Controversial 800 home planning application is imminent, says developer

A LEGAL battle looks set to erupt after a housing developer officially unveiled its “masterplan” to build up to 3,000 houses between two villages.

Campaigners in Henham and Elsenham have a renewed fight on their hands after The Fairfield Partnership confirmed it would be submitting an initial planning application for 800 homes early next year.

The firm, which owns 265 hectares of land between the parishes, said the first phase of development – to be completed in five years – would include a new primary school, improved infrastructure, health facilities and the creation of jobs.

Speaking to the Reporter, chairman of Save Our Village, Nick Baker, said the group was “well-funded” to hire the best consultants and legal experts needed to fight Fairfield every inch of the way.

“We do not know of a single household in Henham and Elsenham which is in favour of this preposterous development,” he explained.

“Thanks to residents’ donations we are well-funded to fight Fairfield to the bitter end and we are confident we can stop this crazy plan. There has been a huge response from people in the area, with many social events and tea mornings raising money for our cause. We’ve even had kids donating their pocket money, all because of the greed of some developer.”

The Fairfield Partnership’s long-term masterplan details improvements to drainage, sewerage, and the potential for a new secondary school, as well as additional health facilities, primary schools and an area for retail and office space designed to support local start-ups.

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A consultation will be held in November with exhibitions in Elsenham, Henham, Stansted Mountfitchet, Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow giving residents a chance to have their say and ask questions about the proposals.

Steve Biart, on behalf of The Fairfield Partnership, said: “We will be submitting an application for the first phase of 800 homes next year but we want local people to understand the wider masterplan those 800 homes will be part of.

“Our masterplan for 3,000 homes sets out how growth in this location would work and allows the council to bring forward more housing and infrastructure at Elsenham, as and when it is required in to the long-term.

“We look forward to presenting our proposals to local people and urge residents from across the district to come along and make their views heard on both schemes.”

Although Uttlesford District Council’s draft Local Development Framework is still being finalised ahead of its submission to the Planning Inspector next year, The Fairfield Partnership has consistently argued that the figure of 3,300 houses identified as a requirement by 2028 is too low and that the planned dispersal strategy is not the most sustainable option for the district.