Tonight’s development committee meeting started somewhat frustratingly with the councils flaky IT systems causing much of the officers presentation unable to be viewed. (Editors note: seems to be an increasingly common occurrence)
The main item for discussion was the application for Timber Grove. This application has been refused twice previously so was it going to be third time lucky for the developer?
The report for this application was some 114 pages long so there was a lot of detail to go through. Once the officer had completed his presentation, non committee members were first to speak. Cllr June Lumley (District & Essex County Councillor) made a speech which refuted the comments given by Essex Highways that this development would not cause a problem for local residents in terms of our infrastructure and also safety (a big thumbs up from us!), Cllr John Mason (RDR) asked officers questions about the cumulative effect of flooding and the flood risk assessment calculations. Committee members were then invited to speak and Cllr Mountain (RDR) was first to comment on the application. He put many strong points over about the application put forward – environmental, infrastructure, design.
Second to comment was our Lib Dem ward member Cllr James Newport. He put forward issues with no safe walking and cycleways, lack of plans with room sizes for the houses, overdevelopment (this site approved would mean the SER1 allocation would be over the 550 bringing the total to 630 dwellings), no safe crossing for the pedestrians on the London Road and the flood risk increase with the removal of vast quantities of wooded area.
Other committee members then spoke on the application – the overwhelming feeling in the chamber was that this was the third time the application had come before committee and there was still more questions than answers and the infrastructure was not in place to support this development.
The officers struggled to find many answers to these questions and this was quite apparent to Cllr Mountain who moved for refusal. Once the points for refusal were clarified, Cllr Newport seconded the move to refuse. It was put to the vote with a unanimous vote to refuse.
There were five reasons for refusal (we’ll update later). One of those being the disturbance to badgers on the site…..
We do however note that, as with all planning applications, there is a high chance the developer will appeal this decision
Don’t watch the following video it’s really annoying!