Press release, 22 January, CAUSE seminar: “Beyond the slogans – garden town realities and a look at other ways”.
CAUSE’s spokesperson, Rosie Pearson, said, “We are absolutely delighted that over 150 people attended our event, including councillors from Tendring, Colchester and Braintree, planning experts from across England and local people including parish councillors and Neighbourhood Planning groups from all over north Essex. The level of interest demonstrates how much the future of north Essex matters to people.
“This event was the first opportunity for public debate about the issues surrounding the North Essex Garden Communities project. Until now issues have been boxed into three minute ‘have your say’ slots at council meetings or reduced to hollow slogans. Our event addresses key unanswered questions, such as, ‘How will we deal with the huge increase in traffic arising from 43,000 homes – will congestion charging be forced on us?’ and, ‘How will everything promised really be paid for?’ We very grateful to speakers and chairpersons, Troy Hayes, Tim Pharoah, Ted Gittins, Richard Bayley, Neil Stock, Charlotte Rose and David Boyle and to MP’s Bernard Jenkin and James Cleverly.
William Sunnucks, who presented CAUSE’s “Small is Beautiful” alternative for balanced growth, said: “We now have a coherent alternative to the Garden Communities plan both from a planning viewpoint and a financial one. Big settlements aren’t the only way to deliver infrastructure, and our financial analysis shows that they will actually deliver less. If the Councils want to continue spending taxpayers money at £3m a year on professional fees, they must now re-examine their viability appraisals, as requested by the Inspector, and publish the results.”
“The audience heard from speakers that garden communities are not, as we are frequently told, the only way. Ted Gittins, is an independent planning consultant, and presented an alternative spatial strategy which demonstrates there is no need for the garden town proposals. Transport consultant, Tim Pharoah, said that the new communities do nothing to improve the current transport situation and that congestion charging will be necessary if the garden communities go ahead.”
All speaker packs are available here (scroll down to the speaker’s name and click on the link next to the hame, then through the next link shown): Conference speaker packs
Note: The Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex, (CAUSE), is a volunteer run group campaigning for a better way of providing for housing in north Essex than the ‘North Essex Garden Communities. Contact Rosie Pearson firstname.lastname@example.org www.cause4livingessex.com