Priti calls for housing plans rethink
Priti Patel, the Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Witham, has called on Colchester Borough Council to urgently rethink its housing plans for a garden community. The plans, which were heavily criticised by an independent planning inspector in 2018, will be subject to a series of further hearings next month (January 2020). The Council’s ill-thought-through garden community plan has already cost taxpayers millions of pounds, it is unpopular with many residents and is the cause of a three-year delay to the A12 widening scheme. The failure to produce a sound local plan also leaves communities, rural areas and green spaces vulnerable to predatory developers.
Priti, who has worked with residents to question and challenge these housing plans and raised this issue directly with planning ministers in Government, said: “Local people are furious about these plans, which would damage existing communities and put huge strains on infrastructure and public services. Millions of pounds have been wasted and the A12 widening scheme has been delayed but the Council is still pressing ahead, ignoring the views of local people.
“While we do need more homes, especially for local families, the plans put forward by Colchester Borough Council command no public confidence. Details about infrastructure and public services are lacking and the evidence base used is flawed. The Council has had plenty of time to reflect on its incompetent approach and it must now urgently rethink what it is doing and the harm being caused. If I am re-elected as Witham’s MP on 12th December, I will continue to hold all local councils to account for their development plans.”