Lib Dems oppose Council's "No Choice" consultation on urban sprawl and town cramming

October 30, 2007 11:53 PM

building siteChelmsford Council is risking urban sprawl, town cramming and unsustainable development over the next 14 years and beyond. By proposing now to squeeze even more houses into the current town area, they will worsen the already stretched local services. That is the view of the local Liberal Democrats in their response to the latest round of forward planning consultation. Consultation finished on Tuesday (30th) on the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan, and the Site Allocations Document for the rest of the Borough.

These documents are designed to give the detail on development between now and 2021. They follow on from the Core Strategy that was the subject of a public inquiry in September.

The Lib Dems Parliamentary Candidate Stephen Robinson wrote in on behalf of the Liberal Democrat party and Cllr Chris Rycroft on behalf of the Lib Dem Borough Councillors. Said Mr Robinson,

"This so-called consultation has been pretty meaningless. The Council only had one option for 5,000 houses - to be spread out over a wider area north of Springfield, in most cases a very long way from the proposed railway station. The only options were around how to impose new houses on Broomfield, increasing its size by 50%.

"One, largely unnoticed, consequence of these proposals is the strong likelihood of over-development - or town cramming - within the existing built areas of Chelmsford. The Council is now considering building 8,000 new houses between 2007 and 2015 within the town. This threatens every single open space around the town and is an open invitation to developers to knock down single houses and build flats.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose these proposals which threaten the quality of life of local residents."