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Date Posted



23rd Jan 09 From Paul Salvidge in Elsenham who, following the Fairfield Presentations back in October last year, wrote to them with some very probing question.  He has now received a reply which contains some astonishing answers.


Click here to view the reply from Fairfield (Pdf format)
29th Nov 08

From Jonathan Leech, Henham

Dear Mr. Ketteridge,

I attended the council meeting last Tuesday and was dismayed by the total lack of direction the council seems to have over the Governments demands for more housing in the Uttlesford District area.

As I sat and listened I came up with an analogy which I believe you should heed...............

Click here to view the whole letter

Reply from Cllr. Ketteridge

27th Nov 08

From Steve Jones to Mr. John Mitchell, C.E.O. of Uttlesford District Council

Mr. Mitchell,
I am greatly concerned to receive a communication from our Parish concerning the conduct and level of seriousness being taken by the members mentioned in the communication I received, below.
You should be greatly concerned at the level of seriousness, those of us who live in Elsenham, are taking with this proposal. Without question, it is objected to by 100% of people within the village, that I have spoken with. We don't all get the time to attend meetings but that does not mean we don't object as a village community. And to hear that our views are being treated with such disdain, makes me question your support of our wellbeing and opinions.
I believe this attitude is tantamount to bringing your council into disrepute.
I would like to know why this committee was being so flippant with such an important agenda and that at least, you owe a significant apology to all of us who live here.

Steve Jones

26th Nov 08

From Mrs. Sheena Bigland to - Mr John Mitchell Chief Exec of U.D.C. re the Environment Committee Meeting on Tuesday 18 November 2008

Dear Mr Mitchell

  I attended the Tuesday 18 November meeting of the Environment Committee and felt you ought to know how badly it was run............


Click here to see the full letter
25th Nov 08 From Reg and Sandy Traer

Please be advised that both my wife and I sent completed forms off protesting about the proposed Eco Town for Elsenham. I concentrated on the impossible transport situation and questioned the need for more housing. My wife stressed the environment issues.  However, I thought you may like to know that today I received a very interesting email from the Stop Harlow North Campaign which stated that at a recent meeting of an important All Party Committee of MP'S they were critical of the goverment's house building policies. Among the points mentioned were that vacant buildings could provide 1.2 million homes, that Green Belt Land should be used as a last resort only and they were very sceptical on Eco towns. All very helpful to our cause. I'm sure that you can get a fuller report from the Stop Harlow people.
Best of Luck.
Reg & Sandy Traer

25th Nov 08

From Cllr, Alan  Dean in response to the message from Margaret below:-

Margaret Shaw refers to the suggested move of regional planning responsibilities to the East of England Development Agency (EEDA). It is likely to be announced tomorrow (24 November) in the small print of the Chancellorís economic statement that this will not happen. I am currently involved in drawing up arrangements for a regional local government body to replace EERA when the existing regional assembly is expected to be abolished in 2010. This body is expected to retain the statutory planning license, so it will not move to EEDA. There was much opposition to an unelected quango having these responsibilities............

Click here for Alan's full message
22nd Nov 08

From Margaret Shaw to Elsenham Folk

I don't know if it is relevant but the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS)  has been imposed on Uttlesford by the East Of England Regional Assembly (EERA) However the EERA is about to loose its powers to the unelected, government agency the Regional Development Agency.  (It will be in the December Queens speech apparently.)

EERA are about to embark on a period of consultation that will take them through to 2031


Fairfield have already put in a proposal (for 2031)  to build 5,000 homes at Elsenham - can't get to grips on  whether this is in addition to the 3,000 that was a result of the current plan to foist 8,000 on Uttlesford by 2021 i.e. Elsenham's original 3,000 plus a further 5,000 = 8000   or 5,000 in total at Elsenham . 

We have to be careful that the politicians actually mean what they say - allowing the Districts to unwind any plans will not necessarily stop Uttlesford continuing down this route  - they still have a duty to allow homes to be built and Fairfield have certainly got them in their pocket.   Anything that Eric Pickles or Grant Schapps have to say will not stop a UDC that is hell bent on stopping building at Great Chesterford.
Call me cynical.

