The Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex (CAUSE) has recently appointed planning and transport consultants to investigate alternatives to a 15,000-home ‘garden settlement’ or new town that is being considered between Marks Tey and Coggeshall.
Many local residents believe that it is not the right place for a large-scale development.
“We are all aware of the Government’s drive to build more houses. But, as Housing Minister Brandon Lewis recently observed, ‘The key is delivering the right homes in the right places.’”
“A large-scale settlement without local high quality jobs would result in even more congested roads and overcrowded rail services. Commuters would price local people out of the housing market, with urban sprawl stretching from Colchester to Coggeshall.” Rosie Pearson, Director of CAUSE
“Over 2,500 people have now signed CAUSE’s petition. Many complain that a new town, similar in size to Witham, would lead to gridlock on the A120 and put considerable pressures on schools, surgeries and hospitals, which already face challenges.” Tom Foster, Chairman of CAUSE.
CAUSE will host an event entitled ‘Visions for Growth’ to consider strategic planning issues and options. MPs, local politicians and planners will be invited. Such a conference is desperately needed at a time when Councils are forced to hurry through decisions on housing land allocations and have had little time to communicate a coherent vision.
Speakers will include Dr Nicholas Falk, a founder director of URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) and James MacColl from the Campaign for Better Transport. URBED won the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 on how best to deliver development which is visionary, economically viable and popular. Mr MacColl was author of the Car Dependency Scorecard 2014. They and other speakers will present aspects of their research and discuss growth and planning options for north Essex.
CAUSE believes that a strategic vision for north Essex is an essential part of Local Plans.
“We need a planning vision that integrates housing, jobs, health, education and transport infrastructure.”