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Parsonage residents group polls members on Birchwood High School sports complex and Lidl supermarket plan



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A residents' group is polling its members over two major planning applications which are feared will have a detrimental effect on the area.

Parsonage Residents Association (PRA) has sent out a survey asking people their views on Birchwood High School's scheme for a sports and leisure complex on a site it owns in the grounds of Pearse House, which could also see Bishop's Stortford Football Club move there.

In a Parsonage Herald newsletter planning special, residents are warned the schemes will affect their daily lives in respect of traffic, pollution, noise, nature conservation and loss of trees. There are also concerns over day-to-day parking in public spaces.

Plans for Birchwood High School's new sports and leisure complex (50309686)
Plans for Birchwood High School's new sports and leisure complex (50309686)

The newsletter goes on to highlight concerns over increased traffic in the area from plans to build a Lidl supermarket on the Gates Ford dealership site in Stansted Road. It says the scheme should include measures to minimise any hold-ups from customers leaving the site in vehicles.

With regard to the Birchwood scheme, the newsletter says residents are concerned that the plan will create further congestion on Parsonage Lane and Dunmow Road and cause children to lose sleep; loss of habitat and bio-diversity; parking on verges; blocking access to driveways; house prices to drop and sales to fall through. It states it is the reverse of the move the football club made from the town centre to its former Green Belt site on the Woodside industrial estate in 1999.

PRA says it supports the Parsonage Lane secondary school's desire to have new sports facilities, but wishes to ensure whatever upgrade is provided "is appropriate to the needs of the school and local community, affordable, appropriate to the site and wider local area and sustainable (environmentally and financially) for years to come".

Plans for a new Lidl in Bishop's Stortford (50309683)
Plans for a new Lidl in Bishop's Stortford (50309683)

Parsonage estate resident Rob Walker supported the survey from the PRA, in particular given the possibility of the football club moving from its R&D Advisors UK Stadium.

Mr Walker accepted the school had invited views in an online questionnaire but felt a separate survey was needed.

"It's felt that the consultation process is not wide-reaching enough and doesn't allow people to speak about the alternatives," he said.

Moving the football club to the site opposite the school was not appropriate as it was a "well-established residential area".

He added with regard to the Lidl scheme: "It will have a detrimental effect on the shops in Snowley Parade."

Residents are urged to fill in the questionnaire, which was delivered to homes on the estate at the weekend, and return it to the PRA representative who delivered it, drop it into Caulfields in Snowley Parade or complete an online version at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GF8RCHM. Views can also be sent to Parsonage Residents Association by emailing debbmunro@gmail.com.



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