Category Archives: news

Stansted planning application, and route changes approved

We are saddened to have to report that this week Uttlesford District Council Planning Committee approved the application for the expansion of Stansted airport.

In addition, the CAA recently approved as permanent, with no mitigation measures required, the flightpath changes which have seen a doubling of flights over our Parish.

47 Parish Councils objected to the expansion plan.  Cllr Andy Bennett, on behalf of Felsted Parish Council, alongside other Parish Councils and District Councillors, also spoke at the 7.5 hour planning meeting to further object.

The final vote was split 50/50. The Chair of the Committee, Felsted and Stebbing District Councillor Alan Mills,  made the casting vote to approve the application.

The final reasons for passing the application focused on it being a courageous decision for the next generation. We find this a bizarre argument, given that the hottest topic for the next generation is one of polluting our planet and the damage we are doing to our children in their earliest years through poor air quality.

The application to increase passenger numbers within the existing flight cap will by definition also ensure the use of larger, noisier aircraft than previously.

Normally a decision notice would now be issued by Uttlesford District Council, but in this case the Secretary of State has required it to be reviewed by his Department prior to issuing approval.

We thank those residents who have contributed individually through writing and speaking at the public planning events.

We will continue to oppose these plans.

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Armistice Day

As a part of the Armistice Day commemoration, alongside local services, our new Parish beacon was lit in the evening as a part of a national marking of the event.

Many of you will also have seen the Spitfire flypast over the Parish.

For those who did not see it, here are pictures of the truly spectacular event and a most appropriate way of remembering.

New public consultation dates for Stansted airport expansion

Further to our earlier news item, Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has announced the registration process for individuals and organisations wanting to speak at a series of 3 public sessions regarding the application by Stansted Airport to increase passenger numbers to 43 million and flights by approximately 100,000 a year.

The new session dates are:

  • Tuesday 6 November 2018 – 10am to 1pm
  • Wednesday 7 November 2018 – 2pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday 7 November 2018 – 6om to 9pm

The deadline for signing up to speak in a 3 minute slot is 12pm on Monday 5 November.

The full release and registration instructions can be read here.

We, as a Parish Council, have strongly objected to what we believe to be insufficient time to ensure awareness of, and preparation for, these important sessions.

We have registered to speak against the application at the Planning meeting on 14th November.

We are objecting to the increase in noise as a result of the increase in aircraft numbers by over 40%, and an increase in aircraft size.  Further details of the position we are taking on behalf of Felsted residents can be read in our previous news item here.

If you have concerns about the application then it is important that UDC hears Felsted voices at these sessions. Each slot is just 3 minutes long and you can speak from pre-prepared notes, so there is no pressure to remember what you might want to say.

For more information please contact Cllr Andy Bennett

Parking enforcement in Felsted

We are acutely aware of the problems caused by the parking of cars in inappropriate places in our Parish.

At best they cause an inconvenience and a problem to the smooth flow of traffic through the village and at worst they block pavements for those using mobility aids, forcing them into roads, and they prevent emergency vehicles getting to their destination.

Whilst we work with problem areas to try to find a resolution, we also employ North Essex Parking Partnership to enforce parking regulations and so release congestion and improve traffic flow through the village.  We are grateful to Felsted School, who part fund the service.

This service works across the parish on a rolling time basis, so there is no ‘safe time’ to stop in a parking restricted area.

Whilst the ideal situation is of course that no tickets are given, because there are no cars found parked against road traffic legislation, until that time we will work with residents and NEPP to help improve the traffic flow and safety of our roads.

Stansted expansion plans public speaking sessions

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has today announced the registration process for individuals and organisations wanting to speak at a series of 3 public sessions regarding the application by Stansted Airport to increase passenger numbers to 43 million and flights by approximately 100,000 a year.

The session dates are:

  • Tuesday 9 October – 10am-1pm
  • Wednesday 10 October – 2-5pm
  • Wednesday 10 October – 6-9pm

The deadline for signing up to speak in a 3 minute slot is 12pm on Monday 8th October.

The full release and registration instructions can be read here.

We, as a Parish Council, have strongly objected to what we believe to be insufficient time to ensure awareness of, and preparation for, these important sessions.

We have registered to speak against the application on the 9th October, primarily regarding the increase in noise as a result of the increase in aircraft numbers by over 40% and an increase in aircraft size.  Further details of the position we are taking on behalf of Felsted residents can be read in our previous news item here.

If you have concerns about the application then it is important that UDC hears Felsted voices at these sessions. Each slot is just 3 minutes long and you can speak from pre-prepared notes, so there is no pressure to remember what you might want to say.

