Bloor Homes Stansted plan: Fears developer's scheme for 168 homes off country lane could 'slip through planning net'
Stansted parish councillors have called on Uttlesford District Council not to let controversial proposals for 168 new homes in the village slip through the planning net.
Fears were raised at last week's parish council meeting that time was running out to determine Bloor Homes' outline planning application for farmland west of Pennington Lane.
Following UDC's recent failures to decide on two major housing schemes in Henham and Elsenham for 449 homes, which were subsequently allowed on appeal, the same must not be allowed to happen in Stansted, members warned.
The original application was first submitted in August 2020 and, according to UDC's website, still awaits a decision by the authority's planning committee.
Cllr Alan Dean, who represents Stansted North on UDC and is the Liberal Democrat group leader, said: "The Pennington Lane application is running out of time and clearly there is a risk of non-determination."
Fellow UDC member Cllr Ayub Khan (Lib Dem, Stansted South) declared a call for action: "We mustn't fall foul of the lack of non-determination."
The Bloor Homes plan returned to the table following submission of its environmental impact assessment.
The Save Stansted Village campaign group, chaired by parish councillor Jamie Hogg, has criticised the document for not going far enough to "soften the issue" and for "huge gaps" in its assessment of the environmental impact on the area.
The developer's proposals took "limited care" in relation to ecology issues and the different consultant groups "were not working together to minimise related impacts".
Cllr Hogg echoed concerns about the length of time UDC was taking to consider the application. "There is no recommendation to the council yet from officers, so we are well back," he said.
"Council officers are very behind with their work, but there's also missing information. So, if Bloor Homes force a decision it's likely to get refused. I'm not saying there's not a risk of non-determination, so it would be good if councillors could check the situation on that."
The meeting heard that a new case officer, Terry Garner, had been appointed to take over the application owing to the previous case officer's heavy workload.
Parish councillor and UDC member Cllr Geoffrey Sell (Lib Dem, Stansted North) suggested the parish council make contact, asking to be kept informed.
"With a change of officer we need to establish ourselves, reinstating our interests to keep us informed. We need to be working together."
Mr Hogg added: "We had very detailed meetings with the previous officer last year and it would be worrying if all that information was lost in translation."