Elsenham residents "appalled" over new housing development

Elsenham residents appalled over housing development approval

Elsenham residents are appalled over plans for 350 new homes and a primary school. - Credit: Uttlesford District Council

Residents in Elsenham say they are "hugely disappointed" controversial plans for another 350 homes and a new primary school have been given the go ahead.

Government planning inspectors approved the development on land close to Henham Road, following an appeal from developer Fairfield Homes, after Uttlesford District Council failed to determine the application within the statutory 13-week timescale.  

However Nick Baker, chairman of Henham Parish Council, said residents were "appalled" that the scheme had been approved.

He added: "This decision is a huge disappointment for the residents of Elsenham, Henham, and Stansted.

"The developer plans to put all the traffic from the development through Stansted Mountfitchet via Grove Hill, Lower Street, and Chapel Hill. This route is absolutely notorious as a bottleneck locally."

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A council spokesperson said: “The council can confirm that the applicant, in this case Fairfield, exercised its statutory right to appeal the non-determination of its planning application for 350 houses on land within the parishes of Elsenham and Henham.

"It is the case that the initial submission of the application was flawed in terms of the detailing of the highway submission.  

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"The council, as it is obliged to, was working with the applicant in an attempt to resolve the highway objections and other matters, and during this process, in December 2019 the applicant appealed against non-determination."

Due to the challenges of the pandemic the inquiry into the appeal wasn’t heard until Autumn 2020 by which time many of the technical issues had been resolved with the council’s statutory consultees.  

The spokesperson added:  "It is not the case that council did nothing on this matter. It should be noted that the an appeal against non-determination works in the same way as if the council had refused the matter.

"The council had not reneged on its obligation, the applicant made a business decision, as was their right, to call the matter to an appeal. Neither the council or the appellant should be criticised for this approach.

"The council also defended the appeal, and the Planning Inspector determined the application on its own merits and it was allowed. In no way was the council’s non-determination of the planning application a determining factor.”

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