Recent events have shown that residents are prepared to stand up to those who ignore the views of the residents, particularly with regard to implementing adequate infrastructure improvements. As a direct result of the outcome of the surveys (see above) a crowd-funding platform has been set up to raise funds for an expert opinion on the current problem - plans to downgrade the B1012 (Burnham Rd) to an 'urban Street' with several new impediments (signalised crossings and roundabouts). This is the principle route in and out of The Dengie - and the only way in and out of South Woodham given that the River Crouch and its tributaries make the town a virtual peninsula
This opinion would be a prerequisite for a legal opinion (a 'last resort' option) at a later date if a satisfactory outcome cannot be obtained in any other way.

THANK YOU for contributing to the cost of the first report from an infrastructure/transportation/planning consultant. It was so hard hitting that it has brought about a rethink. Countryside and Essex County Council (ECC) have to prepare a new Traffic Assessment (aka a 'network microsimulation' model.)

Whilst we may have won an important battle , we haven't won the war. The developers have been allowed several months to come up with strategies whereas we will only be allowed 3 weeks from the time the new documents are released to submit a riposte. We therefore have to be ready to hit the ground running. As always with these Traffic Assessments it is a case of 'garbage in/garbage out' - but the realisation that any model that is prepared by the developers will be subject to peer scrutiny by our consultant, means we have reduced its ability to be too liberal with the inputs - or, to put it another way, too economical with the truth.

We have, therefore, had another meeting with our consultant to ensure he is ready to react instantly when the new documentation is released.

As you know there has been a gradual increase in the number of houses to be built north of the Burnham Rd meaning, of course, that there will be greater demands on the town's infrastructure. There is now also the prospect that the land east of and immediately adjoining the Masterplan site will be developed with up to a further 1500 homes - and this will virtually join SWF to Stow Maries. These fields were previously used for the Brownstock Festival and Boot Sales and have been given the green light in Maldon District Council’s (MDC's) call for land. If this scheme is eventually approved there is potential for a total of 3000 new dwellings next to the Burnham Road (B1012) with all the infrastructure implications for a development of that scale.

There are also several new developments in Dengie which are currently in the pipeline - and these in their totality will place enormous pressures on the creaking infrastructure.

Healthcare, Education, Drainage and particularly Highways and Transport will all be affected. A report on Look East last week made it clear that part of the healthcare problem in Essex has been the result of the unprecedented level of building here without concomitant improvements and expansion of NHS provision. Moreover, the roads approaching SWF from the east and west are already very busy and have a poor accident records. The planner’s current proposals will cause gridlock and markedly increase pollution in and around SWF during peak hours. Unfortunately, human nature dictates that once they’ve escaped the logjam many drivers will speed up to get to work on time or avoid arriving home later than expected. This can only exacerbate the current situation on the roads in the area and increase the number of serious collisions. To date, the planners have managed to turn a blind eye to all infrastructure implications for residents in the area.

We think the three local authorities, ECC, CCC and MDC, should start talking to each other. Whilst acknowledging the need for new housing, whatever final number is approved, whether it be 1000 or 3000, a bit of joined up thinking is needed in order to provide the necessary infrastructure for the totality of the development (as opposed to considering each application independently.) With regard to highways we are asking that there should at least be an adequate alternative to replace the current by pass that will be turned into an urban street running through a residential area and past a primary school.