Colin Buchanan & Partners 25.10.2003
45 Notting Hill Gate
Further to my e.mail of 2.10.2003, Takeley Parish Council object, not just to the short time scale in which to formulate a considered response to the above mentioned document, but also to the delay in receiving hard copies of the report. Not everyone has the ability to download and print a document in colour, and some of the tables, diagrams etc really do require colour.
Takeley Parish Council are also concerned with the timing of the report. Why was it produced now, with only (hopefully) weeks to go until the White Paper on Airport Expansion is produced? The focus appears to be for more housing related to the expansion needs of Stansted Airport, pre-empting a decision yet to be announced.
If it has been produced to prove that any expansion at Stansted airport would lead to an undesirable level of urbanisation, then the timing of this report is probably justified, albeit a little late! However, if it is a report indicating how development at Stansted airport could be accommodated, then the timing is premature.
Surely it would have been better to wait until after the White Paper has been published, then everyone would have some indication as to whether expansion at Stansted airport was proposed to take place, and how the expansion was envisaged by the government.
Takeley Parish Council object to such a large-scale urbanisation plan in what is essentially a rural area (excluding Harlow). The airport operators have always prided themselves as being “an airport in the country”. The number of extra dwellings required is too much for such an area. The environmental effects of such large scale development will be detrimental to the very nature and culture of the area.
Takeley Parish Council agree with the reports findings that lack of water supply is a constraint to growth.
Takeley Parish Council question the viability of creating a dedicated high-speed bus route along the old A120. It is currently proposed to install some means of traffic calming measures along the length of the old A120 especially through Takeley, this, together with the close proximity of several dwellings to the existing road, would make it difficult to install a dedicated bus lane. Without a dedicated bus lane and with the traffic calming measures Takeley Parish Council fail to see how there could be a “high speed” bus route, and suggest that it would be better to utilise the new A120, with bus stops close to the feeder roundabouts. These are in many instances double roundabouts and a bus lay-by could be provided. The buses could detour through the main settlements such as Felsted and Great Dunmow.
Takeley Parish Council object to the use of the former railway line, the “Flitch Way” (Linear Country Park), as a bus based rapid transit route. An additional problem with this proposal is that parts of the former railway line around Great Dunmow have since been developed.
Takeley Parish Council are also concerned about the suggested management routes that could be taken to achieve the required level of development. If it is all handled by one big agency there could be a greater risk of even more urbanisation. Harlow may be a suitable case for an Urban Development Corporation but the urban extension settlements, such as Great Dunmow and the new settlements are not.
The urban extension settlements and the new settlements, are best delivered through the local planning process – to be delivered by elected members of the local community, assisted by Planning Officers who also live locally and understand the local environment.
Takeley Parish Council do not accept the statement in the report “that dedicated, single purpose agencies are the best way to achieve high and sustained levels of growth and would logically form a significant component of the implementation arrangements” (para.7.4.19)
David Fossett MA Grange Lodge
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