Press Statement from Cllr James Abbott (District and County Councillor for Silver End)

Monday 23rd October 2017


Cllr James Abbott said

"This is nothing more than a greed-based and cynical attempt at a further major land grab of the countryside.

With all the landowners and developers queuing up to build major housing developments, quarries and one of the largest waste sites in Europe, it may soon be easier to look at a map and try to spot which parts of this area are not being put forward for development.

The Silver End Suburb proposal may not be the last either – the Government's profound weakening of the planning system in recent years and its top-down requirements on housing numbers means that local communities have a reducing say on how their area is developed, contrary to Tory promises about "Localism". In the case of this so-called garden suburb concept, the local community have not been consulted at all – the landowner put it forward to the Local Plan at a very late stage.

The landowners cynically claim that the rural areas locally have not been allocated enough housing land in the Braintree District Local Plan. I n the case of Silver End they are simply attempting to mislead. There is already outline planning consent for 460 houses on 3 greenfield sites around Silver End. And there are 2 further brownfield sites within the village which could take over 100 houses – and for these sites the local community actually wants to see redevelopment, yet they have sat idle and derelict for years. In this area there are also plans for significant development at Cressing on 3 sites and despite getting consent for nearly 400 houses at Rivenhall, the same landowner has just put in a planning application for more and is opening up a quarry along the A12. Given the existing pressures on services and local roads, we are facing a wave of development and urbanisation well beyond what is sustainable.

The landowners for the Silver End Suburb also claim justification in that part of their proposal is brownfield land. Again, they are simply trying to mislead. The vast majority of the site is open countryside and much valued locally.

The trick of using pictures of the existing historic aspects of the village in their documents will not fool anyone. By referring to Silver End's historic Model Garden Village status, the landowners appear oblivious to the major clue in the title – that Silver End is a village. Talking to local people over many years. I find that the vast majority want it to stay a village whilst of course accepting that some development is needed, but at a level the village can successfully absorb. Bolting on a huge development that is much larger than the existing village is completely alien to the Silver End character. And it is also interesting to note that the major landowner for this proposal has already got outline consent for a site for 350 houses off Western Road, which he and Gladman forced through a public planning inquiry against the wishes of the local community, the parish council and Braintree District Council.

This proposal could not be a more clear illustration of the outright failure of planning policy – greedy landowners and developers queuing up to build on the countryside around a village while good brownfield land lies unused. What they appear to have done is to look at the proposed routes for the A120 and fill in the gap. We can expect more of the same when the route of the A120 is known later this year and then the A12 route possibly early next year.

Finally, the Silver End suburb land owners appear to have forgotten that a huge waste site with an incinerator is planned close to the northern edge of their site.
In total there are now live planning applications and proposals for a taller chimney stack for the incinerator, 4 of the 5 A120 routes, a major extension to the quarry, the 350 houses Gladman site and this proposal for up to 1800 houses all crammed in to the one same area of countryside.


For further information:

Cllr. James Abbott


If you are interested in the Silver End Garden Suburb - Concept Statement, download here





Turn Witham & Braintree Green

Councillors Achievements

Sign up for monthly newletters

Good Energy

Switch to Good Energy and they will donate £50 to the Green Party

Switch to green electricity with Good Energy and they will give us £50 for everyone who joins them quoting GE2223 via the Good Energy website.

Ecotricity Green Electricity

Switch to Ecotricity

Switch electricity and/or biogas and they will donate up to £60 to us for every new residential customer. If switching both electricity and biogas, the firm will donate £60 to us. For switching just electricity, it’s £40; for just biogas, the donation is £20.  Use this link >>> and quote the code ERGP1.