Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:39

Protesters Petition Against Colchester Construction

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By Amelia and Emma

Artist Emma’s impression of how the housing development may look

Although Colchester is proud to have been named by the Essex Property Network as one of the fastest developing towns in the UK, in February 2017 disputed plans for a new development of 122 homes on Bakers Lane were revealed. However, despite the fact that these plans are yet to be confirmed, residents of the area are infuriated and strongly oppose the idea of this proposal.

 

Petitions have been put into action and already gathered approximately 120 signatures. A student living in the area, Libi, aged 14, told us that she and her family have signed the petition. Libi also said if the plans do go forward, “traffic will build up on that lane and even if we try to move away, our house price will decrease because of all the new buildings.” Libi also mentioned that she and many of her neighbours are willing to protest if the plans are not cancelled, as are many other dissatisfied residents. This is a problem which is common for many people living there and something that Colchester Borough Council is to consider before revealing their decision by April 28th.

Additionally, another potential problem is that the current infrastructure was not designed to support the resulting increase in the area’s population. Therefore, a new housing development may mean greater expenditure on new power supplies, roads and local amenities. As already mentioned, roads could become blocked and the increase in the number of cars will result in a dramatic slowdown of traffic.  On the other hand, some people are happy with the construction scheme, for a number of reasons. The council’s the planning statement says that 122 new houses will, “definitely contribute to economic growth,” as well as, “offering social benefits to the community.” The planning statement also said that it should cost, “more than £13 million” to build which is a reasonable price in comparison to other developments, such as Stanway School who have planned the demolition and rebuilding of part of the school building for £16.9 million.

Furthermore, the environmental impacts concerning this potential construction are negative. Mr Holdsworth, who teaches geography at Colchester County High School for Girls, stated that, “the noise pollution of construction could not only alter animal patterns and behaviour, but could also contribute to global warming and climate change.” Moreover, he said that, “the addition of tarmac and concrete could reduce infiltration into the soil, so when precipitation occurs it cannot enter the ground, creating surface runoff and cause local flooding.”                                                                                                                                                               

Not only will it affect the trees and plants, but it could also destroy habitats of animals such as squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, field mice and many others. Emilia, a student at Colchester County High School for Girls, is a strong believer in the freedom and comfort of animals and she agrees that the construction should not happen if it were to endanger these animals. Not only that, but fumes from machinery used during construction will contribute to the dangers of global warming, another negative impact on nature.

 

In the future, residents hope that the proposal is denied to ensure that the environment, house prices, and infrastructure are not negatively affected.

Read 601 times Last modified on Monday, 20 March 2017 15:47