Dates & Topics for the Inspector's Hearings
Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings which will be held at Colchester Stadium.
Dates & sessions as follows:
14 January : Habitats Regulation Assessment pm Employment / Housing numbers
15 January : Build out rates pm Delivery mechanisms & State Aid
16 January : Infrastructure
21 January : Viability technical seminar
22 January : Viability
23 January : Sustainability Appraisal
30 January : Discussion about amendments propose by authorities
Letter to Anglian News @ ITV
Letters To ...
Local issues: North Essex Garden Communities: Councils becoming property companies with cheaper govt loans. Accountability and oversight concerns.
I am writing to you to highlight the local concerns not only about the scale of housing and impact that it will have on the existing over stretched infrastructure with regards to local councils proposals for numerous new Garden towns along the A120 and A12 which represents the urbanisation of North Essex.
Let the 'Silent Majority' be heard
Letters To ...
Letter to Braintree & Witham Times in response to an article. From Sue Baugh
Dear Sir, I have never ever written to a newspaper before but, although the headline of your article “Support to stop garden communities is overwhelming” was an absolute representation of what is happening right now, the fact that Councillor Butland felt that he could throw out a “silent majority” comment because he and BDC can see that Braintree District residents are finally starting to stand up for themselves, is unacceptable. I realise that BDC have to have a right to reply but please don’t take us for fools.
NEGC: what are they doing now?
Why are NEGC (North Essex Garden Communities Ltd - the wholly owned council property development company) for West of Braintree, West Tey and East Colchester, having selected groups going to NEGC stakeholder workshops when we have just finished the public local plan consultation and still in the planning inspector’s examination period?
Should not the councils wait until the inspector has decided first on the local plan before wasting more tax payers money (over £7m currently) and time on this project of ‘unprecedented scale of ambition’* that he might find unsound for a 2nd time.
Surely this is not the right way for councils to treat existing communities.
* from NEGC’s own presentation.
UDC Local Plan Viability study does not take into account Interest on Land Acquired (contrary to Harman guidance and as found unsound by Inspector Clews in the NEA examination):
If the finance costs on land acquisition are not included, the viability analysis is unsound.
They are categorically not included as land being paid for throughout the development is not a mitigating factor as this approach still incurs huge interest - see the now correct Hyas analysis for NEA examination for the same WOB site which also acquires land over time - the interest cost is many multiples that shown in the UDC viability analysis.
If viability analysis which does not include Interest on Land Acquisition is found sound despite this being directly contrary to guidance and having a large impact, it would clearly be a matter for Judicial Review, but of course this should be avoided.
Braintree Council let slip the real reason behind WoB development
Here's a link to the full Braintree District Council meeting on Monday 7th October. And there's a couple of worrying points;
1. Emphasis and reliance on housing development to generate council taxes to prop up council finances. More properties = more council tax. Focus on growing council tax base. This has nothing to do with need for affordable housing: "Grows the Council Tax base of the Council through the provision of development sites for high quality residential properties of all tenures, across all areas of the District."
2. A really sensible motion put forward by Cllr Abbott (below) - but a depressing debate followed, with puerile and political point-scoring . It missed the point and is summed up by Cllr Mckee saying the Greens care more about hedges than hedge funds.
Independent Councillors Visit the library
On Wednesday 4th September, we welcomed Councillors Tom Walsh (Independent) and Nick Unsworth (Independent) to our little pop up library.
We were delighted that they were wishing to learn more about local’s issues and the impact about the WoB on the existing communities.