Residents' call to arms over plans for 85-home development in Saffron Walden
PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 04 May 2017
A residents' group is calling on people to join them to protest against plans for 85 homes on greenfield land on the edge of Saffron Walden.
Gladman Developments has submitted outline proposals for the £8.9million scheme on Little Walden Road on fields which back onto the first houses of the town, for a second time.
The firm’s first application was refused in December, and is being appealed.
Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee is due to rule on the latest application on Wednesday, May 10, during a meeting which starts at 2pm.
Planning officers have recommended the plans are approved, subject to a legal agreement over contributions to education and affordable homes.
But nearby residents say the scheme should not go ahead, citing a lack of school places, public transport links to connect the new homes to facilities such as shops, and concerns over increased traffic levels.
They have formed Residents Against Unsustainable Development (RAUD) and have submitted objections to the scheme.
John McLaughlin, RAUD spokesman, said: “We are very disappointed this proposed development has got this far. It is clearly unsustainable for a number of reasons – it is too far from local amenities, meaning a significant increase in the weight of traffic on already over-burdened roads, it is a greenfield site forming part of the picturesque countryside, and this elevated site would be the first thing visitors to Saffron Walden will see when approaching from the north.
“This second application is virtually identical to the first, circumstances haven’t changed in the past five months so we don’t see how it could be refused then but now be recommended for approval.”
Saffron Walden Town Council has also opposed the project.
RAUD is calling on others to attend Wednesday’s planning meeting in a show of strength, and RAUD members will speak during the hearing.
The applicant’s traffic survey suggests one-fifth of drivers from the site will head north to work in Cambridge, rather than into Saffron Walden, and a highways report says this may increase as traffic becomes so bad in the town it will put drivers off.
The report concludes: “It is difficult to prove the impact... is severe.”
Two-fifths of the homes would be affordable, and Gladman says the impact on the countryside would be minimal. A children’s play area would also be included.