LOCAL PLAN DELAY

The Local Plan timetable has been amended as new option have emerged, reports Uttlesford District Council.

An additional option has emerged and the District Council requires more time to evaluate this so it can be considered in the plan context along with others.

The next stage of the process – known as the Regulation 18 “Preferred Options” Local Plan – is an important milestone and the District Council wants to ensure it gets this right in order to produce the best plan possible for the district.

This opportunity gives members and officers extra time to review all the potential sites and further evidence base ahead of the Regulation 18 plan being published for consultation, which will be in early November. This is the next point at which the public and other interested parties will be invited to have their say on the plan.

The revised timetable, including dates of key meetings, will be announced shortly.

NEW M11 DIVERSION

National Highways is carrying out essential surveys to assess the condition of the road on the M11 between junctions 6 and 9.

They plan to complete this work over 5 weeks between Monday 20 June and Friday 22 July.

They will work between 8pm and 6am on weeknights only, weather conditions permitting.

Closures and diversions

To carry out the work safely, they will need to close the M11 and divert traffic as detailed below:

  • M11 junction 7 to 6 southbound – Monday 20 June to Friday 25 June

M11 southbound traffic (M25 anti-clockwise) will be diverted off at junction 7 onto the A414 westbound and A1(M)

DIAGRAM 1

M11 southbound (M25 clockwise traffic) will be diverted off at junction 7 onto the A414 eastbound and A12.

DIAGRAM 2

  • M11 junction 9 to 8 southbound – Monday 27 June to Friday 8 July

Southbound traffic will be diverted off the M11 at junction 10 onto the A505, A10 and A120 to re-join the M11 at junction 8.

DIAGRAM 3

  • M11 junction 8 to 9 northbound – Monday 11 July to Friday 22 July

Northbound traffic will be diverted off the M11 at junction 8 onto the A120, A10 and A505 to re-join the M11 at junction 10. (Diagram 3)

How to find out more

To find out more about road improvements, visit https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/east/.

If you would like more information, please call 0300 123 5000 or email at  info@nationalhighways.co.uk

Community Defibs

DEFIB FOR WALPOLE

Fundraising efforts to get a defibrillator on the Walpole Meadows estate paid off in May when this vital piece of life-saving kit was installed at the District Council Building on Hornbeam Way. Walpole Meadows resident

Alison Bradnick crowd-funded the £1,500 sum to pay for the defibrillator, with District Councillors Alan Dean and Geoffrey Sell chipping in from their New Homes Fund.

Almost 30,000 people a year die of a sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital. Defibrillators can boost a person’s odds of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest from 5% to 50%. The defibrillator at Walpole Meadows means the village now has 8 such devices accessible to the public 24/7. There are several more dotted around Stansted that can be called upon during the opening hours of the premises at which they are located.

The British Heart Foundation keeps a directory of defibs around the country called The Circuit. This is visible to NHS emergency services. Using The Circuit they can direct not just ambulance crews, but also members of the public to the nearest device when dealing with a cardiac event. We would encourage all Defibrillator Guardians to check their device is registered to The Circuit.

It is worth stressing training is not needed to operate a defibrillator. Spoken instructions are provided by the device which are easy to use. Also do not wait for an ambulance if a defibrillator is close to hand. Dial 999 and get an access code. The sooner a Defib is used, the better the chances of survival.

District Cll Sell

JULY UPDATE

With news of how District Councillors are supporting local voluntary initiatives and what’s being done to tackle the Climate Emergency, Geoffrey Sell provides an insight on Uttlesford affairs in August.

 

I hope you enjoyed the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Like many of you I have never known another monarch. In a sense we are all Elizabethan. We are extremely fortunate in that for 70 years we have had in The Queen a Head of State who has shown such dedication and selflessness.

