A Right Royale Mess

Well, here we go again!

Despite being refused planning consent and damning criticism from an Inspector at appeal, the Royale Homes development on Sandean Road has raised its head again.

Local residents must wonder what you have to do to stop a scheme which everybody can see is on the wrong side of Chipping Bonhunt and will just add yet more traffic onto already overloaded roads. There are already proposals for enough homes around the town, but like Dracula this proposal keeps returning from the dead.

Following our example

Members of Parliament appear to have finally bitten the bullet and decided to move forward with plans to leave the Houses of Parliament for a period so that they can be properly refurbished. The buildings are in a disgraceful state and at risk of being destroyed by fire or suffering another type of catastrophic event (don’t ask about the sewage pumps!).

Of course, in Chipping Bonhunt we bit the bullet a few years ago and took urgently needed action to refurbish our Town Hall after years of prevarication and neglect. Perhaps the MPs were inspired by our example. Where Chipping Bonhunt leads, the Members of Parliament follow!

Happy New Year

On behalf of everyone at Chipping Bonhunt Town Council, let me wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

There is no doubt that the main issue for 2018 will, once again, be where to build all the new housing and what impact it will have on Chipping Bonhunt and the surrounding area.

I have made one new year’s resolution: to post blogs on a more frequent basis. So, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this and other local issues in the months ahead.

Tobias Gibson

Town Clerk

A long wait

Looks like the trains have been delayed again at Castle Lofts Station: clearly these passengers have been waiting quite a long time!

Audley End Station Halloween

Transports of Delight

The District Council covering Chipping Bonhunt has finally published the Transport Study that is meant to inform the Local Plan (and what an on going saga that is!). Nobody here is surprised to discover that it basically says the town cannot take anymore traffic unless there is a very significant investment in new roads. As far we can see, nobody is offering to make this investment.

So, once again the question is where to build the new homes that the government is demanding.

The transport study states that the appraisals that have been undertaken identify three locations that would be preferable for new garden communities “having regard to link capacity impacts, accessibility and sustainable transport.”

One of these, Great Lionsbridge, is noted as having good access to the Strategic Road Network, is accessible to jobs , accessible to walking and cycling facilities and is close to a rail station.”

Is that the answer?


The County Set?

So, tomorrow is County Council election day. It’s been rather eclipsed by Theresa May’s calling of the General Election. However, here in Chipping Bonhunt the interest centres on whether the candidate from RANT (Residents Against New Towns) will once again defeat the Conservative as they did four years ago.  Also, how will the other parties do this time round?  We all wait with bated breath!

First priority for whoever wins: Please get Essex to fix the potholes!!!

Chaucer would be at home

Walking around Chipping Bonhunt one feels that Chaucer would increasingly feel at home. Some of our roads are deteriorating so much that that they’ll soon be little more than dusty earthen tracks.

What is Essex County Council doing? Clearly they’re not sorting our roads. If they don’t tackle some of the pot holes soon there’ll be some very serious accidents.

To plan or not to plan

The saga of our District Council’s local plan continues.  Yet another delay as attempts are made to put the wheels back on a flawed process.  Are they deliberately making such a mess of things in the hope the government will step in and take control?

It sounds far-fetched, but they couldn’t really make more of a hash of things if they tried! By the time we get a new local plan, if we ever do, it will be 14 years since the process started. Meanwhile there is no proper framework in place to evaluate the plans for new housing being put forward by developers. It’s a farce.

Another Year, Another Plan………

It looks as though 2016 will finish in a similar way to 2015 as far as Chipping Bonhunt is concerned. The District Council has published its assessment of sites for new housing and still seems to be determined to build huge numbers on the eastern side of the town, despite the County Council demonstrating in its traffic survey that the road network just cannot cope!

Here at the Town Council we will continue to argue for   the adoption of a sensible Local Plan, that takes account of the ability of each town and village to cope with the proposed new homes and fully assesses the scope for a completely new settlement that would come with proper access and the new facilities needed to support it.

A slight mistake

Uproar at Chipping Bonhunt Town Council this week over the latest proposals for new housing.

One of the local political parties (we won’t mention their name) published an article on their website that implied the latest draft local plan was their plan, when at the same time they’ve been claiming they wanted to work with everybody else to produce a plan on behalf of the whole district.

It was all a bit of a mistake on their part, rousing suspicions that they’re trying to avoid building housing in the parts of the district that they represent while still pursuing major developments on sites that planning inspectors have previously criticised as not being suitable.

Nothing changes!


The undiscovered jewel of North Essex