and the proper way
to start a housing review, we would rather see the present discredited
present L.D.F abandoned and a new L.D.F started once the housing figures
were known. We think it unreasonable to have the threat of housing hanging
over our heads for another 2/3 years.
We would also like to see more
co-operation between the political parties at U.D.C, and indeed more
co-operation with the Parish and Town Councils, to resolve the issues once
the scale of the problem is known.
I would like to encourage you to attend
the U.D.C meeting on Tuesday, it is important that we continue to show our
elected members of the District Council that this threat of large scale
housing in Elsenham is something that matters to the residents. I would like
to see the council chambers packed.
They just won't go away will they
From wheat field to Wheatfield Avenue, Elsenham?
Fairfield have written to Nick Baker stating their intention to pursue
Option 4 and Nick has responded
Click here to see their letter
here to see Nick's response
This month's crop being harvested
(pictures courtesy of Jonathan Leech)
SAVE OUR VILLAGE 2010
ISSUED BY THE JOINT PARISH COUNCILS STEERING GROUP
DEVELOPMENT UPDATE JULY 2010
general election is behind us we are waiting for the promises and
commitments made by our politicians to come to fruition. We have seen the
Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government
(DCLG), Eric Pickles MP, has committed to abolishing the East of England
housing plans. However, we are told that Uttlesford District Council
(U.D.C) is continuing with the Local Development Framework (L.D.F)
consultation process which is due to finish in July 2010, followed by a
report to be made at the September U.D.C Environment Committee. This is in
spite of many local authorities tearing up their plans based on Eric Pickles
letter to all local authority chief planners. The opportunity now being
given by central Government is for local planning authorities to reconsider
their housing requirement meaning that the Core Strategy needs only to find
an additional 660 dwellings in the Uttlesford district and that the
allocation for North East Elsenham is unnecessary. It is said that this
continued commitment by U.D.C to its current L.D.F proposed solution (of
Option 4, with 3000 homes at Elsenham and Henham) is due to their concern of
legal action against them if they don’t continue. Clearly, the instruction
from Eric Pickles has fallen on deaf ears there!
been aware for almost a year that the Fairfield Partnership has been trying
to sell their land bank which includes the land under option between
Elsenham and Henham. We are advised that negotiations are at an advanced
stage for this land to be sold in its current form to private equity firm
MGPA or Investor Revcap. This is not good news for the Save Our Village
campaign. It means that at any time in the future, probably sooner than
later, planning applications will be made to UDC to initiate development so
that the buyers get a return on their investment. This is now probably the
biggest threat to our campaign as we will be dependant on U.D.C supporting a
policy of developing housing to meet the needs of the Uttlesford
community and not what developers want to do purely for profit at our
there is a considerable amount of land throughout the district which is
under option by developers. It is important that we keep U.D.C focussed on
ensuring essential development in our communities is rational, proportionate
important stage of the process is to ensure that U.D.C have listened to the
government, the DCLG, our campaign and finally ditch their plans for L.D.F
Options 3 and 4. It will be much appreciated if as many people as possible
attend the next U.D.C Environment Committee on:
SEPTEMBER 2010 AT 7.30PM - U.D.C OFFICES SAFFRON WALDEN
regret to say that we must now consider the Save Our Village campaign as a
long term project. This is due to the very serious threat from long term
investors whose only interest is in getting a financial return by pushing
for the fields between Elsenham and Henham to be covered in concrete.
YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.
|Letter from the
Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP - Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government regarding abolition of Regional Strategies.
Uttlesford. Now see sense and drop the seriously flawed Option 4, The
Coalition Government don't want it, the local residents don't want it; the
only people who do are the Developers.
Where we stand following the election
J.P.C.S.G view is quite simple. The Conservatives told us that if they got
into power they would get rid of the East of England top down housing
figures and ask U.D.C to plan their own housing requirements bottom up. Sir
Alan Haselhurst repeated that promise in his election manifesto.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps gave the public meetings at Elsenham and
Henham the same message. We fully expect the coalition Government to honour
these promises. The Liberal Democrats had a very similar policy, save some
disagreement over social housing numbers. This must mean the end of Option 4
and back to a more sensible policy as outlined in the S.H.L.A.A. where U.D.C
sets it's housing numbers in accordance with local needs.
a general agreement across the Parish Councils that we are all in need of
building a sensible number of affordable homes to support local needs and
support the existing infrastructures.
look to both the U.D.C Conservatives and the Government to honour their
promises and design a sensible housing programme for U.D.C, which is
supported by the people. Let this be an end to developer led, extremely
large, daft, unwanted developments such as the Elsenham Option 4.
Nick Baker Chairman
Henham Fun Day in Aid of SOV Funds
Sunday 9th May 2010 at Woodend Green
'The Red Barrows' Terrestrial Display Team
'Bring it back to Blighty' World Cup song
Many different stalls
||Henham Juniors win the Rally Rounders
Martin Nicholson Shield for the third year running.
The trophy was presented by Mrs. Sylvia Nicholson
Yet again a really splendid Henham day on
Woodend Green in aid of the Save Our Village Fund. The weather was
relatively kind to us and we were privileged to be entertained by the
Footlights Dance Group, Mr. Happy, music by 'Double Vacant' and The Red
Barrows display team from Essex who performed in aid of a cancer charity.
There were may stalls, an OSCA raffle and a splendid collection of very
special motor vehicles.
go to Gerry and Sheena Bigland, Karen George-Lafferty, Julie Churchouse,
Clare Robertson who collectively style themselves as the 'Non Committee' for
their excellent organisation together with compare Ed Byrne and all the
others who helped in so many ways including the umpires of the Rally
This year the total sum to be donated to
the Save our Village fund was an excellent
and not £1040
as I previously reported. (I misunderstood the email I received - apologies)
Gerry and Ed
I am very pleased to announce that the
Spring Food Night raised £450 and
that so far this year, the coffee mornings have raised
£491. A really splendid effort by
Tickets can now be
obtained for the summer evening meal on Friday 2nd
July from Jennifer on 814 434.
Well the campaign is over for now and I
want to thank all of you who submitted your questionnaires and our
canvassers for their excellent work in helping villagers respond to the
consultation. U.D.C will realise, whether they want to hear it or not,
that there is huge opposition across the District to this stupid, idiotic
plan to place 3000 + houses at Elsenham.
I am much encouraged with the opposition
to the proposed development from both East Herts District Council and
Bishops Stortford Town Council, who represent a market town only five miles
from Elsenham and already swamped by development. We were also pleased to
see the submission from Takeley Parish Council, an area which has also seen
much disorganised development, which supports a development at Great
Chesterfield rather than Elsenham.
Well, we now await the results of the
consultation and the impact on the situation from the General Election. I
remain positive that good common sense will prevail, and much like
the demise of the 2nd runway, we shall also see democracy in action and a
just result. If not than I pledge that the J.P.C.S.G will fight this crazy
development every inch of the way and with your support we shall win.
On Behalf of the Joint Parish
Council Steering Group, may I thank the hundreds who responded to the latest
Uttlesford District Council Consultation. We can only hope that the
message finally gets through to those advocating the preferred option just
how much the people of Elsenham, Henham and surrounding villages and indeed
further afield abhor the
idea of this ill-conceived proposition.
Public Meetings at Elsenham and Henham and The Information Pack
Two very good meetings took place on Thursday
11th and Friday 12th March at Elsenham and Henham respectively. In the
region of a 100 people attended each. On the evening of Monday 15th , nearly
40 residents from both villages turned up at OSCA to put the information
packs together and managed the job in under an hour. Brilliant! Well
For residents of Elsenham, Henham, Ugley and Widdington
your letters should be with you in the next few days.
2010 U.D.C Consultation
Please Visit the Consultation Page and Send in your
What the Papers Say
here to view very good letters to the Herts and Essex Observer
from Henham and Elsenham Councillors David Morson and Catherine Dean
|Tuesday, 2 March
- South Community Forum, Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow
Click here to view a short
recording of part of the above meeting - courtesy of Herts and Essex
|Nick Baker Speaks
to Essex Radio
Friday 19th February, shortly before 7.15am Nick was interviewed on Essex
Radio concerning Option 4. For the next few days you can listen to what he
said by clicking on the link below, starting the broadcast and using the
slider, take it forward to about 1.13.20
District Council Housing Consultation
By now you will have received your
Consultation Papers through your letterbox. They are addressed to the
‘Occupier’ so I hope you haven't thrown them away as junk mail! The
J.P.C.S.G is asking you at present to delay responding to the consultation
which ends on 9th April. The reason for this is that we are busy meeting
with both planning and legal experts to give us best advice on how
to respond to this. The documents issued for the consultation available on
the U.D.C web site are detailed, and many of the assumptions need
challenging by people who can understand the detail. We are doing this and
by the middle of March we shall issue specific advice on how to respond.
are planned at Elsenham (11th) and
Henham (12th) Village Halls on in March at
1930 hours, where we will have the opportunity to discuss the consultation
in more detail.