Supporting Our Community

Thanks go to the Parish Council for organising the lighting of the beacon and the jubilee picnic. Stansted’s district councillors Melvin Caton, Alan Dean, Ayub Khan and myself all contributed £1,000 each towards the cost of the celebrations. The New Homes Bonus scheme gives District Councillors £2000 per annum to spend on good causes in their wards. Over the last year I have helped to fund several organisations:

  • Residents of Walpole Meadows: defibrillator
  • Stansted Millers: windmill fete
  • Uttlesford Citizens Advice: service provision
  • Stansted Link: production costs of the magazine

Climate Change

Environmental issues have become an increasing concern. More and more of us have become aware of the fragility of our planet. Sir David Attenborough has warned that “we are at a crossroads”. The decisions we take now will have lasting impacts. Pre-Covid, I visited SE Asia on several occasions. I became acutely conscious of this fragility and the harm we are doing to our environment. Whether it was coming out of a hotel in Hyderabad, India and having to hold my nose because of the smell coming from the polluted river. Or being informed in Malaysia it was just as well you were not here last week, we had really bad smog. This was caused by deforestation in neighbouring Indonesia.

So what has Uttlesford done about climate change? In 2019 we declared a climate emergency. Councillors pledged to take local action to contribute to prevent a climate and ecological catastrophe through the development of practices and policies, with an aim to achieve net-zero carbon status by 2030 and to protect and enhance bio-diversity in the district.

At the last Scrutiny Committee we received a progress report. Although some progress has been made much needs to be done. It was disappointing that out of the £1,000,000 budget allocated for climate change only £80,500 has been committed or spent. The Leader of the Council admitted that insufficient officer resources had been allocated. It was also disappointing to learn that our recycling figure stands at 47.9% This rates us at 105th in the council recycling table.

The highest rated council in Essex is Rochford in 8th position with a rate of 61,8 %. Maldon on 8th at 58.9% Colchester in 21st at 56.7%. On a positive note the council has launched a new Environmental Services newsletter. The first edition of the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ newsletter included information on changes to bin collections as well as details about recycling and food waste. Sign up to receive future editions of the newsletter at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/keep-me-posted

Annual Council Meeting

The meeting saw the formation of a new political group the Liberal Democrat and Green Alliance. All the Stansted councillors together with Cllr Janice Loughlin who represents the adjoining Stort Valley ward have joined this group. The other members are two Green councillors from Saffron Walden and one from Takeley. The formation of the group means that we are the official opposition to the Residents for Uttlesford administration. It is also a recognition that the two groups in the last year have been working closely together. The leader of the group is Cllr Melvin Caton.

NDP – FINAL QUESTIONS

You may be aware that announcements regarding future development in Uttlesford have been delayed again by the District Council.

We have decided to push ahead and are now finalising the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan ready for submission to Uttlesford District Council but before we do that, it would help to have your views on a number of matters.

KEY QUESTIONS

1 Should any development which risks coalescence with a local village or town be strongly opposed?

2 If you want or need to move home within the village, what size property would you be considering?

3 Do current prices for housing prevent you from renting or buying in Stansted?

4 Would you be prepared to pay a little more for a new house which was designed to be carbon neutral and more energy economic?

5 Are you considering purchasing an electric car or van? If not, why not?

6 If a new multi-purpose community centre could be built in Stansted, what activities would you want to take part in that are not currently available here?

7 What sports would you or your family take part in if the necessary facilities could be provided?

8 How important to you is the view from the west of Stansted looking across the Stort Vally to Hazel End?

HOW TO CONTACT US

The easiest way to feed your thoughts back to us is by clicking on the link below and taking part in our online poll:

We would prefer to receive your reply by emailing us at parishcouncil@stansted.net so that the content (but not your personal details) can be included in our evidence base for the Inspector.

We will also be featuring these questions on our Facebook page and you are welcome to leave a comment under the relevant posts.

Another option is to check out our pages in the August edition of the The Link where we will also be publishing these questions.

 

REFUGEE UPDATE – JUNE

Dear all – I have slipped out of the routine of weekly updates, now things have to some degree settled down, but thought you might appreciate this occasional fuller update, to pass on as appropriate.

