D.C.L.G. Consultation Harvest time

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WE NEED YOU TO TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK

We have reached a crucial stage in our campaign against the Department of Communities and Local Government’s proposal to place an eco-town on the arable land between our villages of Elsenham and Henham.

Called ‘North East Elsenham’, it is still one of the remaining 11 in the D.C.L.G.’s country-wide list.  In March we expect they will make a decision as to the identity and number of sites to go forward to the next stage of their plan. Currently, and particularly because of the prevailing economic climate, we do not know any more than that.

It is therefore very important that we keep up the pressure to convince them that Elsenham is a totally unsuitable location.  So far, since our campaign started, responses from our villages and elsewhere to the previous 'consultations' have been brilliant and this success has been admitted by the D.C.L.G. and Uttlesford District Council respectively.

The current D.C.L.G. consultation has been extended until 30th April 2009 and stems from a 31 page report published by them on 4th November 2008 called, 'The Draft Planning Policy Statement - Eco-towns Consultation', (PPS).  Click here to view

 According to the D.C.L.G (and these are their own words), this publication precisely defines:

bullet what constitutes an eco-town
bullet what environmental, social, and economic standards these developments should achieve and
bullet how eco-towns relate to the planning system

They say -

 “Eco-towns will be developments of a minimum of 5,000 homes - well linked to, but distinct from, existing settlements - that achieve the highest standards of environmental sustainability, including: employing renewable energy technologies, exceptionally high quality of environmental building design and excellent public transport “

They are therefore seeking your views on their PPS through a set of consultation questions which they have specified in the document.  The first five questions relate to their report and the last, question six, specifically to each of the proposed sites still in the list at the time of publishing, (since reduced).  Question 6(9) is Elsenham.

The reason that we have not asked you to respond until now is that we were waiting for two independent reports from leading consultants commissioned by us on your behalf.

In a nutshell, these reports from Hives Planning and Stuart Michael Associates, state that the North East Elsenham proposal fails to meet important eco-town objectives, i.e.

Transport: The road system to serve a 5,000 dwelling, 11,000 population eco-town is wholly inadequate. Traffic would pass through the already congested small town of Stansted Mountfitchet or along unclassified country lanes.

 Employment: The settlement is too small to provide adequate employment facilities for its population. This would result in an unacceptable degree of out-commuting

 Education: The provision of a secondary school is widely seen as a key indicator of a new sustainable (eco-town) settlement. The proposed town is not big enough to support such an institution leaving pupils to travel elsewhere.

 Services: The settlement is too small to support adequate services such as convenience shopping, leaving residents to travel elsewhere.

 Regeneration: This is not a brown-field site as originally envisaged by the eco-towns initiative. It is a greenfield site, the ‘best and most versatile’ agricultural land.

 Conflict of interest: there is concern over the fairness and potential conflict of interest in the process where advisers seem to have been consulting for the Government and the North East Elsenham development promoter.

Our five Parish Councils will individually reply in full to the D.C.L.G and these two reports will form the basis of the submissions. 

Once again we are asking you to respond in great numbers to this third and hopefully last consultation.  Each member of your household can contribute individually as can your friends and relatives no matter where they might live.

You can contribute by either:

  1. Going to the DCLG website at: http://ecotownssurvey.communities.gov.uk/home/.  You will have to register and follow their procedure.  You will be asked to supply an email address.  The DCLG will send you back a code by email which you will have to use to activate your registration.  You can only use one email address for one registration. You may take your time in filling the electronic forms and revisit as many times as you like provided you logout and login back again and not submit your form until you have fully finished.
     
  2. Sending an email to ecotowns@communities.gsi.gov.uk, and attaching a letter to it, (see below), or

replying in the body of an email if you can face the typing. (Not recommended).

  1. Sending a letter by post to Eco Towns Team, Housing and Growth Programmes Division, Communities and Local Government, Floor 2/H9, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1A 2HQ.  Again see below.

We do not recommend you write a freehand letter as the D.C.L.G. are asking for responses to specific questions.

To help you we have devised a 'form letter' (in WORD).  This is a copy of the questions as they appear on the the D.C.L.G. on-line version mentioned above. (Click here to view.) You may then either:

Print it off, fill it in by hand fill and post it to the address above

or

Add your typed comments and then send the form letter off as an attachment to an email to the above address. (We suggest you use 'Save As' to give it another name unique to you before you attach it.  They will then not get lots of attachments with the same name.)

Whilst you may consider using your own judgement in answering the D.C.L.G questions, we ask that you be first guided by the consultant’s suggestions. (Click here to open the condensed version). They are suggesting a 'No' answer to most questions and give qualifying reasons for their opinions. When completing question 6(9), list brief bullet points, (again based on the consultant’s suggestions), so that they can be picked out easily by those entering them on the D.C.L.G. data base.  Please try and use your own words. (Please also click here to view an important summary of outstanding Infrastructural Studies which will not be available before the consultation which you may like to comment on when answering 6(9).

 As before, we would like to receive copies of your responses. Copy emails to saveourvillage@live.co.uk

This will not be possible with an on-line submission, unless you print out a spare hard copy. If you do, please send them to either:

Bill Bates at Stone Cottage, High Street, Henham CM22 6AS (if you live in Henham)

or

Chris Bush 2, Coriander Drive, Elsenham (if you live in Elsenham).

Site Designer and Manager

 Bill Bates