What? A proposal by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to build a new town of 5,000 houses across beautiful farming countryside stretching from Great Chesterford northeast towards Great Abington and Linton.

Why? Because UDC is desperately trying to meet an inflated housing target designed to produce revenue for the  council and because the government wants to flood the south east of England with housing in an attempt to bring down prices. Britain certainly needs new housing but this proposal is in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.

What’s wrong? The list of reasons why this proposal is wrong is a long one. Put simply, this number of houses in the northern-most part of the district does not make sense. Just across the county boundary, South Cambridgeshire District Council has it’s own well-considered plan for new housing that takes account of need, employment and infrastructure. UDC’s ill-conceived plan won’t address the housing needs of Uttlesford, least of all affordable housing for people with family ties in the district. Instead this new town will attract people coming to work in the Cambridge area and  put an intolerable strain on the roads on both sides of the county boundary and the single narrow road into nearby Saffron Walden.

Who will suffer? To put this number of houses in an unspoilt part of north Essex will radically change the character and quality of life of communities in the surrounding area. As the houses go up, so will the strain on roads, car parks, schools and GP surgeries, all of which are already overloaded. We could be paying the consequences of this ill-conceived idea for a very long time.

Why us? It isn’t just us. All over the south east of England rural communities are having massive housing developments imposed upon them. This article “The wrong homes in the wrong places” written by CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) explains.

What’s the rush? This is UDC’s third attempt at a Local Plan (to take the district through to 2033). The first crashed and burned at inspection; the second was withdrawn at the last minute for reasons as yet undisclosed. The council is running out of time before the Government censures the council BUT that is no reason to impose an unwanted, poorly reasoned new town simply to meet a housing target (which itself is highly questionable).

The booklet UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, HOME TRUTHS AND WHY YOU SHOULD SAY NO explains in more detail why this new town should not happen. Click here to read the booklet online.