Thank you for your patience
|The Burns Night
Supper, Friday 29 January 2010 at Elsenham Memorial Hall
Raised a grand total of £530.
A great effort by all concerned
Forthcoming Events -
District Council Housing Consultation
The next consultation sponsored by Uttlesford district
council takes place between
Monday 15th February and Friday 9th
be posting a brochure to each household in early February.
Please read it carefully, but we ask you
not respond until you have received more information from the the experts
employed by the the Joint Parish Council Steering Group. We have yet
to see the brochure, but our experts are currently analyzing the various
studies, some of which have only become available recently.
We will be organising Public Meetings in Henham and Elsenham
as soon as we have all the information and updating you on this site.
Thank you for your continued support
District Council Consultation - Info From Our Councillor, David Morson
Council News from Cllr.
David Morson regarding the next Consultation on the proposed housing plans
of U.D.C. due to start on 15th February. As with previous
consultations, The Joint Parish Council Steering Group ask residents to hold
back on responding until we have taken advice from our consultants.
We will update you as soon as possible.
Hard to believe, but we have just celebrated SOV's
third Christmas. Please be ready for a big effort in the new year for the
next dreaded 'consultation.'
Happy New Year to you all and may 2010 be a good
for our campaign
Draft Comparative Transport Assessment by Essex
Now available - click
here to view
on the Way
(Environment Committee Meeting)
Item 2 - Core Strategy Consultation
Item 2(b) Option 4 - a suggested distribution of
Tuesday 24th November 2009 the Environment Committee of U.D.C. met in the
Council Chambers at London Road to consider the following recommendation.
1. That further consultation be
carried out and the Preferred Options be reviewed in the light of the
responses in mid 2010 before proceeding to submission.
2. That the
consultation be on the basis
I. that the Core Strategy assumes the Stansted Airport
G1 development will be implemented
II. that Option 4 comprise 3000 homes to the north east
of Elsenham; 750 homes at Great Dunmow; 30 at Great Chesterford; 50 at
Newport; 20 at Stansted Mountfitchet; 30 at Takeley; 30 at Thaxted and
90 distributed across other villages.
III. that the Preferred Options for Core Strategy
Policies address the issues and include the proposed changes identified
in the table in paragraph 20 of the report
officers review the findings of the ongoing technical studies and bring
a further report to the committee before consultation is launched should
the findings indicate an adjustment to the preferred option may be
Whilst I and others did not fully understand the semantics of the
ensuing discussion, on the suggestion of the Committee Vice Chairman, Councillor
Howell from Saffron Walden (Audley),
the recommendation was changed to a reduction to 500 houses at Great Dunmow and
houses at Saffron Walden. Whilst introducing his proposal for the change
this Councillor stated he was in favour of the single settlement in
Elsenham, it being 'the least unpalatable proposal'. This beggars belief in view of the recently published
technical reports. He also linked the need for these houses to the expansion
of Stansted Airport. Previously, the concept of an 'Airport Town' has been
denied by U.D.C. and whilst this may be a personal view of the Councillor, I
find it very worrying.
A number of speakers, including a representative from the
campaign against the Boxted Wood development spoke eloquently and sensibly
of the dangers of a single settlement anywhere. A recurring theme was that
distribution of housing throughout the District was far more popular,
sensible and sustainable.
The recommendation was
passed (with the changes) and the Councillors who had spoken against the
single settlement for some reason abstained rather that voting against.
I and others could not understand why.
We are now
left with another consultation sometime in the new year of either 6 or 8
weeks with little or no detail on how/when it will be progressed, its range
or how the views will submitted and collated.
will keep you informed.
Water study is damning on development on the proposed site at Elsenham
particularly in relation to ‘Wastewater’. Considerable major capacity
upgrades would have to be made and the availability of land to support these
upgrades may be an issue, as will achieving the necessary discharge consent
standards. In addition, the sewers that approach the ‘Wastewater’ treatment
site would be restricted from being upsized by the narrow streets and
existing utilities, requiring the construction of new bypass sewers around
the urban areas. The report identifies other potential building sites in
Uttlesford that don't have these problems
We have not seen the Transport Study yet,
but believe it follows the previous suggestion of all the traffic coming
from the new development going down Hall Road to Takeley. We have always
said this is daft as traffic going North will not want to head South first.
So where does that leave us? We await an
opportunity to listen to U.D.C debating these reports in public. We will
seek our own expert advice on the contents of the reports to challenge
any maverick decisions. Meanwhile U.D.C go through a lengthy consultation
process on where to put the 1200 houses required by the L.D.F. on top of the
3000 houses planned for Elsenham. They have selected 6 options for the
placement of these 1200 houses.
It was two years ago that U.D.C put us
through the pain of a consultation over Christmas and the New Year. Vital,
they said, that it had to be completed over that period! We can expect
further consultations in the New Year and we will have to be ready to
respond. I thank the Villagers for continuing to hold events to fund raise
for save our Villages, and I thank the hard working J.P.C.S.G committee for
their continued efforts.
Everything we have been saying about the
stupidity of a large development in Elsenham is now showing itself to be
true. Only political dogma keeps the scheme going.
J.P.C.S.G - 23rd November
STRATEGIC HOUSING LAND
AVAILABILITY ASSESSMENT- 2008
Uttlesford District Council
have published a draft report on land availability in the district
which they introduce as follows-
is the first Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) for
Uttlesford District Council. It is a study of potential housing on
sites within the district over the period up to 2026.
The SHLAA has been
prepared in accordance with national Planning Policy Statement PPS3
“Housing”, a practice guidance published by the Government in July 2007,
and more detailed guidance prepared by Uttlesford District Council.
This process has involved key stakeholder participation and a SHLAA
Panel. The SHLAA replaces the Uttlesford Urban Capacity Study 2005.
They ask for comments on the Draft Report be sent to Sarah Nicholas at
email@example.com or by post to the council offices, London
Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER by September 18, 2009. Both Henham and
Elsenham PCs will be sending their observations.
view the report and the appendices
here and then go half way down the
page to Housing / Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which
lists the report and its eight appendixes. Appendix 7 and 8 are the two
documents of particular interest. Appendix 7 is the table giving general
details of potential sites in all villages and Appendix 8 opens the web page
to the individual villages' Site Appraisal Sheets and Maps.
Eco-towns Decision Statement
here to view the
reasons for selection and particularly the DCLG opinions on Elsenham.
We are not out of the woods yet by any means. We will hold a Joint Parish
Council Steering Group Meeting as soon as possible to discuss the way
forward. - BB
We are not on the Short List
Perhaps by now you will have seen the
good news that NE Elsenham has not been selected as one of the first four
Eco Towns to be given the go ahead. John Healy the DCLG Minister has
selected 4 sites to be commenced fairly soon but talks of a second wave of
Eco Towns to be underway by 2020. We believe that we were selected as a
special case because of the sensible logical arguments we made in the
consultations. So for the moment the threat of an Eco Town has gone away,
however it may return so we will keep alert to the situation and continue to
articulate our case against.
The major threat to us now is Option 4
in the U.D.C plans. We must continue to fight this option and indeed any
option which involves a large mass of housing at NE Elsenham. We have seen
the latest plans from U.D.C which still supports Option 4. How can it be that
the DCLG finds good reasons not to go ahead with an Eco Town on this site,
yet U.D.C still supports the building of 3000 houses?
So reason to raise a glass today, but
put away the rest of the bottle for the real celebration when we persuade
U.D.C of the total madness of siting a mass of housing at NE Elsenham.
16th July 08
Read the D.C.L.G statement -
|Eco Petitions to
10 Downing Street
Remember the on-line petitions many of us sent last year to 10 Downing
Street regarding objections to the siting of eco towns at Elsenham and
Hanley Grange, these have now closed and replies have been sent out as
Eco-towns present a
unique opportunity to provide more affordable housing where it is needed,
while pioneering new green ways of living that will act as a showcase for
new development everywhere.
On 4 November 2008 the
Department for Communities and Local Government published for consultation a
Draft Eco-Towns Planning Policy Statement (PPS), Sustainability Appraisal
(SA) and Impact Assessment. In the accompanying press notice, the Housing
Minister outlined the shortlist of locations with the potential to be an
eco-town and this included North East Elsenham. Our consultation on the
draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) and accompanying documentation closed
on 30th April 2009.
We are now considering
all representations before finalising the Eco-towns Planning Policy
Statement later this year. This will include the list of locations with
potential to be an eco-town. Along with these documents we will also
publish a Government response to the consultation together with a summary
report of responses received. Following this individual schemes in the
shortlisted locations will then need to submit planning applications, which
will be for local authorities to determine through the planning process.
Since you submitted your
petition on 17 April 2008 Hanley Grange has withdrawn from the eco-towns
process, with the promoters deciding that they needed more time to develop
While assessment of the
location is included in the Sustainability Appraisal for Hanley Grange and
Cambridgeshire published on 4th November 2008 the Government would not
consider taking forward a scheme for this location before the next review of
the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). The promoters would
expect it to be considered as part of the planned review of the RSS.
