There was a further Little Waltham Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 4th June and a number of issues were discussed that impact on the Channels Development. You will note from the updates below that the Parish Council, together with City & County Councillors, are all very supportive of residents on the Channels Development and the Community Group has forged good relationships with each of them to ensure continued engagement.
The Parish Council will formally submit an objection to application 19/00581/REM which proposes the construction of 300 new dwellings in the area on the other side of the bridle path (Zones K and L). This is on the grounds that the design of the dwellings are not in keeping with the surrounding area and more importantly that there is insufficient infrastructure in place to support them, including the lack of a crossing at the bottom of the bridle path on Essex Regiment Way.
Bus Service (51)
The Parish Clerk and Parish Councillor Melanie Williamson attended a transport stakeholder meeting on 4th June and it transpired that First Bus have amended timetables (by increasing the gap between buses) to ensure buses run on time. First Bus indicated that once the new route begins to include the parts of the wider development on the other side of the Radial Distributor Road, the time between the 51 services will increase with the service only running every 40/45 minutes (assuming it’s on time!) rather than the 30 minutes as originally planned, even at peak times.
This is considered unacceptable and County Councillor John Aldridge confirmed to the Parish Council that he would take up this issue on behalf of residents. The Community Group will also write to Councillor John Aldridge on behalf of residents and will again make contact with the organisation (Transport Planning Associates) that was initially secured to arrange the contract with First Bus as we believe that developers have provided funding to deliver a bus service every 30 minutes.
Crossing for Essex Regiment Way
The Parish Council confirmed that it would formally support Councillor John Aldridge in continuing to lobby for a crossing at the bottom of the bridle path to enable safe passage across Essex Regiment Way. Councillor Aldridge believes that residents are essentially ‘land locked’ and does not accept that there are any valid reasons as to why a crossing cannot be installed immediately, even if it is not in line with the planned trajectory for the work taking place. The Community Group will additionally write to Councillor Aldridge on behalf of residents noting the same concerns.
Highways Adoption for Phase 1/2
Residents will no doubt be aware of the poor state of the roads on the Bellway phase of the development. Many of the roads are only a few months old and yet look more like they have been in place for many years. There are sunken drains, sunken paving, damaged and poorly laid paving, pooling of water, weed growth and general poor workmanship. The Community Group has been pushing Bellway in recent months about this and yet we have only received high level generic updates and no evidence of any tangible corrective action.
As a result contact has been made with City Councillor Barry Knight who has raised the issue on our behalf and he formally advised the Parish Council that he will be supporting residents in ensuring the problems are resolved. Key stakeholders within the City Council (Planning) and County Council (Highways) are aware and are currently investigating.