For more information please contact Cllr Andy Bennett

VACANCY: Part Time Assistant Clerk to Felsted Parish Council

A vacancy has arisen for an Assistant Clerk to serve this highly active Parish Council near Great Dunmow in Essex. The responsibilities of the position will include:

  • Preparation of agendas, detailed reports and associated documents in preparation for meetings
  • Attendance at Council and Committee meetings, production of Minutes and implementation of recommendations and resolutions
  • Dealing with enquiries and issues raised by the public by telephone, e-mail, letter and face to face
  • Deputising for the Clerk as required, including the day-to-day running of the office
  • Accurate record keeping and administration
  • Ad hoc administrative and project-based duties
  • Maintenance of public information sources (notice boards and website)
  • Organising the local Speedwatch Group
  • Attendance at training courses on the work and role of the Council as required

Successful candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • Administrative and IT skills (particularly Word and Excel)
  • Highly effective interpersonal skills
  • A flexible approach to hours of work and day to day duties and responsibilities
  • They hold a CILCA qualification or would be prepared to undertake training to this level
  • Experience of Local Government, or similar, environment (this would be an advantage but is not essential)
  • Full driving licence valid in the UK

The role is for 10 hours a week initially and will be based in the Parish Council Office at the URC Hall in Felsted. Some home working is expected as is attendance at a minimum of 2 evening meetings per month. Salary will be based on the National Scale according to experience.

If you wish to apply for this vacancy please complete the Job Application and GDPR Forms and return them with a covering letter to the Parish Clerk at the address below. Additional guidance notes can be downloaded here.

Closing date Tuesday 16 October 2018. Interviews are likely to take place during the last week of October 2018.

This is an interesting and varied role and a great opportunity to get involved in the local community.

Parish Clerk, URC Hall, Stebbing Road, Felsted, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 3JD

Telephone: 01371 823071

E-mail: clerk@felsted-pc.gov.uk

Speedwatch in Felsted

The Felsted Speedwatch Group has been working hard to make the roads in our parish safer for us all.

Throughout the summer period they carried out an average of 2 speedwatch sessions a week. In July they recorded 77 speeding motorists and in August there were 90.

In August 8 cars were recorded at more than 10mph over the limit, with one at 17mph over the limit.

The ideal result of course is that no one speeds and so the team has a quiet hour with no speed recordings taken. However, until that point we are grateful for the time they give to the village to help make it safer for us all.

If you are interested in joining the speedwatch team and have perhaps just an hour a week to help out, then please contact the Parish Clerk for more information.

 

Stansted airport planning application response

Further to our previous news items about Stansted airport’s expansion plans, the airport has now submitted a further 900 page document.

Uttlesford District Council has given us until the end of August to respond to this document. We have today submitted a response to this, detailed text reprinted below, asking for more time, and calling for Uttlesford to appoint its own experts to analyse the data.

It is not too late for you to read the documents and submit your own comments using UDC’s plannning website.

Letter text:

Dear Sirs

Re: PLANNING APPLICATION UTT/18/0460/FUL – STANSTED AIRPORT EXPANSION

Felsted Parish Council are writing in response to the latest submission by Stansted Airport regarding planning application ref UTT/18/0460/FUL.

We are surprised and dismayed at the end of August deadline set to review and comment on this new 900 page document.

Having gone through the first stage of the application, where a 6 week timescale was set and then extended hours before the deadline, we would have expected officers to realise that setting a 4 week period to review a further 900 page document would be insufficient.

August is a peak holiday period, and harvest time in this rural area. Availability of Councillors throughout August is thus severely limited. We have also had the Uttlesford Local Plan regulation 19 documents to review. We will not therefore be able to give the Stansted application documents the time they need for due consideration before the deadline.

We also call on UDC to appoint its own experts to analyse the noise pollution impact data for this planning application.

The admission that the statement regarding ‘quiet aircraft’ replacing over 80% of the current fleet was wrong, and should actually be 50%, leads to the important question as to what other assumptions are wrong and what the implications might be on the subsequent noise and pollution analysis. The conflict of interest, real or perceived, in allowing experts paid, and regularly retained, by the airport to effectively offer expert opinion to UDC is clear and must be removed from the process. UDC must appoint its own independent experts to review the data and the, frankly ludicrous, conclusion that, in the words of the airport, there will be “no significant adverse environmental effects” from an increase to 43 million passengers.

An independent review also needs to be held into the airports attempts to subvert and drown out any genuine public debate. In providing a one click email link to all employees, whereby they could send an automatically generated response in support of the application, the airport has clearly attempted to unduly influence the planning consultation process.

The fact that fewer than 5% of employees actually clicked on the link demonstrates a lack of support for expansion from within the airport. Despite this, the airport has issued press releases claiming that this 5% employee support amounts to overwhelming public approval for their expansion plans. This is wrong and sinister in its attempts to manipulate public perception and force UDC’s decision making.

UDC must stand up for the communities it represents and recognise the cynical approach being made by the airport and Manchester Airport Group in their approach to this expansion and their total lack of genuine interest in the impact the airport has on local communities.