Eco-towns present a
unique opportunity to provide more affordable housing where it is needed,
while pioneering new green ways of living that will act as a showcase for
new development everywhere. We hope that you were able to submit comments
to the consultation on the draft Eco-towns Planning Policy Statement which
ended on 30 April 2009. Further details can be found at
Lord Hanningfield, Leader of Essex County Council, visits Henham
On Wednesday 27th May, Lord Hanningfield, accompanied by our
Essex County Councillor Ray Gooding came to Henham primarily to talk about the progress of
the re-opened Post Office.
J.P.C.S.G Chairman Cllr Nick Baker, together with Cllr. Simon Lee were also present and
the visit gave Nick the opportunity to question Lord Hanningfield about the
Essex C.C. views on the proposed eco-town and on large scale housing
developments. (See below)
When asked about the plan to
build an eco-town between Henham and Elsenham he stated that Essex County
Council was totally opposed to it and any other large developments which
were not supported by appropriate infrastructure. Clearly the N.E. Elsenham
options did not come into that category. He did however recognise the need
for appropriate developments, especially social housing but not on the scale
that Uttlesford District Council proposed. He looked forward to the time
when the East of England Assembly and its Regional Plan would no longer
exist and to the re-introduction of the County Council Structure Plan.
You may by now have thought that we've all gone away and the Save Our
Village Campaign is over. Far from it. We are at the end of the DCLG
consultation and are awaiting the results which are expected at the end of
July. Having said that we have had so much slippage on dates, don't hold
your breath. We know we had a magnificent response to the consultation and
if the DCLG take any notice of public consultations they can come to no
other conclusion than scrap this scheme immediately.
We have had some support from the consultation response from SHELTER who
have come out against an Eco Town in our location. They have selected 5
other sites which is helpful. Essex County Council have also come out
strongly against the Eco Town in their response. Uttlesford DC have
responded, but with their unresolved position on Option 4, they were
regrettably unable to come out strongly against the Eco Town, very
Ray Gooding our County Councillor, brought Lord Hanningfield, Leader of
E.C.C. to Henham Post Office today 27th May and he was able to repeat his
unequivocal opposition to both the Eco Town and the large settlement Options
4. A change of Government, he said, would mean the end of both
So your committee continues to meet and plan for every possibility, and we
will continue the fight until we are rid of these ridiculous building plans.
May I thank the Henham Fete Committee for a donation of £725 from the
Village Fete, this together with other fund raising from the Elsenham Quiz,
and other events in both Villages means we are funded to continue our fight.
Henham Fun Day raises over £775 for the Save Our Village campaign
Click here to view
U.D.C. Full Council Meeting - Continued.
(see also below)
With reference to the comment below regarding the full
council meeting held on Tuesday 21st April,
Henham Councillor Simon Lee sent the following letter
to the Herts and Essex Observer and it appeared in the Dunmow and Stansted
addition. He pulls no punches in very ably summing up the views
of the residents of Henham and Elsenham who attended the meeting.
Click here to read
From Mr. Henry Cleary, Deputy
Director of the Housing and Growth Programmes Team at the Department of
Communities and Local Government He acknowledges all our letters
and sets out criteria for selecting eco-towns, although he does not give
information when the choices will be made other than later this year.
Click here to view
Tuesday 21st at April Uttlesford District Council - Full Council Meeting
Tuesday 21st April 7.30pm at Council Chambers
Since our campaign started, in common with many other residents of Henham
and Elsenham I have attended many council meetings and most of them have
left us disappointed at the outcomes. We have learnt to live with
that, but along the road have become, to say the least, cynical.
Equally, as editor of this web site I have refrained from personal attacks
on individuals whose attitudes and motivation I have found very hard to
At the conclusion of voting on
Item 8ii on the agenda i.e. "The
Environment Committee resolved on 17 March 2009 to require a robust
report to be submitted to this meeting rebutting the Elsenham
eco-town proposal in response to the Government’s consultation on the
Eco-towns Planning Policy Statement,"
I was perhaps the first out of the Council Chamber and
watched the many residents file out in almost total silence. Cynical
and disillusioned as we had become, I sensed a new feeling towards what we
had witnessed, which I can only describe as something bordering on contempt
for local government politics.
Many of you have responded to the DCLG
Consultation of their Draft Planning Policy statement prior to the previous
deadline in March and it was only because of an extended deadline to 30th
April that U.D.C. were pressured into a response of their own.
paper suggested four response options for the council to consider.
Response Option Three was the only one that could be construed as a robust
rejection of placing a Eco-town at North East Elsenham.
Prior to the meeting,
Henham Parish Councillor Simon Lee
urged the council to adopt Response Option Three as the only option that
sent a unambiguous message to the DCLG. When the debate started
District Councillors Catherine Dean, David Morson and others repeated the
message, but a motion by Catherine Dean to strengthen the response was
rejected by the council. Despite reminders to the Council that
paragraph 6(9) of the Draft PPS referred specifically to Elsenham and that
Saffron Walden Conservatives had issued a communiqué
earlier in the week quoting senior Conservatives' opposition to
eco-towns and the Local Development Framework, (LDF), Councillor Barker
proposed that the Council adopt Option Response One (with a brief amended
mention of NE Elsenham) be adopted. Seconded by Councillor Cheetham,
the Conservative members present voted unanimously in favour and this much
weakened response was carried.
Where does that leave us and what will the DCLG make of
Uttlesford's response? - only time will tell when they publish their
short list. Remember, the NE Elsenham nomination as an eco-town came
directly out of Option 4 of the Core Strategy which still underpins that
nomination. I will leave you to mull that over - BB
Minutes of the last UDC Environment
Committee meeting (see below) now available for viewing
BARD LAUNCHES ECO-TOWN JUDICIAL REVIEW APPEAL
Campaign today (18th March) lodged an application with the Court of Appeal,
seeking permission to appeal the ruling by
Mr Justice Walker dated 27 January 2009 that the Government’s
consultation on its April 2008 shortlist document: “Eco-towns Living a
Greener Future” was lawful.
Environment Meeting - Tuesday 17th March 2009
thank you if you managed to attend last night's U.D.C Environment Committee
meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to approve the U.D.C response to
the DCLG consultation. The J.P.C.S.G were very keen to ensure that U.D.C
responded very strongly against the eco-town at Elsenham. The draft response
prepared by the Planning Officers for approval was anything but strong, and
having read it several times I was not sure whether U.D.C were for, or
against, the eco town!
Lees from J.P.C.S.G kick started the meeting by asking the Committee how
they intended to respond given that last year they had past a motion
vigorously condemning the eco-town and agreeing to campaign against it. We
then moved on to the debate on the response and Catherine Dean proposed a
motion that reiterated the very strong U.D.C opposition to the eco-town and
called for more work on the paper that would then be debated by the full
Council on 21st April.
that at this point the meeting descended into farce with political
mudslinging between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. The leader of the
Council Jim Ketteridge, read a long prepared statement which outlined the
past history of the housing situation blaming much of the current position
on the Lib Dems. This was all very unhelpful given that the agenda item was
to discuss the Councils response to the DCLG consultation. In the end Cllr.
Dean's proposal was passed and we hope to see a much stronger response put
forward to full Council on the 21st.
make a note in your diaries for this date.
I must say
the evening was not without a little humour. When Cllr Barker called for a
vote on Cllr Dean's motion many of the Conservatives were not sure which way
to vote, and looked like rabbits caught in the headlights.
pleased that yet again we turned out in numbers and I think influenced
another look at the consultation response.
Chairman of J.P.C.S.G
Environment Meeting - Tuesday 17th March - 7.30pm at
the Council Chambers, London Road, Saffron Walden
Minutes Now available -
Once again the people of Elsenham and
Henham turned out in a good numbers to hear the U.D.C. Environment Committee
discuss the proposed Eco-town at North-east Elsenham. On behalf of the
Joint Parishes Council Steering Group I thank you for your continuing
support - BB
Item 7 on the meeting
Response to the
Government’s consultation on its draft Eco-Towns Planning Policy Statement.
Further to the Committee’s resolution of 18 November 2008,
this report will recommend further points for incorporation in the Council’s
response, including those arising on the additional
Viability Assessment material published on 5 March.
3.8 deals specifically to Elsenham)
A Briefing Note to members of the committee from Melanie Jones, the
Chief Planning Officer for U.D.C can be viewed by
Please see above for a review of the meeting
by Nick Baker, Chairman of the J.P.C.S.G
Here to go to the SOV DCLG Consultation Page
Anthem for Green England
Communities Against Ford Eco-ton (CAFE)
Click here to visit the site for a download
Well, we are nearly at
the end of another consultation and I have to thank all those who helped
organise the response, and of course those who replied. We feel that our
consultants reports drew out the main issues very well, and our responses
will reflect not only our strong feelings against this development, but also
articulate the reasons why we object in a very clear manner.
