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Make sure our town can cope with new housing!

Chelmsford's planners must be clear on infrastructure and account for neighbouring developments

18 June 2024

Make sure our town can cope with new housing!

The South Woodham Ferrers Residents Party is calling for new housing development to have the right infrastructure in place before it is built in is latest submission to the Local Plan consultation

The party's members are concerned that there seem to be fluctuating numbers of houses being mentioned for South Woodham. 1750 houses were mentioned in the original Local Plan, called “Issues and Options”, which has now come down to 1220. 

While the SWFRP's members are relieved that the 1750 number was not carried through to the “ Preferred Options” document (the Environmental Impact Assessment commissioned by Countryside said that the whole area), should not have any more than 1500, we are concerned by the lack of clarity or reasoning contained in the document.

The party welcomes that the number of houses is the lesser number but is concerned the latest local plan review doesn't say why. The residents of SWF deserve certainty for the future. 

Whatever the number the Residents Party is also concered that our highways won't be able to cope as the previous scoping document (which was submitted late) was for 1500 dwellings.

Meanwhile, the proposal for a 'garden village' development at Sandon (Hammonds Farm) could see Maldon District drivers switching to use the B1012 and leave the Dengie through South Woodham Ferrers, causing even more traffic and delays.

The party is questions the ongoing lack of committment to a new primary school for the town from Essex County Council, at the potential impact of the closure of St Peters Hopital and that there is no more reassurance that our sewage system will be able to cope with the new developments. 

Scott Wilson, Leader and Chair of the South Woodham Ferrers Residents Party, said: " This revision of the Local Plan doesn't seem to have captured a lot of the feedback that residents and ourselves have been giving and we are concerned by what seem to be superficial commitents around the social and economic networks which will support it. 

"We welcome new housing which our children and future generations will need to have the same, and hopefully better, quality of life than us, but it has to be supported by better infrastructure than we are getting. "

The Local Plan Consultation can be viewed here.

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