New town at Great Chesterford will bring traffic chaos to Saffron Walden - claim

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 November 2017

Stop North Uttlesford Garden Village Action Group are against a proposed development near Great Chesterford. Picture: StopNUGV

Stop North Uttlesford Garden Village Action Group are against a proposed development near Great Chesterford. Picture: StopNUGV

Archant

The action group fighting a garden village east of Great Chesterford used a map called The Road to Traffic Hell as the centerpiece of a stand at Saffron Walden Market on Saturday in a bid to stop new homes being built on fields.

North Uttlesford Garden Community (NUGC), which could have up to 5,000 homes, is one of three new garden settlements planned for Uttlesford.

The group StopNUtown claims the initial absence of primary schools, medical and leisure facilities, and a wait of up to 15 years for a secondary school at NUGC will drive traffic into Saffron Walden.

Spokesman Richard Pavitt said: “Of all the communities in the vicinity, the one likely to suffer most is Saffron Walden. The new households will have to go to Saffron Walden for what they need and almost all of it is on the opposite side of town from Great Chesterford.

“There will be an unavoidable and potentially severe increase in traffic congestion and pollution in Bridge Street, the town centre and along the Radwinter and Thaxted roads.”

Howard Rolfe, leader of Uttlesford District Council, dismissed the claims. He said: “It’s always more productive to stay with facts rather than fantasy.

“Nationally, there is cross-party agreement that more houses are required. There is a housing shortage crisis and young people simply cannot get on the housing ladder, particularly in the south east.

“Uttlesford is obliged by law to play its part in contributing to the solution. There is a contradiction by those who recognise the overall need for more housing but do not want it near them.”

The district council says the proposed number of homes is 1,900 by 2033 and 5,000 beyond that.

Mr Rolfe said a key garden community principle is to provide mixed tenure homes and housing types affordable for everyone.

“The promoters [of the garden villages] have accepted this as a fundamental principle. We are confident that high quality, affordable homes for local people will form the lynchpin of our proposed garden communities,” he added.

StopNUtown has a fundraising concert on Saturday, November 4 at Chesterfords Community Centre featuring blues-rock guitarist Simon McBride. Tickets: StopNUtown.org.uk

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