“Beyond the slogans – garden town realities and a look at other ways”.
On 22nd January over 150 people attended an event organised by the campaign group CAUSE entitled “Beyond the slogans – garden town realities and a look at other ways.”
Attendees included councillors from Tendring, Colchester and Braintree, planning experts from across England and local people including parish councillors and Neighbourhood Planning groups from all over North Essex. MPs James Cleverly and Bernard Jenkins were also present.
“The level of interest demonstrates how much the future of North Essex matters to people” according to CAUSE’s spokesperson Rosie Pearson. “This event was the first opportunity for public debate about the issues surrounding the North Essex Garden Communities project. Until now issues have been boxed into three minute ‘have your say’ slots at council meetings or reduced to hollow slogans. Our event addressed key unanswered questions, such as, ‘How will we deal with the huge increase in traffic arising from 43,000 homes – will congestion charging be forced on us?’ and, ‘How will everything promised really be paid for?’
William Sunnucks, who presented CAUSE’s “Small is Beautiful” alternative for balanced growth, said:“We now have a coherent alternative to the Garden Communities plan both from a planning viewpoint and a financial one. Big settlements aren’t the only way to deliver infrastructure, and our financial analysis shows that they will actually deliver less. If the Councils want to continue spending taxpayers money at £3m a year on professional fees, they must now re-examine their viability appraisals, as requested by the Inspector, and publish the results.”
If you would like to read the presentations and listen to the debate, click here http://www.cause4livingessex.com/betterway/conference/