Posted: 09.06.21 at 21:35 by The Editor
MALDON District Council has this evening (Wednesday, 9 June) voted to reject a plan to build 232 new homes as 'phase two' of a retirement village in Burnham-on-Crouch.
The plans were for land to the North of 16A, Maldon Road and would have formed an L-shape of new development around the 'phase one' site, now being marketed as 'Burnham Waters' by the developers.
In an extensive debate, the council's officers outlined their reasons for recommending approval, including the need for elderly housing, with Maldon district having "one of the most ageing populations in the country".
Officers also argued that the benefits would outweigh the harms, with an extensive set of Section 106 conditions in mitigation and the contribution the development would make in terms of helping to meet the number of new homes the district is obliged in law to provide.
However, councillors at tonight's District Planning Committee meeting disagreed with the officers' view.
Councillor Wendy Stamp said: "This development is 3km from Burnham-on-Crouch town centre. We shouldn't be sticking our elderly residents in the middle of a field without the right facilities.
"I think it's further development on a field and it's sprawling. The harm to the intrinsic character of the area and its beauty would be major, not minor.
"If there is a need for this housing, it shouldn't be here."
Councillor Penny Channer agreed that the harm caused by the development would outweigh any benefits, adding: "We can't expect that there wouldn't be a lot of car use and this development won't allow proper integration with the existing community."
The development was rejected with 23 councillors voting for refusal and one abstention.