  • The Welcome Point at Stansted airport continues to welcome, support, and assist around 400 Ukrainian arrivals every week. We are continuing to block book hotel rooms and provide assistance for the small proportion who are not travelling on immediately to other parts of the country.  Our colleagues at CVSU are staffing these welcome points, supported as necessary at the airport by UDC staff carrying out our specialist roles, particularly around housing, and I’m sure you’d all join me in again thanking them.
  • DLUHC have set up a new internal unit specifically dedicated to the Welcome Points, their main priority at the moment is to secure additional funding. They are building a case to take to Ministers within the next 3 – 4 weeks to secure enough funding for Welcome Points to continue running for at least another 6 – 8 months.  We are feeding into these discussions with evidence of what is required and funding needed.
  • Currently at Stansted we have enough funding to continue for another month or 2 beyond the end of the initial contract period (which is 2nd July 2022).  If government funding isn’t forthcoming but the need hasn’t by then dried up, then we will of course have to return to discussing how to avoid pulling the plug prematurely and leaving vulnerable new arrivals in the lurch.
  • Essex CC now have a mechanism in place to start paying sponsors their £350 per month ‘thank you’ payment. The problem is that the sponsor can only receive the payment once all 5 checks are completed. The main issue is the DBS check which is causing long delays.  To be clear – the checks we are required to carry out as the District Council are not the problem here – it is a national issue entirely outside our control, or that of Essex County Council who are responsible for making these payments.  If I were the County, I would consider making the payments at risk pending the successful DBS checks – but that is their decision rather than ours.
  • On 20th June Essex will begin testing a prepaid card scheme to pay the £200 payment to the Ukrainian guests in 3 districts (Tendring, Epping, and Maldon). If everything goes well in those test districts Uttlesford can expect to also join that process 2 weeks later. For now, UDC are currently continuing to distribute the £200 in cash via the Community team, which as I am sure you can appreciate is pretty labour intensive, but something our staff are (as usual!) embracing.
  • According to the latest data provided by ECC (dated 8th June), 147 Ukrainians have arrived in Uttlesford with a further 114 still planning on arriving (for a total of 261, so far). This is taking up a lot of staff resource for us and the County.
  • Discussions are being held with Essex CC and other authorities regarding the rematching process when sponsorships fail. The thoughts are that rematching is best co-ordinated by Essex CC with a fuller overview and the ability to view cross boundary sponsors and offer wider ranging support.  Some of the relationships failed very quickly and very badly, as we rather sadly predicted.
  • We are still waiting to hear re apportionment of the £10,500 per hosted family that is being paid to Essex CC rather than us. We are being given indications from the finance group that we will get direct costs such as the £200 payments that have been made but it is unclear how we seek staff time costs etc for additional functions we are being asked to undertake.  As you can imagine, our representations on this point are appropriately robust.
  • The Government have made changes to the Homelessness Code of Guidance and Social Housing Allocations Guidance following new Regulations that have come into force. The changes will mean that people utilising the Ukraine Extension Scheme are eligible for social housing and homelessness assistance. This will impact our already stretched small team and we will be looking at what changes will need to be made to cope with the additional workload.
  • As the situation has settled down and the response becomes more routine, the multi-agency meetings have now moved to a 2-weekly rhythm. The UDC Incident Management Team has now also moved to a 2-weekly pattern to reflect this – although frequency can be increased again as required.

There are of course lots of reports of local communities embracing their new guests and supporting both them and their hosts actively at a local level, and parishes, churches & faith groups, and other local community groups are – as usual – doing our area proud.

Hope that’s helpful as an update

PETER HOLT, chief executive of Uttlesford District Council

Birchanger Roadworks

A120 DIVERSION

Essential repair and resurfacing work is to start today on the M11 junction 8, Birchanger Green Roundabout bridges.

This will involve full weekend closures, weather conditions permitting.

