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What do we want?

We want to see improvements in Wickford.

This can be achieved by regenerating derelict sites with homes, shops and improved leisure and health facilities, accompanied by upgraded support infrastructure where required. We did NOT think that the Wickford Master Plan would provide these improvements, because it was almost exclusively for blocks of flats, in some cases 6 and 7 storeys high, totally out of keeping with the town, and it did not address satisfactorily the current and ensuing supporting infrastructure requirements:- roads, parking, doctors, dentists, school places, water, sewage, electricity and gas supply.

Now that the Master Plan has been shelved, there is even more need for a planned and coordinated approach to planning. The current crop of ad-hoc building proposals do not offer existing residents any benefits, whilst at the same time they would give rise to other problems such as more traffic congestion, an unsightly appearance and in some cases a potential flooding hazard.

We are therefore pressing for the councillors to:

  • have an open consultation with the public and produce a robust strategy for town centre development.
  • encourage developers to improve infrastructure at the same time as they build, for example by implementing a sound, rigorous S106 policy.
  • lobby Essex CC & Government to improve services roads, schools etc.
  • be up front with all the administrative offices that the implementation of planning applications must comply with the strategy and ensure that all of the support services are in place first.

We do want to see improvements to Wickford, but lets make sure the town isn't wrecked for our children by the building of unsuitable and unsightly blocks of flats without the supporting infrastructure!

The Wickford Action Group
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