Cross-party motion to reconsider decision not to fight 800-home ‘Hellsenham’ application fails

10:04 19 July 2014

Uttlesford District Council

Uttlesford District Council

Archant

Uttlesford’s ruling Conservatives have quashed an attempt by the opposition Liberal Democrat group to overturn a decision not to fight a controversial 800-home development on appeal.

Last year Uttlesford District Council’s (UDC) planning committee twice threw out a proposal for a large-scale settlement between Elsenham and Henham.

Developer The Fairfield Partnership then announced its intention to appeal the decision.

Much to the chagrin of residents, however, it was decided at a closed meeting held last month that the council would not provide evidence to fight the appeal at a hearing with the Planning Inspector.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, Lib Dem leader Alan Dean called for the decision to be overturned. The motion had cross-party support, with four Tory rebels among the voices of dissent.

He said: “The planning committee gives the perception that it has been politicised, caught dancing knowingly or innocently to a tune played by the cabinet through its officers.

“The application was manipulated by officers and leading members last autumn to try to achieve approval of 800 homes at the Fairfield site at Elsenham/Henham.

“They failed in November to get the committee to reverse October’s refusal. Are we now meant to accept that the reasons for refusal won’t wash at an appeal?”

Lib Dem Cllr Elizabeth Parr added: “This is not a council residents feel they can trust, this is not a council they feel has their best interest at heart and this is not a council they feel has integrity.”

Members of the Conservative group were quick to defend the council’s actions.

Cllr Keith Eden said: “At the first meeting, the planning committee made an error of judgement, at the second meeting they made another error of judgement, at the third meeting they got it right.”

Cllr Dean’s motion was ultimately watered down by deputy leader Susan Barker, a Tory, so the final agreement was for little more than the council to note the planning committee’s closed-door decision. The decision not to appeal the Fairfield application was not overturned.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Saffron Walden Reporter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Saffron Walden Reporter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Saffron Walden Reporter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Every household in Uttlesford will receive a letter aimed at encouraging all eligible electors to register to vote ahead of the general election.

11:46
Butcher Tony Kisielowski and Andrew Webb hold up their chieftains in front of Burtons Butchers on King Street.

The end of January marks what you might call, a return to normal service, where we all finally give up any ideas about diets or abstinence. And so it is with perfect timing that the Scottish tradition of Burns Night comes around. So here’s my local take on the Scottish Bard’s birthday dinner.

Yesterday, 09:30
UDC deputy leader, Cllr Susan Barker, said the council is not proposing any sites at this moment in time.

Uttlesford District Council has been accused by residents living near a proposed gypsy and traveller site of “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole”.

Friday, January 23, 2015
Cllr Julie Redfern said she could not support the loss of developers' contributions for ten and less dwellings.

A further fall in funding for affordable housing has triggered dismay among councillors, following a far-reaching change in government policy.

E-edition

Most read stories

Most commented stories