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There are encouraging signs that the Civic Society movement is progressing to a new national organisation. Over the summer a series of well attended discussions have taken place and the consensus seems to be that at least (a) we need a national organisation, (b) its role to be a major resource on key issues, (c) it will have a voice representing 250,000 members at all levels of government.

The significance of the Civic Society movement is demonstrated by the East of England Association of Societies ( Buntingford is a member ) holding, with others, a heavy weight conference in Cambridge University with the title ' Development of the East of England - How can we avoid throttling the goose ?' Speakers include academics and senior civil servants. We will send a delegate.

Talking about killing the goose that lays golden eggs what are we to think about the London Road application by Barratts ? At one level BCS welcomes the economic stimulus this development offers during construction and in due course the retail contribution of new residents. But, there is a 'but', infact several 'buts'.

The London Road development is for 149 dwellings, Greenways application is for 50 dwellings and 10 or so in Ermine Street. If they all came on stream together the impact on Buntingford is horrendous. The environmental credentials seem very weak, the infrastructure is not in place to meet such rapid growth - growth should be phased not piecemeal.

What is proposed could undermine the Buntingford Town Plan which is designed to inform the Local Development Framework. It is not at all clear that EHC briefings on LDF and Climate Change Strategy are being met by these planning applications not least the requirement for community involvement in the process.

BCS will continue to challenge what is perceived to be failing to further the Town's best interests and we will certainly demand evidence that Section 106 Agreement benefits, which are linked to development, are seen in Buntingford and not totally lost in the EHC or HCC pot.

Derek K Cooper, Chairman.

Mark Addison Ceramic Tiler

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