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Countryfile comes to Essex to highlight fears of rural development

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 March 2018

Countryfile presenter Tom Heap at Hatfield Peverel in Essex. Picture: CPRE ESSEX

Countryfile presenter Tom Heap at Hatfield Peverel in Essex. Picture: CPRE ESSEX


This week’s BBC Countryfile programme will include a report from Essex to illustrate the national issue of housebuilding as the issue rises up the political agenda.

Countryfile reporter Tom Heap visited a site at Hatfield Peverel, between Witham and Chelmsford, that was the subject of a planning inquiry in January after the government “called in” a planning application for 140 homes on a wildlife meadow.

The site was chosen to illustrate the conflicts that exist in the countryside and in market towns between the need for more homes and people’s desire to maintain the character of their area.

The programme will also feature the work of the Essex Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) working with local MP Priti Patel to help get the government to call-in the plan. Tom Fyans from the CPRE said he was very concerned that speculative planning applications were causing huge problems in the countryside.

A violent robber threatened a man with a knife in Essex before stealing packets of tobacco from him.

A hitchhiking tabby cat has had a miraculous escape after it was revealed he may have travelled some 80 miles into Essex wedged in the grille of a family car.

Firefighters rescued a man from a burning flat in Colchester in the early hours of this morning.

Police are renewing appeals to trace a missing sex offender who has links to Suffolk and Essex.

A woman whose death prompted a police investigation died in accidental circumstances, an inquest heard today.

A Suffolk arthritis sufferer and two friends have completed a 2,100 mile European adventure, raising £6,500 to help people affected by the disease.

Witnesses are being sought after a man was reported to have assaulted a woman in Ipswich town centre.

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