I say at the end of
another consultation because at the last minute the Government decided to
extent the deadline for replies until the 30th April. This cavalier approach
to dates is extremely unhelpful, and doesn't take into account the enormous
amount of work that goes into responding to a consultation like this. To
tell us one week before the end of the consultation that we have another two
months to reply is frankly disgraceful. We want an end to this ridiculous
eco-town proposition and to continually move dates backwards bears no
thought for people who are blighted whilst this process creaks onwards.
On a brighter note,
Essex County Council has lodged a strong ‘no’ to the eco-town at Elsenham. I
heard today (4th) that Bishops Stortford Town Council have also
lodged strong objections. We have not heard the Uttlesford response, but we
are pressing them to make their eco-town objections known to Government and
to publish their paper so we can all see what they say.
So, what's next? Well,
the Government, at the end of this consultation, will publish a short list
of possible eco-town sites which will go forward to the next stage which
will bring them into the planning processes. I hope that our strong
objections, together with any independent Government appraisal of
Fairfield’s plans, will mean that we are not on this short list.
Nick Baker - Chairman
Extension to Deadline
for DCLG Consultation
Please see blow a copy of the email from
the DCLG regarding their decision to extend the deadline for submissions to
their consultation until 30th April 2009.
On behalf of the Joint Parishes Steering
Group I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all
who have submitted responses thus far. Don Sturgeon will be making a
special trip to the DCLG offices this week with sizable and ever growing
bundle of your letters. A special thanks must also go to our
canvassers who have been working tirelessly over the past two weeks to
deliver the packs to the villagers of Elsenham and Henham and to collect
your responses. A great effort by all.
May I also say a further special thanks
to our neighbouring village of Widdington from whom we had over seventy
submissions of support.
For those of you who have not yet
managed to respond you have now have more time to do so.
I am sorry for those who, whilst in the
process of filling in the DCLG on-line form, found that their system crashed
on them, sometimes at the very point of submitting the form. Very
of email from DCLG
Thank you for your submission to
the first stage of eco-towns consultation.
Following the release of the full
written judgment of recent legal proceedings, the consultation on the
draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) and Sustainability Appraisal on
eco-towns has now been extended to Thursday 30 April.
We would be very grateful if you
could alert any relevant members of your organisation to this deadline
extension and look forward to receiving any submissions by this date.
Copies of the relevant documents
are available from:
Paper copies can be ordered by
calling: 0300 123 1124
The official consultation form
can be found at:
Submissions can be made to:
Eco-towns Team, 2/H9, Eland House, Bressenden Place, Victoria, London
We also plan to publish a
financial viability study on prospective eco-town locations (prepared by
external advisers for CLG) next week which people may want to draw on
when submitting their consultation responses.
You can keep up to date with
eco-town news by signing up for the e-newsletter, follow the process
The eco-towns team
Tuesday 10th February - North Hall Road
common with other parts of Essex, on Tuesday 10th February, following a thaw
and further rain, we awoke to find our roads flooded. Jonathan Leach
ventured out with his camera and took a number of pictures of North Hall
Road which most Elsenham and Henham folk use to travel north to
Saffron Walden and beyond, e.g. Cambridge. and which the residents from the
proposed eco-town would also have to use.
Click here to view some of his pictures
Additionally, back in July Jonathan wrote an article for this web site about
the inevitable problems that would be caused by heavy rain.
here to visit it again. Similar pictures?
VILLAGE MEETING LAUNCHES OUR RESPONSE TO D.C.L.G.
sports Journalist and nine year Henham resident opened the meeting at Henham
Village Hall on Wednesday 11th February. Addressing a very good
turnout, Sue spoke passionately about her village and the 'vandalism
in the name of progress' that was being imposed on Henham and Elsenham.
She likened our campaign to a marathon that the Government had thrown at us
and urged every resident to respond yet again to another consultation.
Following an outline of our current situation by Don Sturgeon, Simon Lee, a
fellow Henham Parish Councillor, explained that every household in Henham
and Elsenham would be receiving an information pack over the weekend giving
details about the latest consultation and how to best respond.
click here to go to the
consultation page which gives all the
information. It is essential than you make your
There will be a further similar meeting
at Elsenham on Friday 13th at 8.00pm in the Village Hall. Please
attend and show your continuing support.
|Look East on
See a repeat of BBC Look East report (Monday
10th) on Marston Vale in Bedfordshire and an Eco-town in Sweden built on a
Eco-towns are also a subject in the
Politics Show at 12 noon BBC 1 this coming Sunday
|An Important Week
in Our Campaign.
(See consultation page - click
may have see that another eco-town has been 'pulled up' by the developer in
the Grand National Eco-Town Stakes,
viz. Marston Vale, in Bedfordshire. That was a 20,000 homes
development and no doubt very good news for them but perhaps not so good for
need to keep the pressure on.
In a letter to Nick Baker
dated 6th February, Sir Alan Haselhurst M.P told us that he had what he
believed to be a 'useful meeting' with Margaret Beckett concerning the
proposed eco-town at Elsenham. He said,
placed particular emphasis on the necessary supportive transport
infrastructure, but I was also able to draw on your consultants' report. I
also took the opportunity to stress the general unsuitability of a District
such as Uttlesford to accommodate the total number of houses which now seem
to be in the pipeline under one heading or another. Apart from the extra
for which planning provision has already been made before the
LDF target was increased, I told her that Uttlesford's housing needs would
be better catered for by low
cost social housing additions such as we have already seen in
many of our villages."
The Minister reiterated that she was not
committed to any set number of eco-towns and those which are allowed to go
would have to meet the most exacting standards.
Middle Quinton Judicial Review
have read in the paper that one of the eco town sites lost a judicial review
in the High Court on Tuesday. Be assured that we have been monitoring this
situation closely. Although the decision was a disappointment it was about
the process of the initial consultations by the Government on eco towns, and
not about the locations etc. If the decision had been the other way it
would have meant that the Government would have had to start the
consultation all over again leading to major delays in any decisions. I
don't think it has too much impact on our campaign which is all about
Elsenham being a wrong development in the wrong place.'
Nick Baker, Chairman J.P.C.S.G
Please see the
for responses to a letter written to Fairfield following their
presentations last October
on the Grand National Eco-Town Stakes
struck me the other day that our campaign can be likened to a steeplechase
devised on similar lines to that which might appear in a sequel to Alice in
Wonderland, namely, The Grand National Eco-town Stakes. Our horse,
called North-East Elsenham, is owned by the Fairfield Partnership. It
was sired by a horse bred by David Lock Associates out of a mare of suspect
pedigree called Option 4, (owned by Uttlesford District Council). This
race is of indeterminate length and nobody is quite sure where the finishing
line is. Fences keep being erected as the race goes on and our money
is firmly on North-East Elsenham not being placed or hopefully falling well
before the end.
last year, particularly in the early stages of the race we saw a Foinavon
type of incident (Grand National 1967) when many horses fell at the same
fence. The race continued and three more horses, notably one called
Hanley Grange, were pulled up by their jockeys. There are now 12
runners left. Currently, the owners of one of the horses,
Middle Quinton, has called
for a Stewards Enquiry, (known in this race as a Judicial Review), which if
successful may result in the race being stopped and either abandoned or
started again. We cannot rely on this however. (latest
We are approaching a crucial
stage in the race in March when the race organisers, the
Department of Communities and Local Government, sponsored by Gordon Brown
and Associates, will themselves make a judgement on the names of
horses to continue. We are not sure how many they will decide on but
bad weather, (economic climate change), has made the going decidedly heavy.
It is therefore very important
that we keep up the pressure on the D.C.L.G. to convince them that North
East Elsenham is totally unfit to continue. On 4th November 2008 they
issued yet another version of the set of rules regarding fitness of horses
for the latter stages of the race called the Draft Planning Policy
Statement - Eco-towns Consultation, abbreviated as 'PPS' which
you can see by
clicking here. This report contains a
number of questions about the concept of the
The Grand National Eco-town Stakes and about the
condition of the remaining horses. They have given 'the connections'
until 6th March 2009 to respond to their questions. Yes, you've
got it, they call it a 'public consultation', a term we have heard before
punters, who have placed a considerable amount on North East Elsenham to
lose, have commissioned two reports from independent vets called
Hives Planning and Stuart Michael Associates.
These reports categorically say that our horse is unfit to continue and
should really not have started in the first place.
In a nutshell they say:-
The road system to serve a 5,000 dwelling, 11,000 population Eco-town is
wholly inadequate. Traffic would pass through the already congested small
town of Stansted Mountfitchet or along unclassified country lanes.
The settlement is too small to provide adequate employment facilities for
its population. This would result in an unacceptable degree of out-commuting
The provision of a secondary school is widely seen as a key indicator of a
new sustainable (eco-town) settlement. The proposed town is not big enough
to support such an institution leaving pupils to travel elsewhere.
The settlement is too small to support adequate services such as convenience
shopping, leaving residents to travel elsewhere.
