Steeple Bumpstead residents to fight 95-home plan with campaign group

Hands off Steeple Bumpstead: Residents are fighting a plan of 95 homes

Hands off Steeple Bumpstead: Residents are fighting a plan of 95 homes - Credit: Archant

Residents of an Essex village are fighting against a 95-home development plan and have formed a campaign group to oppose the new housing.

Hands Off Steeple Bumpstead will battle against the new housing application, which was submitted by developer Gladman Homes on March 4, to build on land off Finchingfield Road in the south of the village.

The group say that the plan is not sustainable and that services, such as the village school and the doctors surgery, are already at breaking point.

Chairman of the group Ian McKenzie said: “This development is quite simply not sustainable for the village. The village school is running at capacity and wouldn’t be able to cope with an additional number of children.

“The local surgery is also virtually full and people currently face a wait of up to two to three weeks for an appointment. There is also the issue with traffic, which has always been a problem in the village, and 200 or 300 more people would mean serious problems.”

Mr McKenzie said that leaflets, posters and boards have been distributed throughout the village and that the group is already actively campaigning.

“Nearly the whole village is behind the campaign and we will have a presence at the farmer’s market this weekend to answer questions people may have. We have also set up a website that people can visit to get more information.

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“We are not saying we are against new development in Steeple Bumpstead, but it has to be sustainable and right for the village.”

Similar Hands Off campaigns against Gladman in Thaxted and Clavering were both successful last year and Mr Mckenzie added that the two villages have been very helpful in providing advice on how to tackle the developer.

The consultation period for the planning application ends on April 12, and it is likely to be around 12 more weeks before a decision on the plan is reached by Braintree District Council.

Gladman say that up to 40 per cent of the new homes will be affordable housing and will meet “an identified need” in the area.

The developer’s report states: “The development will create up to 95 dwellings with associated public open space and children’s play area, providing a choice of housing to meet the needs of the area, whilst respecting and enhancing the site’s environmental and cultural assets.”

No one from Gladman was available to comment.