NIMBYism?

PUBLISHED: 16:08 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 18:00 31 May 2010

CONSERVATIVE Cllr Julie Redfern may indeed be deeply offended (Saffron Walden Reporter, December 20, 2007) by anyone questioning her party s motives for trying to dump 3000 houses near Elsenham, but it is instructive that her letter is entirely lacking in

CONSERVATIVE Cllr Julie Redfern may indeed be deeply offended (Saffron Walden Reporter, December 20, 2007) by anyone questioning her party's motives for trying to dump 3000 houses near Elsenham, but it is instructive that her letter is entirely lacking in any factual content.

Her letter does not present a single argument to support Elsenham as a site for a new settlement, nor does it explain why Elsenham (with its narrow and bending approach roads) is a more suitable site for a new settlement than Great Chesterford.

As Uttlesford District Council's Historic Settlement Character Assessment of August 2007 says, Great Chesterford "lies about half a kilometre to the east of the M11 motorway where there is a major junction for south bound traffic to London and a link with the A11/A14 road network to Newmarket.

The B1383 forms the western boundary to the conservation area and is a main access road to Bishop's Stortford and Stansted.

The London to Cambridge railway line passes close by and the railway station at Great Chesterford provides train services to Cambridge, Bishops Stortford and London. Great Chesterford's transport links are superior to those of Elsenham. Great Chesterford is also closer to the centre of the Cambridge economic sub-region.

Great Chesterford is home to two members of Uttlesford's ruling Conservative group of councillors. Elsenham has one of the lowest Tory votes across the district and is, geographically, about as far removed from the homes of Tory councillors as it is possible to get.

Until Uttlesford's Tory councillors stop hiding behind officers and tell us exactly why Elsenham is a suitable site for a new settlement, the public are likely to wonder whether the Conservatives' preferred option of a new town in Elsenham is motivated by the narrowest and the grubbiest of partisan interests.

Paul Westlake

Lambert Cross

Saffron Walden

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