This is not a brownfield site as originally envisaged by the eco-towns
initiative. It is a greenfield site, the ‘best and most versatile’
Conflict of interest:
there is concern over the fairness and potential conflict of interest in the
process where advisers seem to have been consulting
for the Government and the North East Elsenham development promoter.
stage in the race we are going to ask for your help once more. With
the aid of the vets reports we are going to ask you to give the D.C.L.G your
views as before. Currently we are preparing information packs for each
household in Elsenham and Henham which will explain in detail what we are
going to ask you to do. Additionally, as before, we are going to hold
public meetings in both villages, probably in the second week in February. (see
J.P.C.S.G is keenly aware that you may be suffering from 'consultation
overload' but we see no other way. The race organisers set the rules
but we cannot ignore them and hope they will go away.
decided to make the vets reports public and are in the process of giving
Uttlesford District Council (the owners of Option 4) a copy to assist them
when making their response to the D.C.L.G. To view them please click
on the respective names, i.e.
Stuart Michael Associates.
remember these reports are subject to copyright.
silly race this is!
Uttlesford District Council Environment Committee Meeting
at 7.30pm on Tuesday 20th January 2009 at the Council Chambers.
Prior to the meeting, Nick Baker the Chairman of the J.P.C.S.G was
given leave to address the Councillors. A full transcript can be seen
He explained that whilst the relationship between the J.P.C.S.G and the
Environment Committee had never been close, we were willing to share the
contents of the two independent reports commissioned by the campaign against
the proposed Eco-town.
He stated that the reports confirmed that
governments proposal for an Eco-town in north east Elsenham was
fundamentally flawed. He urged the Committee to consider the reports when
replying to the current D.C.L.G consultation which ends on 6th March.
commenced and Item 7
was:-Local Development Scheme - Item for decision,
"This report recommends a revised programme for the
preparation of the Local Development Framework, and that the Committee
recommends the Scheme to the Full Council".
(It has some 21 pages and can be viewed by
Roger Harborough outlined new timetables for the LDS (Local Development
Scheme). The presentation was confusing and few members of the public, if
any, left the meeting with a clear comprehension of exactly what was
It seems that the Stansted Airport G2 enquiry has some bearing on the
timetable as the housing and road infrastructure requires an understanding
of whether we are to get a second runway. Additionally, the various
technical studies are still awaited and these will determine whether
development plans are sound.
So where does that leave us. It seems that in September 2009 there will be
further public consultation on options for Stansted Airport and housing
distribution. In April 2010 the Core Strategy will be published. From
November 2010 there will be public examination of the Core Strategy leading
to Adoption in October 2011. Meanwhile, running alongside the Core Strategy
are the Development Control Policies which involve public participation on
preferred options for specific development sites. This starts in 2011 and
finalises in 2013.
It appears that we have considerable slippage in the timetable. The Stansted
enquiry may not start until September 2009 and is likely to last 20
months. This could disrupt the timetable further. Meanwhile other housing
plans are emerging including a 20,000 'New Town' in the Little Canfield
area. What this all means is we have a long campaign which will constantly
change as new plans are submitted.
to a question from Councillor David Morson, Mr Harborough reported that a
final decision on whether Option 4 would go ahead or be abandoned would be
taken in May 2010 following new reports on site location, drainage and
transport. Cllr. Morson asked for clarification on what would be the
criteria for coming to this decision, given that a Preferred Option had
already been identified in September 2007. Was it going to be the case that
the results of the new, subsequent surveys would either vindicate or remove
this choice which has already been made? Mr.Harborough's response was
that this would partly be the case. When Cllr Morson further asked what then
would be the other components of the decision, Mr. Harborough replied the
‘consultations which have already been done’.
of 12th Jan says -
"Fierce opposition forces
Brown to shorten eco-towns shortlist"
click here to view
Sunday Telegraph of 3rd January says -
Government eco-town proposals receive fresh
"The Government's flagship eco-town
strategy has suffered another damaging blow after an independent report said
one of the proposed towns was "unworkable".
The South Uttlesford Community
Forum met on
Thursday 8 January 2009,7.30 pm.
at Mountfitchet Mathematics and Computing College, Forest Hall Road,
Stansted Mountfitchet. Cllr David Morson has written a brief
report concerning the LDF, Elsenham Pharmacy and this year's Community
Click here to view
Boxing Day Walk
(Apologies - I got these pictures some days ago and forgot to put them on -
Henham Dads Christmas Disco in aid of the Save Our Village Fund.
I am pleased to announce that the Disco at the Village
Hall on 20th December raised a princely £500 to boost the funds of the Save
Our Village campaign. Steve Inkley said,
"The highlight of the
evening was a Disco dancing competition between six Henham Dads that was
comfortably won by Scott Robertson. Give the man a white suit and he will be
available for the remake of Saturday night Fever."
Nick Baker, chairman of
the Joint Parish Council Steering Group said, "On behalf of the J.P.C.S.G
our thanks go to the organisers and all who attended. It is a
magnificent sum that will be well used in our campaign."
Click here to read more
email has a been received on Tuesday 24th December from
ECOTOWNS@communities.gsi.gov.uk regarding the Eco-town Programme -
Thank you for your
submission to the first stage of eco-towns consultation.
You may or may not be
aware that a judicial review has been granted to opponents of the Middle
Quinton scheme near Stratford and that the Court has now listed this for
hearing on 22 and 23 January 2009. In line with commitments which she has
made to the claimants and to other interested parties in the case, the
Secretary of State has decided to extend the deadline for responses on the
draft Planning Policy Statement and the accompanying Sustainability
Appraisal on Eco-Towns from 19th February 2009 to
6th March 2009. This effectively allows an additional two weeks
for people to respond to the current round of consultation.
We would be very grateful if you could alert any relevant members of your
organisation to this deadline extension and look forward to receiving any
submissions by this date.
Copies of the relevant
documents are available from:
The official consultation
form can be found at:
Submissions can be made to:
Eco-towns Team 2/H9 Eland House Bressenden Place Victoria London SW1E 5DU
Kind regards and best
wishes for the Christmas period,
The eco-towns team
Christmas Message from Nick Baker - Chairman of the
Joint Parish Council Steering Group.
Click here to read
|Letter from the
Rt. Hon Margaret Becket, Minister for Housing and Planning
on 1st September 2008 Lembit Opik MP, the then Lib Dem Shadow Housing
Minister came to a meeting of the Joint Parish Council Steering Group and
promised to right on our behalf to the then Housing Minister Caroline Flint
regarding the notion of disbursing housing needs through Uttlesford, (named
Option 5). This he did but, in the meantime, Ms. Flint was superseded by the
Rt. Hon, Margaret Becket MP, who has subsequently replied in her capacity as
Housing Minister. Mr. Opik has forwarded a copy of the letter to Cllr.
Catherine Dean and it contains some significant statements, particularly in
the third paragraph. To view a copy of the letter in picture form,
click here. (You may have to enlarge it to
read it properly)
Article on Eco-towns from the trade magazine
click here to view
Environment Committee - Tuesday 18th November 2008 - Complaints
this meeting, many complaints have been received about the manner in which
it was conducted. A selection of these have been placed on
on this site. These and more have been sent to Mr. John
Mitchell, the C.E.O. of the U.D.C. Mr. Mitchell has responded with an
investigation and adjudication on the matter. This can be viewed by
For those who attended the meeting, I leave you to draw your own conclusions
and will no doubt be hearing from you. - BB
|From Nick Baker -
Chairman of the Joint Parishes Steering Group
As I said in my
last message things are really moving on a pace at present. On the
positive side Sir Alan Hazlehurst and the Shadow Housing Minister have
stated their position to the developers, that should a Conservative
Government be elected they would withdraw all support for an eco-town at
NE Elsenham. In addition Eric Pickles another Shadow Minister has stated
that he would disband the East of England planning authority and return
the decisions on local development to local democracy.
On the negative
side we were all disappointed at the Environment Committee meeting held
at Uttlesford on the 18th Nov. About 100 supporters attended and most,
like me, left the meeting in total confusion. Were Uttlesford now in
favour of an eco-town at NE Elsenham? It now seems not, but it was very
confusing on the night. It seems an easy task to Chair a public meeting
in a courteous, efficient, and effective manner, but this seems beyond
this particular committee. I sometimes think that U.D.C. Councillors
forget that many supporters of S.O.V. campaign have held high office in
public and private life, and find some of these meetings astonishing in
their lack of direction and appalling meandering debates. I sat next to
a very successful business man who said to me, 'If you ran a company
like this you'd be bankrupt in days'. Some residents have written to
Uttlesford expressing their disappointment and copies of these letters
can be found on this website. J.P.C.S.G members have had useful meetings
with the D.C.L.G representatives and feel that our concerns are in part
shared by Government. We will continue to analyse and articulate these
concerns using independent experts.
Well at the meeting
of the J.P.C.S.G last night we were faced with how to react to the
second consultation on the eco-town by the D.C.L.G. This finishes on the
19th February 2009. Again we will ask you to put pen to paper, but
not until the New Year. We have commissioned a number of technical
reports from experts in their fields. These reports will not be
available until around Christmas, so we will be canvassing you in
January with the findings of these reports. We will provide a shortened
version where you can select the issues that concern you the most. You
will remember that last year the Environment Committee forced us into a
Christmas and New Year consultation period, at least this year we will
do it after the festive season.