18th Nov 08 From Garry Randall to all the persons on the contact list-

I am writing to voice my disapproval of the proposals to build thousands of new homes at Henham/Elsenham destroying 2 communities and green belt land for ever. I have a deep disapproval of many Labour initiatives and policies and never thought that I would be writing to my Conservative controlled council over Conservative proposals to transform the rural aspects of the district where I live into an urban sprawl ......................

Read on
18th Nov 08 U.D.C. News from Cllr. David Morson Click here
14 Nov 08

From Chris Bush re the D.C.L.G Road Show (my fault it is late but I had to work out how to display his pictures. Click on each one in turn to expand.- BB)


We attended the D.C.L.G Display Caravan again today in Saffron Walden having nearly drowned in it in Bishop's Stortford yesterday.
I had asked D.C.L.G for copies of the display boards but had been fobbed off with "it's all on our website"

So I took my camera today to Saffron Walden and copied them. Copy attached. It's interesting that in a number of respects Fairfield's poor proposals do not begin tie up with the fine words on the boards, e.g.

"We want to make sure eco-towns are communities from day one. That means transportation, decent infrastructure and public services."

Not in Fairfield's proposals it doesn't !

Got nowhere with the representatives on site they really weren't interested in arguments and just kept urging  a response online. Well they can certainly rely on a response.

I made it clear to the D.C.L.G's reps that in my opinion Fairfield's performance at their public exhibition had been absolutely dismal; their proposals were laughable and some of their consultants' replies arrogant in the extreme. I asked whether the D.C.L.G was really aware of that performance and happy that the eco town concept was being so blatantly exploited?

Might as well have stayed out in the rain for all the response I got !


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11th Nov 08 Email from Ted Stanley of Henham to the D.C.L.G

I have been a resident of Henham for 15 years and before that I lived in Harlow New Town for 20 years and before that in Basildon New Town for 14 years.

I have yet to meet anyone who would opt voluntarily to reside in a New Town as opposed to living in the countryside....................

Click here
11th Nov 08

Dear Ms Beckett,
I am writing to you about the governmentís proposal to build an ECO town in our little village of Elsenham. My family and I moved here 6 years ago because we wished to be part of a rural community and we wished to bring our children up in a safer environment. However, we have now been forced to live under the dark cloud of a looming housing development, which will convert our village to a town almost over night and destroy our community................................

Letter to Margaret Beckett from Anesha Bayley of Elsenham

Click here
8th Nov 08


I go to an Art Class in Stansted and thought I would talk to another couple who actually live in Stansted and ask whether they had been to any of the meetings.  They had been to one and understood some of the problems that would arise for them and were vaguely worried.

I then told them about one of the proposals I was told about at the last Fairfield Presentation - namely that the parking spaces would be taken away from Lower Street as the full width of the road would be required for ........................... a Bus Lane!!  Also that traffic calming measures would be installed on Chapel Hill and elsewhere in Stansted.

I explained that Fairfield assured me that most of the people who moved into this new Eco-Town Heaven would obviously not want to leave as everything would be on their doorstep so they were not to worry at all about the 10,000 or so additional cars.  You can imagine the comments.

The residents of Stansted obviously do not quite understand how this will affect them, neither do the butchers, hairdressers, dry cleaners, etc.  Perhaps a leaflet could be given to the business in Lower Street initially and word of mouth might be a good start?
 Keep up the good work

Bev Raisbeck

7th Nov 08

From Cllr Catherine Dean

Hi Bill

The Eco town examples given in the most recent D.C.L.G consultation document are all urban extensions and not stand-alone settlements. They are also all much smaller than 5,000 homes.  They are successful because they feed into an existing urban transport system and are close to the amenities of a large conurbation. They are quite different from the Eco towns being proposed by the government and so are false examples. This should be pointed out in responses to the Road show consultation. Using these examples is dishonest.

27th Oct 08

Hi Bill,

I would like to offer you my support. I have put up a link to your site on our small village website, if there is anyway I can help spread the word please say.  If it helps please link our Village website to your support link page.

