Clacton: Campaigners to hand in petition over homes plan

A CAMPAIGN group fighting plans for a massive housing development on their doorstep will deliver a petition signed by around 2,500 people to council bosses.

Land between Clacton and Holland-on-Sea has been earmarked as a potential site for about 900 new homes in Tendring District Council’s blueprint for future growth.

Sladbury’s Lane Protest Group is fighting the proposals because they believe the field off Sladbury’s Lane is an unsuitable location for development and that people living near by have not been properly consulted.

Campaigner Richard Trinder said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received from our petition.

“Everybody realises that if thousands of new residents descend on Holland-on-Sea then it will have a huge affect on the character and appearance of the area.

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“This is already high unemployment and in most cases commuting to Colchester or Ipswich will be the only option for people who move here.

“Why is this area being singled out for the lion’s share of new housing when somewhere closer to Colchester with higher job prospects is a more sensible solution?

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“It is also major concern that the proposed development will increase the traffic in the lane to dangerous and unbearable levels. The traffic has already increased considerably over the last few years since the Morrison’s supermarket was built and the Clacton Retail Park was opened.”

The group is calling on the council for greater consultation on the issue before any decisions are made because they believe many residents are still in the dark about the plans.

Carlo Guglielmi, councillor responsible for planning, said that he had attended numerous public meetings over the issue where a good account of the proposals had been given by the council’s planning bosses.

“We have done a great deal to publicise the Local Development Framework plans with public exhibitions and adverts on radio and in local newspapers,” he said. “We have exceeded the amount of consultation that we were required to do and have done more than many other councils.

“Officers are going through the responses to the consultation now and these will be made public after the elections. Then after that there is the site location documents which have to be consulted on, so people will get another bite of cherry.”

Although the consultation has now closed, Cllr Guglielmi said that the group’s petition would be received by the council’s chief executive and submitted to the cabinet for consideration.

The official handover of the petition will be made at Clacton Town Hall to Ian Davidson on Tuesday April 26.

Cllr Guglielmi is standing for the Conservatives in the local elections in the Manningtree, Mistley, Little Bentley and Tendring ward. Sarah Candy (Cons), Duncan Gordon (Green), James Potter (Lib Dem) and Rosemary Smith (Lib Dem) are also contesting the two seats.

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