Sustainability should be central to new housing

June 11, 2006 11:32 PM

In a letter to local newspapers, Stephen Robinson has criticised the proposals for housing development (reported in the papers in recent weeks) for not placing sustainability at their heart. Stephen explained that the Liberal Democrats oppose these proposals because they fail to address public transport needs properly. Stephen said:

Dear Sir,

In recent weeks you have given significant coverage to proposals for locating new houses from different developers and indeed Chelmsford council. A major flaw has been their poor connections with public transport, and the Liberal Democrats will oppose schemes that do not prioritise public transport options.

Climate change has been widely discussed recently. We would do well to heed those warnings when considering housing plans.

As a community we must do everything we can to minimise the negative environmental impact of new development, and enable attractive thriving communities. The Liberal Democrat plans to deal with the housing targets imposed by the Government put sustainability first. The plans advocated by developers are motivated, of course, more by what is profitable.

We all (Liberal Democrats included) value our cars; but attractive alternatives will help them be used less. I know from experience that it can often be as quick to walk or cycle at peak times than to go by car.

We need more and safer cycle routes; more frequent and reliable bus routes (including more park and ride sites), and a second station, east of Chelmsford, preferably north of Boreham. These need to directly serve any new development and be built into the plans from the outset, not as an afterthought.

Unfortunately, all we keep seeing from the local Conservatives are proposals to spend more and more on roads.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Robinson

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate 2005, West Chelmsford