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Town centre developments: Lib Dems speak up

May 25, 2008 9:33 AM
Cllr Ross Carter at Merrymeade House

Cllr Ross Carter at Merrymeade House

Brentwood Liberal Democrats emphasised their support for a mixed use development for Merrymeade House that takes into account resident's concerns and environmental issues at last week's meeting of the Planning and Development Control Committee. We support the ground and first floors being used for community use as intended while developing the upper floor for affordable housing.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Brentwood North, Ross Carter, and for Brentwood West, Karen Chilvers, gave this application their full support, which fulfils the plans of the previous Liberal Democrat administration.

Cllr Carter said:

"Merrymeade House can really be considered the "jewel in the crown" of Brentwood North and securing it's preservation for the future is vital. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful building with huge potential in our town centre. I am extremely pleased to see practical measures included within the plans such as a cycle path, a coffee shop, a disabled ramp and the fact that a full ecological survey will be carried out to preserve the semi-rural location of the Merrymeade site"

"While the Liberal Democrat group feel that Merrymeade would pose many problems for older persons or disabled groups, especially those being forced to relocate from The Old House, we hope that the siting will result in an increased police presence for the grounds of Limes Court and Holly House, whose experiences with anti social behaviour MUST be tackled by the council and police. On balance this is a well rounded and promising application."

We were disappointed to see the change of use to a MOT testing station for Unit One at Wates Way Industrial site at the junction of Burland and Ongar Road approved at committee by the Conservatives, as we feel the current light industrial use is correct for the site given it's proximity to Burland Road properties and the traffic gridlock currently experienced in the area. Cllr Carter and Cllr Chilvers moved and seconded refusal on this important issue, but were defeated.

Liberal Democrats will continue to seek a balanced way forward for appropriate development in the town centre that complements it's surroundings, supporting the resident first - not the developer or landowner!!