You can read the Parish Council’s full response to the Local Plan here, but if planning-speak leaves you cold, or if you are in a hurry here is a quick summary.
The response has to be written in detailed formal language because it is aimed at the official Inspector. The Inspector will review or ‘examine’ the draft Local Plan in the autumn, to decide if the Plan is ‘sound’. If it is ‘unsound’, changes have to be made.
The Parish Council (‘we’) believes the Plan is currently ‘unsound’. The Response explains 3 basic reasons in detail:
- We don’t think Chelmsford has included enough development sites to allow for increased Government targets plus a buffer to cope with slippage. There is bound to be some slippage and we’re concerned that sites in Broomfield and north-west Chelmsford will have to be expanded to cope with this.
- With huge development in North-East Chelmsford, the Local Plan depends on a proper North-East Bypass or relief road. If there isn’t enough money for this, either some development won’t go ahead, leading to slippage. Or if it all goes ahead without the full infrastructure, extra traffic will have to come through Broomfield and surrounding villages.
- We’re pleased that the proposed ‘North of Broomfield’ development site has been reduced to 450 dwellings. However, on balance, we still believe there are more sustainable locations for this housing. That’s because traffic problems are so acute on sections of the B1008.
The Solution: For all 3 reasons, we think the Local Plan should include more sites where there is existing or planned new infrastructure – the A12 and A130 south corridors, for instance Hammonds Farm.
As you can see, we’ve worked together with neighbouring parishes and produced a joint response. This gives our shared views more weight and means we’ve been able to get professional planning and traffic advice, by sharing the cost with the neighbouring parishes.