I wish all our
supporters a very happy Christmas and New Year. I think we are winning
the debate over this ridiculous development proposition and we are
winning with sensible, well thought through arguments. This next stage
will reinforce these arguments and hopefully we will win the day. It
must be true that the rejection of an eco-town by the D.C.L.G would
knock on to the 'Option 4' proposals. Infrastructure arguments will be
the same for 3000 houses as 5000.
How did we get in this mess?
Please take time to read the Communities
and Local Government Department's Eco-towns Sustainability Appraisal for
North East Elsenham, a document prepared by Scott Wilson Ltd. It is a
long-winded title, but the report is relatively easy to digest and in my
opinion worth printing off if you can, (45 pages). Download
Draw your own conclusions on the responsibility that must be shouldered
by the U.D.C. in relation to their preferred option 4.
Uttlesford District Council
Tuesday 18th November at 7.30pm. (Agenda)
(Read what the Herts and Essex Observer
click here for page one and
here for page two) -
Villagers from Elsenham and Henham were
once again out in force to attend yet another meeting of the Environment
Committee. On behalf of the Joint Parish Council Steering Group may I
thank all who attended only to come away again with mixed feelings of anger,
confusion, disbelief, puzzlement, sadness and above all frustration.
As we left the Council Chamber one resident said, "and how are you going to
sum that lot up for the web site." How indeed, well here goes!
Cllr. David Morson, District started the
proceedings with a question once again relating to how the preferred option
4, on which the subsequent Eco-town proposal was based could have been
introduced last year without prior technical studies. Once again Cllr.
Barker failed to give a convincing reason stating that a preferred option
had to be put forward and that it was a 'chicken and egg' situation and
Roger Harborough stating that the Consultation had raised many issues which
necessitated further studies.
Two local speakers then addressed the
The first was Mrs. Gail Phillips who
introduced herself as a school teacher from Old Mead Lane and area
surrounded by beautiful countryside. She spoke scathingly on the way that Fairfield
had conducted their presentations. She criticized the lack of detail,
especially in relation to where the proposed houses would be placed, (shown
as green on the map), the lack of opportunity to study the various display
Click here to view her speech. At the conclusion Cllr. Barker stated she
also had not been impressed by Fairfield's efforts.
Mrs. Sheena Bigland from Henham then
gave a passionate speech in defence of our countryside and I will not
attempt to précis it. Please
here for the full text which I urge you to read.
Items 7 and 8 on the agenda were of
importance to our campaign.
Item 7 - Eco-Towns
to see the council papers. This report
recommends how the Council should respond to the next stage of the
Government Consultation on Eco -Towns.
Council claims it has achieved a victory by removing the enforcement of
Eco Towns centrally by incorporating them into the Local Development
Framework Core Strategy. However, as pointed out by Cllrs. Morson and C.
Dean this will also cause a contradictory problem for the Administration
if it continues to support Option 4.
The council voted in favour of the recommendations contained in the
Item Progress with the
L.D.F. Core Strategy.
Click here to see the
council papers for this item. The long awaited report which summarised
the key issues arising from the representations received on the Core
Strategy Preferred Options Consultation, (Click here to view)
It was received by the committee and in my opinion almost glossed over.
Cllr Morson comments, "These long awaited Consultation results were
full of criticisms of lack of evidence and sound judgement for the
process so far." When he questioned the actual status of Option 4,
Cllr. Barker stated she could not answer as all the studies were in the
hands of the Officers and she would be guided by their judgement.
During this item, the frustration from the residents present increased more
and more, fuelled by the perceived evasive attitude of the committee
Cllr Morson, said,
"How can the Council publicly oppose the Eco Town Proposal for Elsenham and
use planning arguments against it, when these same arguments could be
levelled against their own Preferred Option 4 at Elsenham."
number of referrals were made to the Chief Planning Officer, Roger
Harborough and the answers received left me more than confused. It would
appear that the council will not be in a position to make any sort of
decision until well into 2009. The schedule for receiving the
technical studies was very vague and Mr Harborough intimated that these
studies would also have to be consulted on.
result of Stage 2 of the Department of Communities and Local
Government Eco-town Consultation which runs from 4th November until 19th
February 2009 we are going to ask you for your involvement. We intend to
place all the relevant documents in the hands of our planning adviser and
will be reporting back to you at the earliest opportunity on the way forward
and how we as a community can best tackle this stage of the campaign.
In the meantime if you attended the meeting and wish to comment,
particularly on anything I have missed, please send then to me via
for posting on
Saturday 8th November at Elsenham Village Hall
Raised a brilliant £908. Well done to Jennifer, her mum
Ruth, Andre and Petrina Lees and of course to all of you who attended'
Additionally, we have some quiz sheets at a cost of £1
each for a first prize of £50. Purchase from – Jennifer Jarvis, 24 Broom Farm Road, Elsenham
(814434) or from Henham village shop, TJ Poppins, Barkers Garage, Post
Communities and Local Government Road Shows and
Stage two Consultation
Monday 10th November from 0900 -1900 in the Market
Square, Bishops Stortford
Tuesday 11th November at Saffron Walden Market 1000 - 1700.
Monday 10th November I visited the trailer in Bishops Stortford. It
was staffed by very helpful young people although the amount of information
inside was decidedly uninspiring. Unfortunately, owing to the very
heavy rain the roof was leaking like a sieve and the analogy did strike me
that the whole Eco-town programme, whilst looking quite attractive on
superficial perusal, actually also leaked like a sieve when tested to any
From what was on display, shoppers from
Bishops Stortford will have no idea of the negative impact that the proposed
eco-town will have on them and the surrounding area. Indeed, the
purpose of the road show was not to go into detail on individual projects
and the young lady I spoke to had not visited the Elsenham site.
These road shows are part of the D.C.L.G second
stage of consultation which started on 4th November and will continue until
19th February 09. They seek views on the following publications:-
Draft Planning Policy Statement: Eco-towns -
Eco-towns: Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats
Regulations Assessment of the Draft Eco-towns Planning Policy Statement
Impact Assessment - Planning Policy Statement
(PPS): Eco-towns - Consultation
Eco-towns: living a greener future - Summary
of consultation responses
Please take time to read the above if you can. The
Joint Parish Council Steering Group will be doing the same and seeking the
advice of our experts. We will report back as soon a possible.
In relation to 2. above -
Click on the picture to go straight to the
Sustainability Appraisal on Elsenham
relation to 4. above -
of you may have received the e-mail from the Department of Communities
and Local Government regarding the views received by them by
30th June 08 on their document 'Living for a Greener Future'. The
summary can be
clicking on the picture. Particularly have a
look at Section 1 page nine. This shows a graph of responses and
Elsenham features highly due to the letters you sent in early this year. On
page 47 is a summary of the specific issues raised in relation to Elsenham
which I have also copied to a Word document which you may view by
|Eco Towns -
Shelter and the D.C.L.G. - BBC4 'You and Yours'
you did not hear it at the time, there was a very interesting discussion on
BBC 4 'You and Yours' on Thursday 6th November regarding Eco-towns and the
government funding of Shelter leaflets -
Click here to go to the page relevant page,
scroll down and you will see the Eco-town item.
We are on the Short-List
"Local communities will get their next chance to have their say on the
eco-town proposals as Housing Minister Margaret Beckett today (4th November)
launches the Government's second round of formal consultation on the
proposed locations and standards for eco-towns."
here to read the Department of Communities and Local Government's
announcement on the beginning of Phase Two in which Elsenham is given a
grade B listing and
here to see what BBC Look East had to
||Also on Tuesday 4th November the Joint Parish Council Steering Group held
two Public Meetings at Henham and Elsenham. There was a good audience
at both venues.
Amongst the speakers was Kate
Ward of the Saffron Walden Friends of the Earth who gave their unqualified
support to our campaign. Please
click here to view what she said.
attended the Elsenham meeting chaired by Stewart Pimblett. Journalist
and Henham resident Jason Barlow was first to speak and he outlined what we
had gone through over the last year. He stated that there there were
clear and compelling arguments why Elsenham was totally the wrong place for
an eco-town, and he was particularly scathing about Option 4, but emphasized
that we were not against affordable housing or indeed the concept of
eco-towns. (a full report of his speech will be available soon).
Simon Lee spoke next and stated that we had a long haul in
front of us and that we needed substantial funds if we were to get the best
advice from our legal and technical advisors. He stressed the need for
community involvement in fund raising and other aspects of the campaign.
The Working Party and the Joint Parishes Steering Group could not do it all
and needed to concentrate on convincing government that the Elsenham option
was totally flawed.
