Tri Towers plans rejected by councillors

PUBLISHED: 13:46 03 March 2009 | UPDATED: 21:43 31 May 2010

An artist's impression of the Tri Sail Towers in Elsenham  Picture: SUBMITTED

An artist's impression of the Tri Sail Towers in Elsenham Picture: SUBMITTED

A PLANNING application to build three towers in Elsenham, which would have dominated the village s skyline, has been rejected by councillors. The controversial development, known as the Tri Sail Towers, was thrown out after Uttlesford District Council (UD

A PLANNING application to build three towers in Elsenham, which would have dominated the village's skyline, has been rejected by councillors.

The controversial development, known as the Tri Sail Towers, was thrown out after Uttlesford District Council (UDC) planning officers recommended refusal.

The towers would have appeared to be 33.25m, 25.75m and 18.25m high in the landscape. Plans included underground parking and landscaping at the front in the form of a maze, Zen garden and miniature pine forest.

The application to build the three towers of 11, nine and seven storeys on a site to the south of Hall Road was considered at a meeting of UDC's development control committee last Wednesday.

Although the development was envisioned as predominately an office space, there were also plans for a café, bar, pharmacy, nursery, hair salon and gym in the ground floor of each tower.

Elsenham Parish Council objected to the plans on several grounds, including that the development would result in "unacceptable levels of traffic congestion" and concern that "the towers would be clearly visible from the surrounding countryside".

More than 30 letters of representation were submitted to the council, the majority of which were opposed to the scheme. Comments included concerns that the development was a "hideous invasion of our beautiful countryside", "overbearing", and "out of character" and that the village had "insufficient infrastructure to support such a development".

Four of the letters were in favour of the towers - the principal reasons for support were that it would "provide significant benefits to local businesses" and "provide a stunning cutting edge contemporary design that will also provide increased employment in the local community".

Planning officers said that insufficient details had been submitted to determine the sustainability of the scheme. They concluded: "The potential employment benefits and the opportunity to provide an iconic development are not considered to outweigh the harm that would result from the development.

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