Gary Dunnett
Widdington Web Site

Link to Widdington
27th Oct 08

Following Fiona Price's comments:

Recently I purchased a copy of the Bishop's Stortford edition of Herts & Essex had NO MENTION of the Fairfield Consultation report as did our local Stansted and Dunmow edition. This lack of reporting in Stortford must leave locals there very much unaware of developments with the eco town here and it's potential impact on them. We really need residents from Stansted and Stortford on our case.

Also I was looking at the BBC website recently which showed a film broadcast on Look East recently. There a huge demonstration took place to oppose the eco town proposals in Bedfordshire. Maybe we need to get more vocal too!

Chris Stenhouse

27th Oct 08 Stortford Impact of Eco-town - Fiona Price

'I was so incensed and dismayed by the Fairfield presentation as we all were.  One overwhelming point I took away (as picked up by other postings) is how everything is so Stortford-centric................

Read more
24th Oct 08

Fairfield Consultation

For the Attention Mr Henry Cleary

Dept for Communities and Local government

Further to the insulting consultation and Public Exhibition promoting the Fairfield Market Town in Uttlesford I have been encouraged to express my opinion of the exhibition and Fairfield's plans.

Why do I use the word insulting to describe the consultation.

The only new plan for moving people in the area appears to be to provide more buses, when buses have difficulty already in the area with the narrow roads and particularly slow journeys. Surely you should solve your travel problems before you pick an area for development.

Calling their plan a new Market Town may be nice for their image makers but if you live in a thriving village with an excellent Market Town at Saffron Walden it is too much to take. If they are genuinely interested in market towns perhaps they can turn over the land they have bought, that has been nicely dressed for growing food, to local people who can then sell the produce and strengthen Saffron Walden Market.

Few Fairfield people at the Exhibition had been to Stansted down the road, although it is only 2 miles. One Architect lives in the centre of London and does not even drive yet alone be motivated to go to Stansted by car.

Why is the transport issue so important and why is Stansted Mountfitchet integral to any plans for Henham and Elsenham. Simply the answer lies in the growth of traffic, particularly heavy traffic in the lower part of Uttlesford. If the growth continues in traffic, as it has, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, the roads will cease up, traffic will go nowhere. An ECO Town that created the waste of huge amounts of fuel in traffic jams would in my eyes be a laughing stock.

Stansted Mountfitchet has its own development of 400 houses and while few people have moved in yet, it is causing huge traffic problems. You need to come and see them to appreciate the difficulties being created.

Stansted has a growing Airport and if the traffic surrounding the Airport becomes impossible to sustain, Stansted Airport will become like Heathrow a very poor advert for British organising skills and the country as a whole.

All the plans I have seen so far appear to be aimed at producing properties for young people who wish to use the area as a dormitory. However although property may appear expensive in London, there are jobs there and a lot of empty properties could be excellent homes. Also renovating properties at this time could help many people.

I hope the above comments help to give a picture of the feelings held in Henham and Elsenham

Michael Walker


23rd Oct 08 The Fairfield Consultation 

Two excellent documents from Dr. Graham Mott, viz
 1.Letter to the 'Elsenham Consultation'

 2. Summary of the Road Access to Elsenham & Henham

(Click on links on the right to access)



22nd Oct 08

Focus Group

Dear Bill,
Earlier in the year, I, along with a few others from Henham and Elsenham, was invited to attend a Focus Group held at the Hilton Hotel. The people, who were randomly selected, expressed some very strong and educated views against the proposal. Having had no feed back from the meeting, in spite of a request made by one member of the group,  I therefore enquired at the exhibition about the influence of the groups' conclusions. There was much confusion and a visit was made behind the stage curtains to obtain a response. The answer came that there was some knowledge of the group having taken place but that not a lot was known about it! The glib reply also stated that there would be many such groups in the future. As was cynically suggested to me by a Henham resident, is the intention to carry on with the exercise until one group comes up with the "right" answer and to ignore earlier responses?

