Steeple Bumpstead group boosts its campaign funds

The location for the proposed development on the edge of Steeple Bumpstead. Contributed photo.
The location for the proposed development on the edge of Steeple Bumpstead. Contributed photo.

Hands off Steeple Bumpstead (HOSB)has organised a successful event to rally the strong support the campaign enjoys in the village and to raise funds.

On Saturday, June 17 HOSB organised a highly successful event for the many supporters of the campaign, which included a quiz, live jazz and food, raising £1,238 for their fighting fund.

The group co-ordinates the village campaign to see off a developer which aims to build inappropriately sited housing on open farmland.

HOSB has, since March 2016 opposed plans by Gladman Development Ltd to build up to 99 houses on a site off Finchingfield Road at the edge of the village.

Campaigners believe that the numbers are too large for a single development and that the proposal would, if implemented, damage the landscape outlook of the village, cause serious transport problems, put a strain on local services, and increase the risk of flooding.

HOSB supports the need for appropriate and affordable development, but believes that the proposal would not produce enough affordable housing to justify the damage it would cause.

The proposal has already been turned down twice by Braintree District Council the second time even after the numbers of houses had been reduced to 65.

The proposal is now set to go to a public inquiry in Braintree, starting on July 18. HOSB has been building local support, commissioning expert evidence and raising funds. The group is confident that it will present a winning case to the inquiry.

HOSB Chairman Ian Mackenzie was enthusiastic in summing up the evening: “We are fighting for democratic local planning decisions about developments that can affect all our lives.

“It is simply not right that large developers with deep pockets can team up with local landowners to impose their will.

“This is about local democracy and protecting our rural values. This event shows that support for HOSB is stronger than ever.”