This is illustrated perfectly by the airport’s lack of any engagement with local communities impacted by the flightpath changes made in 2016, which doubled the flights on Clacton routes. They have not made a single suggestion or proposal for noise mitigation for the communities suffering from increased noise levels. They should not be allowed to further expand with such issues still unresolved.

Please therefore confirm that UDC will be appointing independent experts to assess the raw noise data and the resulting assumptions and conclusions made in the application, and that UDC will undertake a review of the attempt by the airport to manipulate the public consultation process.

When this is complete a more reasonable timescale needs to be set for public consultation of the full application and associated independent analysis.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Diane Smith

Clerk to Felsted Parish Council

 

Uttlesford Local Plan: last day of consultation

The Uttlesford Local Plan has now reached the final consultation stage before it is reviewed by the Government Inspector.

The full plan can be read here.

You can submit your comments here. The consultation closes at 5pm tomorrow, 13th August 2018.

The points which Felsted Parish Council believe are important are:

 

West of Braintree development

The proposal for a 13,000 house new town, straddling Uttlesford and Braintree districts, has been found unsound by the Government Inspector in his review of the Braintree District Local Plan (as part of the North Essex Garden Partnership). See our earlier news item here.

Despite this, Uttlesford (UDC) has decided to keep the smaller part of the proposed development in its plan. This would result in up to 3,500 houses being built in Uttlesford, to the north of Felsted, approximately 1000 of which would be in the current plan period.

Felsted Parish Council remains against this development, primarily due to the impact of traffic through Felsted, the lack of infrastructure and the lack of natural resources. We believe that it is unsustainable. 

House building in Felsted Parish

Felsted is identified as a type A village and is expected to accept  a share of the 14,000 planned houses for the coming 15 years. There are 2 sites identified by Uttlesford in our Parish for development in the plan period, totalling up to 70 houses. Full details can be read in the regulation 19 document on page 203 onwards.

Felsted is in the final stages of completing its Neighbourhood Plan which has been submitted to UDC for Pre-submission (Reg. 14) Consultation. This plan identifies 2 locations for the delivery of housing, which between them not only allocate 63 dwellings during the UDC Plan period, but also deliver important community facilities. Subject to the final version of the Neighbourhood Plan and the referendum decision, Felsted Parish Council would support the inclusion of these (and only these) sites in the Local Plan.

Stansted airport

Following our concerns that UDC’s position regarding Stansted airport was lacking in support for the communities impacted by the airport, your Parish Council has worked with our District Councillors to ensure that the Plan wording was more appropriate.

The Plan wording was rewritten and Felsted Parish Council s now calling for UDC to take an even stronger position to support the interests of communities overflown by planes, and in taking a clear position against any increase in night flights.

Remember, you have until 5pm tomorrow to submit your comments.

Felsted Neighbourhood Draft Plan Consultation sessions

The Neighbourhood Plan team has advised that the Neighbourhood Plan – Pre-Submission Draft is now published and available for you to examine in detail on the Felsted Neighbourhood Plan website.

The Plan has taken an incredible amount of work by the Steering Group and has been a long time in the making, but it’s here now! Non computer users can also borrow paper copies of the NP, and response forms, from the PC Office, Linsells, The Swan, The Chequers and Andersons Estate Agency.

The Plan, supported by your Parish Council at a formal vote this week,  sets out how we believe you want to see development in Felsted over the coming 15 years, the Plan Period. The Plan is a substantial document comprising 70 pages with 36 draft policies covering our schools, our heritage, the rural economy, how we value the environment and, of course, housing development.

The NP Steering Committee are holding a number of ‘drop-in’ sessions:

  • Memorial Hall on Friday 10 August 5-8pm;
  • Primary School Hall on Saturday 8 September 10- 1pm;
  • and finally in the URC Hall Committee Room in Stebbing Road from Monday 17 September to Friday 21 September (inclusive) from 4-8pm each day.

At all these sessions residents can discuss the policies and clarify any queries with Steering Group members.

Please take the time to look at the NP document and let us have your feedback either via the Survey Monkey on the NP website or using the paper response form available with the paper copies of the document.

The deadline for receiving your responses is 21st September 2018.

The  value of a fully adopted Neighbourhood Plan was made clear at this month’s Uttlesford (UDC) Planning Meeting, where 2 proposed developments in Watchhouse Green, totalling  some 60+ houses, were rejected by UDC, despite one being identified as a site for potential development in UDC’s draft Local Plan.

A significant factor in this decision was the existence of the draft Neighbourhood Plan, which rejected these sites.

There is huge pressure from developers seeking to be allowed build wherever they can make money, with no genuine community interest. They use the lack of a finalised UDC Local Plan, and UDC not currently being able to demonstrate the required pipeline of house building (5 years), in their arguments, and often win.

If we are to maintain some level of self determination in the house building and planning processes for Felsted for the coming years, It is essential that we all read, comment on as appropriate, and ultimately vote to adopt our Neighbourhood Plan.