Dates & Topics for the Inspector's Hearings
Published in WoB Bites

The dates for the Inspector's hearings have now been published. You can see a summary below, or read/download the full document: IED/019, and the Inspector's guidance notes: IED/020.

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
Published in 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
Published in 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.

Garden Communities Prospectus
Published in WoB Politics

The governments document on Garden Communities

Last updated June 2019

Guidance: Garden Communities

Large scale new developments that will create well-planned, sustainable places for people to live.

Read and download the prospectus here

NEGC: what are they doing now?
Published in WoB Bites

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 WoB:Viability
Published in WoB Bites

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
Published in WoB Politics

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.

What the house builders say…
Published in Facts & Overviews

Following the UDC Local Plan Consultation - here's an overview of what house builders have to say about the development.

Councillor Russell Davis from Rayne
Published in Facts & Overviews

Independent Councillors Visit the library
Published in WoB Politics

councillorsOn 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.

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