Issued: January 26, 2018
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to meet developers
Developers interested in building in the North Weald Parish are to be invited to meet with members of North Weald Bassett's Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and two additional councillors.
Council chairman Alan Buckley and vice-chairman Brian Eldridge will join three parish councillors who are already on the group to meet with potential developers.
These will be developers who have contacted the parish council and may or may not have sites which are included in the approved district council Local Plan.
District council chairman and parish councillor Dave Stallan, speaking at Monday's parish council meeting, spoke against meeting with developers because he said the invitation would have to be made to all landowners in the parish.
He said: "I don't think we should be listening to developers, we should be coming to our own views. It's down to the steering group whether they wish to (meet with developers) and whether members wish to attend that."
Council chairman Alan Buckley said it would be beneficial to speak with developers who have approached the parish council.
"We can listen to them, it's not going to sway us or change our minds a great deal. We can listen to what they have to say which is only fair and proper."
Councillor Sheila Jackman suggested developers should be invited to present their proposals at a public meeting which was open to the whole community.
She said:" We have a duty to the community and suggest we hire the village hall and invite groups and reisdents to hear what developers have to say and have one meeting when everyone hears the same thing.
"I would say they would all be made welcome."
Councillor Terry Blanks said meeting with developers was a "good idea".
He said: "We have had presentations from three or four (developers) over the last year or so. I found them very interesting and don't feel any better or worse. I'm very happy to speak to developers."
Councillor Andy Tyler said: "There are lot of people saying 'what is this housing going to be?'
"It should go out as a public consultation sometime but I think it's worthwhile the group and five councillors meet (with developers) to get a base line".
Council clerk Sue deLuca said: "If we can open up dialogue, at the end of the day it will be a good thing (to speak to developers).
Councillor Andy Tyler said the council was "between a rock and a hard place" adding: "We need to be well informed and need to meet developers with a set of questions.
"Those (developers) who want to come forward we should listen to."