Plans to build a ‘super-sized’ new town of more than 20,000 houses less than a mile from Stanway took a step closer this summer following a decision by town councillors to progress a new ‘master plan’ for Colchester.
Stanway campaigner and Conservative Party member Jeremy Hagon had previously challenged council bosses at a public meeting on the council’s lack of public consultation and transparency surrounding the proposals.
During the meeting, Jeremy asked what plan the council had to advise residents in Stanway and across Colchester of proposals for a new town near Stanway.
Cllr. Mark Cory (Lib Dem), leader of Colchester Council responded saying, “The Council is doing what is legally required,” however stopped short of explaining any additional plans for communication with residents.
Left in the dark
Throughout August, residents across Colchester received a leaflet from the council advising on the emerging Local Plan consultation set to take place throughout September.
However, concerns from householders in Stanway suggested many had not received the leaflet; an online poll reported more than 200 households across Stanway were without vital information on the public consultation.
Conservative Stanway ward councillor Paul Dundas challenged the council’s deputy leader Cllr. Julie Young (Labour), demanding answers why Stanway residents were not being informed.
Cllr. Young responded, saying: “She was sorry those residents did not receive the leaflet” adding, “all responses will however be sent to the Inspector as part of the consultation process.”
Largest new town built in UK since Milton Keynes
Following the results from a recent Stanway Conservatives survey, 85 per cent of respondents reported they “were not at all satisfied” with the council’s consultation process, with only 1 per cent of respondents suggesting they were “fully satisfied”.
Responding to the figures, Jeremy said: “Stanway residents have once again been left in the dark over proposals for a new town of more than 20,000 houses on the outskirts of the village.
“What only can be described as ‘sheer negligence’ from this Liberal Democrat Council, it once more goes to show how very little regard they have for residents in Stanway and across Colchester.”
Commonly known as ‘West Tey’, the proposals – if given the green light – would see the development of the largest new town built in the UK since Milton Keynes.
Jeremy added: “Given the huge infrastructure deficit in the Colchester borough due to continued over-development under this Lib Dem led coalition council, Stanway Conservatives do not support these proposals for a ‘super-sized’ new town near the Stanway border.”
Public consultation on new evidence provided as part of the emerging Local Plan closed on 30th September.
It is understood all public responses will be presented to the Planning Inspector as part of the consultation process.
Jeremy added: “We will be forwarding the result of our surveys to both Colchester Council and the Planning Inspector, so they are both aware of just how badly consulted Stanway feels on this hugely important subject.”
It is believed the Planning Inspector will make his final decision on the submitted draft emerging Local Plan, including the section on the new town proposals, early in 2020.