Closures and diversions

To carry out the work safely, National Highways will need to close the M11 junction 8 bridges. Only one of the bridges will be shut at a time to reduce the impact on local road users and those needing access to Stansted Airport and Birchanger Green Services.

Details of the closures and diversion routes are detailed below:

 

Closure

Dates & Time

Diversion route

South bridge closure
  • Friday 1 July, 9pm to Monday 4 July, 5am
  • Friday 8 July, 9pm to Monday 11 July, 5am
  • Friday 9 September, 9pm to Monday 12 September, 5am

 

 

(Full weekend closures)

M11 southbound traffic wishing to travel west towards Bishop’s Stortford will continue on the M11 to junction 7 before re-joining the M11 northbound to exit at junction 8, Birchanger Green Roundabout. (Diagram 1)

 

A120 westbound traffic will be diverted southbound on the M11 towards junction 7 before re-joining the M11 northbound to exit at junction 8, Birchanger Green Roundabout and continue west. (Diagram 1)

 

Non-motorway users only

Westbound traffic will be diverted from Priory Wood Roundabout, along Round Coppice Road, onto Bury Lodge Lane, turn left to follow Church Road and Forest Hall Road to join the B1383 south to the A120 at Bishops Stortford. (Diagram 3)

 

North bridge closure ·         Friday 10 June, 9pm to Monday 13 June, 5am

 

·         Friday 17 June, 9pm to Monday 20 June, 5am

·         Friday 24 June, 9pm to Monday 27 June, 5am

 

(Full weekend closures)

M11 northbound traffic wishing to travel east will continue on the M11 to junction 9a before re-joining the M11 southbound to exit at junction 8, Birchanger Green Roundabout. (Diagram 2)

 

A120 eastbound traffic will be diverted northbound on the M11 towards junction 9a before re-joining the M11 southbound to exit at junction 8, Birchanger Green Roundabout and continue east. (Diagram 2)

 

Non-motorway users Only

Eastbound traffic will be diverted from the A120 along the B1383, then turn right to follow Forest Hall Road and Church Road, before travelling south along Bury Lodge Lane and Round Coppice Road to join the A120 at Priory Wood Roundabout. (Diagram 3)

 

 

Maps of the diversions

DIAGRAM 1

DIAGRAM 2

DIAGRAM 3

 

How to find out more

You can keep up to date with this project by visiting https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/east/m11-birchanger-green-roundabout-north-and-south-bridges/

If you would like more information, please contact NATIONAL HIGHWAYS on 0300 123 5000, or by email at info@nationalhighways.co.uk.

RURAL ENGAGEMENT TEAM

RURAL POLICING

Farms, villages and rural communities have long found themselves the focus of criminal activity because of their relative isolation from city-based police forces. In Essex, getting a grip with the problem is the responsibility of the Rural Engagement Team (RET),

This uniformed outfit works out of Police HQ, Chelmsford. Staffed by two sergeants and eight constables, the team covers the entire county and are specialists in rural crime and engagement. Their focus is in five key areas:

  • High value theft (tractors, farm machinery, GPS units)
  • Large scale fly tipping
  • Wildlife crime (hare coursing and poaching)
  • Rural road safety
  • Unlawful encampments

The RET attend, investigate and advise on a whole range of rural issues outside of these areas and work alongside local Community Policing and Local Policing Teams.

Your Community Policing Teams remain your first point of contact for daily issues such as anti-social behaviour and minor law and order problems. The RET, meanwhile, provides a more focused response to issues community police teams may not have experience of dealing with or need support and advice tackling.

The proactive nature of Rural Engagement Team means it is out every day patrolling the county and meeting residents in with rural communities. This week the team has been in Uttlesford targeting dangerous driving, fly tipping and rural crime.

The team also attends community events as they are keen to expand their engagement and ensure they have good links with every parish. Community events allow the team to meet and speak to residents in rural areas. Look out for announcements on future meet-ups on Twitter: EP_RURAL.

