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Letter: Being a local politician is all about making difficult decisions

Letter: Being a local politician is all about making difficult decisions

Open letter

Being a local politician is all about making difficult decisions. It is about doing the right thing now even if the benefits won’t be seen for many years. When it comes to housing, it is about balancing the “wants” of those who already own a home with the “needs” of those who don’t have access to a place to call home, let alone a chance to get on the housing ladder.

It would be really tempting to say “let’s take the easy route”. But, together with our partners, we wanted to really deal with the housing crisis which wouldn’t be solved by continuously adding more and more homes to the edges of towns and villages for the next 40 years. 

Instead we wanted to explore if most of our future growth could be in new garden communities which we can all shape and plan from scratch with modern requirements in mind. This approach also has the benefit of attracting funding for the much-needed infrastructure essential to communities.

We must provide significant numbers of new homes every year, now and into the future. If homes aren’t located in garden communities then they must be located elsewhere within the district. It’s not a case of whether we want the homes or not but where is the best place to locate them.

We submitted our plans to the Planning Inspector but have been asked to provide more evidence. It is this evidence which is out to consultation until September 30.

There are 12 technical documents so please take a look online www.braintree.gov.uk/NEAtechS1 or in person at Braintree, Witham or Halstead libraries or at our reception at Causeway House in Braintree.

Anyone with questions are more than welcome to call the planning policy team at Braintree District Council on 01376 552525 or via email localplan@braintree.gov.uk

Councillor Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning at Braintree District Council.

Published in the Braintree and Witham Times on September 12.