Don Sturgeon then spoke about the way that our campaign
had been conducted over the past year and summarised the many meetings we
had had with ministers, MP's, Government officials, etc. He also
talked about the invaluable advice we had received from our retained experts
and the support of Essex County Council. He stated that he and Petrina
were meeting again with Henry Cleary of the DCLG. He talked about the
forthcoming presentations at Bishops Stortford and Saffron Walden (see
below) and stressed that as many people as possible should attend and give
their constructive views. He said that Bishop Stortford and Stansted
residents were yet to fully understand the impact that an eco-town at
Elsenham would have on them.
Last but by no means least Petrina Lees passionately
appealed for more help in the campaign, fundraising and to keep writing to
Ministers, Mp's Government Departments, Essex County Council and Uttlesford
District Council. - BB
|What the Papers
Only two of the 10 sites
originally promised by Gordon Brown are now expected
to be built
to view the article in The Observer 26th October
Fairfield Presentation/Consultation -
Further to the
article below, Margaret Shaw has managed to
get a 'Word' copy of that notorious questionnaire they were encouraging us
to fill in.
to view. - BB
|Two new Press
Releases from The Joint Parish Council Steering Group - 22nd Oct
Release One -
The Fairfield Presentation/Consultation
Click on link to view
Press Release by the Joint Parish Council
Cllr. David Morson's view
Henham Village Hall
Having already given presentations at Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and the
Hilton Hotel, Fairfield arrived at Henham and Elsenham on Tuesday 14th
October 2008. Their display consisted of three panels showing
information about their project.
Should you wish to do so they have supplied PDF downloads
of each, viz.
Panel 2 -
Further downloads of many of their documents can be
obtained by going to their site -
click here should you wish to do so.
I attended the Henham Presentation and I tried initially
to put myself in the position of someone living outside the affected area.
Superficially, (and this is how it must also appear to Ministers, M.P.'s, Government Departments,
etc.) the idea of an Eco Market Town must be appealing. The presenters
were very pleasant and rehearsed in their explanations of the information on display.
In spite of the fact that the Henham presentation was only
between 11.00am and 4.00pm (when they had the hall booked from 9.00am and
6.00pm and they could have hired it for much longer should they have so
wished) it was very well attended by those residents who were available
during the day time.
It was only when I started to
listen to the responses to specific and penetrating questions that it
quickly became apparent how little substance there was to the various topics
raised. In fact, considering the time Fairfield and their associates
have have had to develop this scheme it was appalling. Time and
time again the presenters were unable to give satisfactory explanations on
major and fundamental issues and the mood in the hall was of incredulous disbelief and
seething anger. I am led to believe that the same occurred at Elsenham
presentation later in the evening. A 'total farce' was an opinion
In spite of this Fairfield seem
confident that they will win the day and that a development of either 3000
houses (option 4) or the bigger eco-town project will be successful. I
wonder where they get their confidence from. What is it we don't know?
The bottom line remains that Uttlesford District Council
hold the key.
Fairfield say they are in
the process of 'Consulting,' (a word I have grown to hate over the last
year), so see the comments form at the back of the flyer you received
through your door entitled
'Your Views Count'. However, we are unaware how your comments are
to be evaluated.
Please fill this in carefully with your views
and send it off to them. There is also a
feedback form on their website.
Additionally, you may have picked up a Consultation Questionnaire at one of
the presentations. Before filling this in please read it very
carefully. I feel this is is 'loaded/biased' and has an overriding assumption that the
reader is in favour of either option 4 or the eco-town.
One of the presenters
stated that Fairfield will answer questions about the project if you write
to them. Personally I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
Click here for the Freepost address
which you can print off, viz. Ron Gibbons, David
Elsenham Consultation, 7 Bayley Street, London WC1 3HB.
Yet again you might find
you wish to send an email to our new Housing Minister, the Rt. Hon. Margaret
Becket MP via
If you have any comments
you wish to make I am thinking of starting a 'blackboard' of such views.
Please send then to me via
In the meantime I have
already received a very good letter which Jonathan Leech, a regular
contributor to this site has sent off to the Consultation, (Click
here to view) and one from Trevor Ellis-Callow sent to Henry
Cleary of the Dept. of Communities and Local Government. (Click
here to view)
|Latest Odd bits
|3rd October - Cabinet reshuffle
- Rt. Hon Margaret Beckett, MP for Derby South and
former Foreign Secretary, has replaced Caroline Flint.
(third housing minister in a year) - Find out a little about her
SHELTER the Housing and Homeless Charity have formed what they call a
'Coalition' and have issued a Press Release last week. |
We attach a copy of it and our press release in response at
Save Our Villages.
Please click on the respective link to read and draw your own conclusions.
What the Papers Said
Protesters Hit out at Labour - See Don Sturgeon's comments in
the Herts and Essex
County Councillor Ray Gooding
wrote a very interesting letter to the Herts and Essex Observer this week
(25th Sept) - See
'This is Social Engineering'
ECO-TOWN: BARD WINS PLEA FOR
JUDICIAL REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
CAMPAIGNERS against the proposed
6,000-home eco-town at Long Marston are celebrating the news that the
government’s policy on the scheme will have to be defended before the High
Court in a judicial review.
Click here to view an article in the
Sir Alan Haselhurst
MP for Saffron Walden gives his latest views
"Campaign against Hellsenham must move up a gear"
Click here to view the article in this week's Herts and Essex
charity Shelter is under fire for using £100,000 of
Government money to publish eco-town propaganda
See the article in the Herts and Essex Observer
The Sunday Telegraph of 8th September 2008
‘A housing Charity has admitted that it was
paid £100,000 by the government to produce a series of 13 information
leaflets setting out the case for Gordon Brown's controversial eco-towns
Called Eco-town - the facts, the 20 page leaflets are branded with the
Shelter logo and focus largely on the need for more affordable housing,
with only one paragraph addressing such concerns as traffic levels, flood
risks and pressure on public services'
How fair is that! Very strange - Should such a charity be
sponsored for Government purposes such as this?
Eco-Towns - A design for Life
See what The Times - 5th August has to say -
Eco-towns set to face toughest ever green
quote - from the DCLG web site
"Following changes made to the shortlisted schemes announced in April,
including two new proposals for an eco-town in Rushcliffe and major changes
made to the proposal at Rossington, a formal consultation on both these
draft standards and a detailed sustainability appraisal of each location
will now be published in September. A final
decision on up to ten potential locations will be made in early 2009,
after which the individual schemes will each have to submit planning
Click here to view
the article on the
Department of Communities and Local
Where does this leave Uttlesford District Council and
their decision about the Local Government Framework and Option 4 in
Nick Baker says
J.P.C.S.G. are convinced that the U.D.C. consultation should be brought to a
conclusion as soon as possible. We know that U.D.C. will publish the
results of the consultation for discussion at the Environment Committee
on the 16th September 2008. We are also aware that the consultation
shows overwhelming opposition to Option 4, as well as considerable
opposition to Options 2 and 3. The J.P.C.S.G. strongly believe that the
adoption of Option 4 as the 'preferred option' by U.D.C, led to the
'Developer led' proposal for an Eco-town on the same site. Without Option 4
being the 'preferred option’ in the consultation I doubt the proposed
Eco-town would have been considered. We do understand that the consultation
should run it's course to stand up to scrutiny, but given that we were
forced to hold it over Christmas and the New Year because of the extreme
urgency, it seems ironic that we are now in August without further
continue to deny the link between Option 4 and the Eco-town I cannot
understand this thinking and we now head for a decision on the Eco-town and
Option 4 in the same time frame, early 2009.
to take the perceived preference for Option 4 off the table for good, by
fairly appraising the consultation results. We still don't know whether the
Eco-town proposal for 5000 houses is in addition to the 4200 extra homes
under the Regional Spatial Strategy, indeed their is little encouragement
from Government that this is the case.
strongly support Sir Alan Haselhurst's dispersed solution, 'Option 5' as he
calls it. Sharing the pain of the extra houses across Uttlesford, with
affordable houses being a key ingredient, would make a lot of sense. We will
continue to work on this proposal to try and find consensus."
One square mile of wheat
growing arable land feeds a lot of people
by Jonathan Leech of
This land would make a lot of loaves of bread; just see for yourself.
1 Square mile of proposed arable land equals 640 acres
At say 4 tonnes per acre, that equals 2560 tonnes of grain
Take a small to medium loaf of 800 grams. A loaf consists of quite a lot of
water and other ingredients, but let’s assume for this calculation that 70%
of a loaf is wheat, therefore 560 grams of every loaf is wheat.
2560 tonnes X 1000 = 2,560,000 kilograms x 1000 = 2,560,000,000 grams
Divided this by 560 grams per loaf = 4,571,428 loaves lost to concrete.
Yes 4 ½ million loaves lost per year forever.
This kind of loss would be totally unacceptable, but the Government wants
10 or 12 of these Eco towns??? So we would need to import ever more food.
A further very interesting article by Jonathan Leech on Henham on
the possible flooding problems we could face with an Eco-town
Click here to view
Read what the Campaign to Protect Rural Essex have to say
campaigners have a launched a stinging attack on
proposals to build an ‘eco-town’ at Elsenham. Campaign to Protect Rural
Essex has strongly condemned the way the plan has been presented and said it
will be forced on the local community and not part of a local development
framework or regional spatial strategy."
