Parish council slams “inappropriate” tactics of developer

THE “improper and inappropriate” tactics of a developer have been criticised by a parish council in an open letter to the chief executive of Uttlesford District Council.

Villagers and councillors are irate that leaflets were distributed to households throughout the district by The Fairfield Partnership, urging residents to back plans for 3,000 homes between Elsenham and Henham.

In the letter, Elsenham Parish Council raised concerns that the developer’s marketing strategy may have “unduly influenced” residents responding to the recent housing consultation.

Councillors have asked the district council to take into account any weight the leaflet may have carried when analysing the results of where residents would like to see development take place across Uttlesford.

The parish council has also requested that UDC discourages developers from behaving in a similar way in the future.

Councillors said that the actions were an attempt to sway public opinion in a way that could not be countered by community organisations and interest groups because of financial constraints.

The letter also claimed it was “presumptuous and potentially misleading” for Fairfield to pledge the delivery of facilities like a new primary school, shops, health centre, links roads and improvements to existing infrastructure which the parish council believe could be “pie in the sky” ambitions.

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The Fairfield Partnership said the aim of the leaflet was to raise awareness about the firm’s latest proposals, in light of the district council’s consultation on potential sites for growth in Uttlesford, which it said everyone was entitled to comment on.