Press release: Weighing up public opinion

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1 October 2019

Local Plan campaigners met at Colchester Town Hall to mark the end of the north Essex new towns public consultation.  Wivenhoe Town Council representative Andrea Luxford-Vaughan, and the Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex’s Rosie Pearson and Helen Hogan handed over postcards submitted by the public to Colchester’s Leader, Mark Cory.

1800 of those handed over were against the new towns and only five in favour of the proposals.

Andrea said, ‘We think it is time the true sentiment of local communities is acknowledged by the councils. The online portal was torturous to complete, even for consultation veterans. The public were angry about this. Many people are telling us they thought it had been done deliberately to stop them being able to voice their concerns. We have received an overwhelming response to the press release and a limited leaflet delivery undertaken by volunteers. But it clearly shows that these proposals are categorically unwanted and have massive flaws to them

Wivenhoe Town Council is furious that the Housing Infrastructure Fund for the East Colchester new town (prepared by ECC) stated that there is local community support. This is the complete opposite to the truth and by stating it in the bid, the authorities have dissolved any remaining trust we had in them.’ 
Rosie said, “People have taken huge trouble to write lengthy emails to us and return postcards with comments.  These come from all across the region, from as far as Harwich and Bishops Stortford and Ipswich and Chelmsford…and beyond.  Many of these people first tried the council’s consultation portal but gave up in despair.

 It is very clear from reading the comments where the weight of opinion lies.   People do not trust the councils to listen, or to deliver on their infrastructure promises. This lack of trust is hardly surprising given the propaganda leaflets distributed to all households followed by a Braintree Conservatives ‘project fear’ campaign during the consultation.  

People do not see the need for the new towns and do not wish to see north Essex changed so dramatically forever.    It is obvious that the local authorities have no interest in evidence or public opinion.    So next it is all down to Inspector Clews.  CAUSE has submitted 233 pages of analysis, backed up with a legal opinion, air quality advice, transport appraisal and sustainability appraisal report.”

Click here to read CAUSE’s submission:  CAUSE Further evidence submission 2019




Interactive map showing where emails & postcards were sent from:Interactive map