They also publish a monthly newsletter, where you can find out about what the team have been doing and learn about upcoming events to meet them. The Parish Council will be posting the newsletter on the policing page of this website.

You can contact RET directly by emailing 74973@essex.police.uk or calling 101 x42074973.

Parking Scheme

PARKING CONSULTATION

We are seeking your opinion on whether a Residents’ Permit Scheme should be introduced on the Mountfitchet Estate. This type of scheme on the Mountfitchet Estate can be used to free up parking for residents and their visitors by preventing non-residential parking, in this case from those that commute from the station or park and use the Airport. 

The area being considered for the Residents’ Permit Parking scheme includes the roads listed below:  

  • Maitland Road 
  • Mountfitchet Road 
  • St Mary’s Drive 
  • Priory Drive 
  • Mount Drive 
  • Stoneyfield Drive 
  • Manor Road 

The scheme would be run by the North Essex Parking Partnership and operational for 5 days per week, (Mon to Fri) 10am – 2pm, excluding bank and public holidays.

Irrespective of the outcome of this consultation, and as recommended by the Parking Partnership, we are requesting the installation of red lines where parking is dangerous and obstructive, especially to the buses, refuse lorries and emergency vehicles. The proposals are shown on the map enclosed. 

To participate in the survey, please either email parishcouncil@stansted.net with your views or post or deliver by hand to The Parish Council, The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, CM24 8AQ.

Please ensure that you provide your full property address in the box below (any responses received back without this information will not be considered). Please also note that only one reply per property will be considered. The closing date for responses to be received is Friday 17th June 2022 

The Parking Partnership has advised us that this scheme will only proceed with 75% support from households (1 vote per house). If the scheme does not go ahead they will not be able to offer any other options before 2026 at the earliest.

For further details about the consultation:

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION REGARDING PARKING RESTRICTION PROPOSAL

The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) are responsible for the approval, implementation and enforcement of any schemes requested. We held a meeting with the Parking Project Engineer from NEPP and advised him of the issues raised by residents and asked him what options were available to solve them. In conclusion, the only scheme they felt would address residents’ issues by excluding commuters and airport parkers altogether was the Residents’ Permit Parking Scheme we are consulting on.

We discussed a 1 hour waiting restriction and below are the reasons given as to why they would not consider such a scheme:

“With the increase in home working, single yellow lines will only benefit those who are not reliant on the Highway for parking, penalising those who are unable to remove vehicles during any applicable hour(s) of operation.

We also have to consider the enforcement expectations once a scheme has been installed and we are simply not able to keep introducing restrictions and schemes which place unrealistic and unachievable expectations on the beneficiaries of intervention or our own enforcement staff.

Expecting enforcing officers to visit roads subject to one hour or similarly timed single yellow line restrictions, with other responsibilities to address, is no longer feasible or acceptable, given the other remedies available.

Permit schemes, with a minimum duration of at least 4 hours (10am-2pm), timed to inconvenience as few residents as possible and relieving the pressure on enforcing officers,  are a much more appropriate measure than a single yellow line timed to disrupt the same driver behaviour (am and pm timed restriction)

Working habits have changed and there are many examples elsewhere where the presence of timed commuter single yellow lines are not effective, a further illustration that many workplaces are no longer operating 9-5, with workers embracing flexible hours which has placed pressures on current measures in place”.

The Parish Council would also like to add that the charges stated in the consultation letter are the standard charges from the NEPP for any Residents’ Parking Scheme and they are not the decision of the Parish Council and neither does the Parish Council receive any of this money. The time scale for introducing any scheme is also set by the NEPP as they are responsible for all schemes in Uttlesford, Braintree, Epping Forest, Colchester, Tendring and Harlow. From the very beginning of discussions about formal parking restrictions, District Cllrs have advised residents that should a scheme be introduced they would need to purchase a permit and that given the current cost of living crisis where household budgets are under pressure, this needs to be considered carefully as part of their decision-making process.