Click here to read on
‘Eco-town’ dash is unacceptable'
says the East of England Regional Assembly -
Stop Stansted Expansion against 'Airport
here to view their
representation to the Department of Communities and Local Government
Monday 30th June 2008 - The end of the Consultation period and Rally in
On behalf of the Joint Parishes Steering Group I would like
to thank everyone for your magnificent response to the Department of
Communities and Local Government Consultation. As you are well aware, Chris
Bush from Elsenham and I from Henham have been collating copies of all the
letters you have been sending to the Consultation Team, The Rt. Hon,
Caroline Flint. M.P. Minister for Housing and Planning, and the Rt. Hon. Sir
Alan Haselhurst M.P. our member of Parliament. The quality of your
representations has been of the highest standard and those receiving them
cannot fail to have been impressed.
With the approval of the J.P.S.G. Chris and I made additional
copies of your letters. Whilst we recognise that we have not received
copies from every one, on the morning of the last day of the consultation we
had well over a thousand plus a hundred or more from outside our
villages. Every one condemned the plan to build the eco-town.
Additionally, we felt that because this plan had been devised on the back of
the notorious 'Preferred Option Four' we decided that the D.C.L.G. should
have copies of the letters you sent in to the Uttlesford Consultation
earlier this year as
well. These we had bound into 32 spiral backed volumes.
between the two consultations
two thousand letters.
Led by Nick Baker and armed with the letters, the petition
you have all been signing, plenty of banners and in good voice, fifty of us
from Elsenham and Henham set off for London at 9.00am on Monday 30th
in a coach supplied by Uttlesford District Council to attend a national rally of
campaigners against the now 14 short-listed eco-town sites.
About to set off
We reassembled outside the Houses of Parliament and then,
consistent with the average age of the group, like a bomb-blast headed off
in various directions in search of loos and cups of tea.
Other groups began to arrive on College Green and we were
joined by our M.P. Sir Alan
Sir Alan et al
Could this be a 'sitting' of MPs
MPs representing other affected areas arrived and it began to
get noisier and noisier with each group trying to outdo each other.
The press were out in full force and many interviews were
given. Unfortunately the TV coverage later in the day was to say the
here to see the BBC's response
say something Terry
Grant Shapps M.P. the Shadow Housing Minister arrived and
addressed the meeting.
At just before 1.00pm we all went into Parliament through
quite heavy security to attend a meeting chaired by Grant Shapps. It
is a long time since I had been inside the seat of our Government and I like
everyone could not but feel impressed.
Here Chris and I are holding two of the ten ring binders
holding your letters.
thank goodness no more copying
very impressive room
We all assembled in a very imposing Committee Room 14.
Originally they were only going to allow in about 120 but many more squeezed
in. Grant Shapps stated that the Conservatives would not support the
Eco-town proposals and called them 'Eco-Spin' and Eco-Con' . 'They
were anything but Eco-Friendly'.
All of the six MPs spoke (except Sir Alan who was engaged
elsewhere on House business) and members of the audience were encouraged to
ask questions and make statements. Two of our District Councillors,
Howard Rolfe and David Morson contributed. At the end of the meeting all your
letters were collected by representatives of the Department of Communities
and Local Government and the petition was taken to Downing Street and handed
in by Alan Hatherway. Whilst we were making our way home, Don Sturgeon and Petrina Lees
attended a meeting with Caroline Flint together with other representatives
of the campaigning groups. Don and Petrina had met Ms. Flint last week in
Uttlesford. She recognised them and invited them to sit at the front.
Of the meeting, Don said,
'It was very clear that the rest of the
group were up for a fight and the meeting did get a bit aggressive and
negative. The questioning was very subjective and repetitive, causing the
Minister at one stage to slap her hand on the table in front of her! Due to
the low quality of the meeting, Petrina decided against asking a question
and I kept the question I had to a general issue relating to the role of
David Lock with the Government and with the developers. I acknowledged that
we'd had a constructive meeting with the Minister last Thursday with our
main concern being that UDC continued to treat LDF Option 4(strongly in
favour) and the Eco-Town (strongly against) as separate issues when everyone
involved in the process is fully aware they are inextricably linked.'
Where to we go from here?
Firstly, may we thank all who wrote letters, came to London,
donated money (we have had a great response from the latest membership
scheme) prepared posters and banners and a special thanks to Gary Willis at
Millways for providing the binders, paper and printing facilities for the
letter copying, Ken Forbes for spiral binding our option4 letters and
Jonathon Leech and Margaret Shaw for contributing pictures.
Secondly, we have a Joint Parishes
meeting on Wednesday and we will take stock. Nick Baker will be
sending out a message via this site in the very near future, outlining the
next stages of the process and how we are going to tackle it. In the
meantime well done everybody. We are getting there. - BB
Caroline Flint MP the Housing
Minister visits Uttlesford and Look East Visits Elsenham - Thurs 26th June
In anticipation of a eco-site visit to
Elsenham by the Housing Minister Caroline Flint a BBC Look East camera team
came to interview her. However, she was delayed at another nearby visit and
Look East so they had to put up with interviewing the locals. A very
sympathetic piece appeared on the lunchtime programme and longer pieces in
the evening and late news. Unfortunately, in editing the interviews they
chose one interview which could have been easily mistaken for an audition for
'Grumpy Old Men.' Fortunately, at the time of writing the repeat on
the Look East Web page is not working.
At lunchtime, Ms. Flint went to the District Council Offices
at Uttlesford and and received a presentation from Fairfield and then
attended a private meeting with our MP, Sir Allan Haselhurst, the Deputy
Director of the D.C.L.G. Councillors David Morson and Catherine Dean, Don
Sturgeon and Petrina Lees. John Mitchell and Roger Harborough were
observers. Don has described the meeting as very constructive and came
away with the impression that an Eco-town in Elsenham was by no means a
'Done Deal'. Don continued,
"Our dispersement proposals for housing in
line with Sir Alan Haselhurst's Parish Council's meeting, and in
particular the affordable housing, was clearly a welcome part of our
initiatives and very well received by the Minister. We have been given
access to the Deputy Director of the DCLG with whom we intend meeting in
London within the next two weeks.
The Minister did confirm that she has concerns about the economic
situation and developers financial commitment. She also made it clear that
although the airport is there, this proposal for an eco-town at Elsenham
and Henham should not be considered as an airport town."
David Morson who was present at the earlier meeting
summarised as follows, "
At today’s first Meeting with Caroline Flint the
following 4 outcomes were apparent.
John Mitchell made it clear that Uttlesford was working
well within its capacity to deal with its housing issues and politely
implied we have no need of an Eco Town.
The Fairfield Partnership failed badly to convince
anyone about the suitability of the road infrastructure and how they
proposed to provide 50% the town’s employment at the site in their
Caroline Flint warned Fairfield that she would need to
see evidence of their active engagement with the Community over their
proposals by September.
The worry is that there could be some reduced Eco type
Settlement with the 3,000 houses allocated in Option 4 of the LDF, instead
of the Eco Town of 5,000. The Minister was impressed by how briskly
Uttlesford had got on with the LDF in comparison with other Local
Essex County Council Slams Eco-town in Elsenham
Click here to view a damning report
Judicial Review Launched
'The campaign group against the proposed
Middle Quinton eco-town outside Stratford-upon-Avon has formally lodged its
application for Judicial Review of the eco-town process.
The Better Accessible and Responsible Development
(BARD) campaign is seeking a declaration that the government's eco-towns
programme is unlawful and should be halted until proper and full
consultation has taken place.
It is the first application of its kind by any of the
campaigners against 15 short-listed sites'
It is based on the consultation, etc. Interesting!.
Timetable as before, 2/3 months to see if it has merit. Full hearing 8/9
months. I think it's value lies in the fact that the Gov. knows it has been
taken to JR.
Click on the picture to see a splendid
presentation by Jonathan Leech, a Henham Resident
The following is taken from the Daily Telegraph book, '
People Power' where a passage from The New Statesman 2004 is quoted:
"The NIMBY is not the enemy of
progress but its begetter. In a land, and increasingly a world where
democracy is bought and where global triumphs over local every time, the
NIMBYs, - those prepared to defend what they know and love against the
depredations of the disengaged - are the true heroes. It is they, not
the house-builders and their tame ministers, who represent the best of what
democracy is about"
East of England Plan
The Revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East of England
has just been published. There is no apparent specific reference to
Elsenham or Henham, but under Section 3 - Spacial Strategy at para.
3.5 et seq. the document does talk about Growth Areas, Growth Points and
Eco-Towns and mentions the
Department for Communities and Local Government consultation document ‘Eco-towns
– Living a greener future’. mentioned
Click on picture for
Please visit the
on-line petition to 10 Downing Street, viz:-
the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Abandon plans to build an Eco
Town in Elsenham & Henham.'
which you can find
by going to:-
plans to build an Eco Town in Elsenham
Please forward this
to all your friends and family so they can sign up as well
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