Disappointment for campaigners as Saffron Walden homes development approved at appeal

PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 September 2017

Residents Against Unsustainable Development (RAUD) were opposed to homes being built on the land pictured behind them. Picture: WILL LODGE

Residents Against Unsustainable Development (RAUD) were opposed to homes being built on the land pictured behind them. Picture: WILL LODGE

Archant

Up to 85 new homes will be built on a field at the northern edge of Saffron Walden off Little Walden Road.

Having been refused permission twice, by Uttlesford District Council, planning permission has now been granted by the planning inspector after a public inquiry.

Gladman Developments can now sell the land on to a builder who will have permission to build the homes with the usual conditions that some must qualify as affordable housing.

A spokesman said it was too early to say exactly how many homes would be built and what kind of development it would be.

Permission has been granted despite fierce opposition from a group of residents called RAUD (Residents Against Unsustainable Development) backed by members of the district and town councils.

RAUD spokesman John McLaughlin said this week: “We, like many people in Saffron Walden, are extremely disappointed with this outcome, but we would like to thank all the Saffron Walden residents, and the town council who supported us greatly in the past year.

“Without their help and encouragement we would not have been able to take the fight as far as we did.”

The battle over the planning permission has taken almost exactly a year. It was in August 2016 planning permission was first refused by U ttlesford District Council (UDC). The second refusal was in February, and the public inquiry was held in July. The decision was on August 21.

RAUD says the houses would spoil the view of the countryside, are too far from amenities and will add to traffic in the town.

Mr McLaughlin added: “The site is a greenfield site forming part of the picturesque countryside which we all enjoy around Saffron Walden, and this elevated site would be the first thing which visitors to Saffron Walden see when approaching from the north of the town.

“We have consistently argued that the development would contribute to unsustainable pressure on local services and roads, and cause irreversible damage to the countryside and ecology on this key approach to Saffron Walden. UDC agreed with us and twice refused the applications. However, though the appeal inspector agreed that the development would change the character and appearance of the area, this was outweighed by the need for housing.”

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