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Worries over housing plan for Runwell Hospital
9:39am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
CONCERNS were raised about plans to build 575 houses on a former mental health hospital which have been green-lighted.
Chelmsford Council’s planning committee gave permission to an outline application made by the Homes and Communities Agency for the Runwell Hospital site, just off Runwell Chase.
The application includes constructing homes, a primary school, sports fields, shops, pubs and restaurants.
However despite the approval, residents living near to the hospital which closed in April 2010 still have concerns about a decision which will not see a realignment of Runwell Road until after houses are built.
A new roundabout will be put in, but residents including Terri West feel this should be done before any building work is started.
Ms West said: “I have lived in Runwell Road for 10 years and during that time I have witnessed 50 accidents, two of which actually involving my house.
“These accidents occur frequently because Runwell Road was never designed for the amount of traffic that uses it now.
“It is an accident blackspot and will be only a matter of time before there is an accident on this road is fatal.”
Rettendon and Runwell ward councillor Ray Ride also called for the realignment to go in before building begins.
The Conservative councillor went on to criticise the plans for not including medical facilities following a consultation with the PCT.
Mr Ride said: “We need on site medical provision and need further negotiations with the PCT, as they have not listened to the community who want more doctor surgeries.”
River Crouch Conservation Trust members also raised concerns about possible pollution problems which they feel could occur in the nearby river if Anglian Water do not get the sewage system right.
Councillors still granted permission to the application after hearing the concerns from the public gallery, but committee chairman Ian Wright said they were not ignoring the comments of residents.
Mr Wright said: “I would just like to say, the comments which were made during this meeting will not be dismissed.
“We and I’m sure local ward councillors such as Cllr Ride will continue to make sure all concerns are given credence.”