Ros Heywood 

22nd Oct 08 Elsenham Surgery

Please can you let the village know via the Blackboard that they are now trying to stop the Surgery dispensing prescriptions. The Surgery only knew about this last week and are putting these letters in with you prescriptions. So if you don't go to the Doctors before this date you do not find out in time.  We only have until the 20th of November to lodge our objections.
Please can you help to let the village know
Thank you
Frances & Alan Lambert

Attached to this message was an explanatory letter from the Doctors at the Surgery and a copy of the form you can post off giving your objections and views.  Please click on the two links on the right.



21st Oct 2008 Fairfield Partnership

Dear Bill,

The more I read about The Fairfield Partnership the more I think we need to be pro active in our approach, but on a different track. ...........

Jonathan Leech

Click here to see more
20th Oct 08 The Fairfield Presentation

As somebody who lives outside the Elsenham/Henham area, I was interested to see what new or detailed plans Fairfield had for the project, and in particular, the road network to link the new market town to all other local
 towns - Stortford, Saffron Walden, Cambridge & Chelmsford etc.? Having spent some 60mins. talking to three separate Fairfield representatives, I came away appalled at their naivety in their common belief that all the new residents in the 3000,5000,7000( who knows!) new homes would find employment in this new town! thus, the existing road  network of two or three routes to Stansted, the B1383 or the A120 would be sufficient (with minor modifications) to meet the needs of those entering
 or leaving the area on a daily basis!  Do these people live in Cloud Cuckoo Land! It will be years, if ever, before
 this new development will sustain local residential employment! we will see  a huge surge of vehicles endeavouring to access the surrounding towns including onward journeys to London & Cambridgeshire, swamping & jamming Stansted, Newport, the A120 & the B1383. Will somebody please try to bring sanity to the District Planners &  Developers before we are all submerged in a sea of incompetence!
Ray Bedborough.

20th Oct 08

I was told by staff at the Fairfield exhibition in Saffron Walden that there would be limited improvements to roads in and out of Elsenham to discourage residents from leaving town by car. The problem of potential congestion in Stansted will apparently be resolved by tweaking the traffic lights in Grove Hill and by installing traffic lights where Lower Street meets Chapel Hill. I forgot to ask whether I will be allowed to drive to Elsenham Eco-Town/Community to sell in the town market any surplus carrots that I grow in my back garden in Stansted!

Cllr.Alan Dean    

19th Oct 08

Service Charges


Re the posted item on the Elsenham Co-Operative; When I questioned one of the Fairfield Consultant Representatives at the Exhibition in Elsenham regarding funding of the service charges for the estate, he told me that it would be on a voluntary "opt in" basis. It seems inconceivable that sufficient of the new residents would pay escalating service charges on top of their Council Tax by choice. This being the case surely the maintenance of the common areas and services will progressively fail and facilities would fall into rack and ruin?

Chris Bush

17th Oct 2008 Elsenham Co-operative Ltd (ECL)

A series of e-mails between Paul Salvidge of Elsenham and Neil Homer a Director of LDA Design as a result of a query raised by Paul at one of the Fairfield presentations
(converted to a Word document and personal information omitted)

Click here

17th Oct 2008

From Margaret Shaw of Elsenham regarding Elsenham Co-operative Ltd (ECL) etc

Hi Bill
On Tuesday I was told by Mr Gibbon of David Lock  that they would fund ECL by taking ground rent from the supermarket - (definitely not Tesco ) so we wonder who;  
whereas on Saturday I was told that ECL would be funded by taking a ground rent from everybody in the community.  (like a block of flats management company) - that means they  could raise prices at will. - and what happens when they go into liquidation.

When the senior member of staff (without a name tag) at the Fairfield "consultation" in Elsenham was asked how they would react if the planning authority were to insist that the infrastructure was in  place prior to the start of the major construction phase his reply was that they would "go to appeal".  So even before they apply for planning consent they are threatening Uttlesford District Council with the cost of appeals if they don't get their way.   Margaret Shaw


17th Oct 08

I concur with your view that there was real anger at the lack of detailed information at the Elsenham presentation

I would also like to point out that the Fairfield rep at the Elsenham "consultation" admitted that Fairfield were only doing the presentations because it was legally required of them

My feeling is also that they are not interested in the views of local people at all

Chris Clarke                                 
Application Development Support


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