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Permission Refused to Build Supermarket on Designated Open Space

May 6, 2021 8:11 AM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

Open field and grasses under a blue skyThe planning application for a Lidl supermarket in Springfield has been refused, protecting the land from development. The proposal came as a shock to local residents and councillors alike, because the land is designated as Open Space in Chelmsford's recently-adopted Local Plan.

Members of the Planning Committee unanimously accepted all reasons for refusal outlined by officers and noted that development would breach Local and National Planning Policy. They agreed that loss of open space on the scale proposed and the impact of development would be devastating to biodiversity and could not be compensated for elsewhere.

This small area of wilderness is nestled between residential and commercial development at the edge of Chelmer Village, with the Springfield Lyons Bronze Age Enclosure at its heart. Spaces like these provide vital habitat for wildlife and re-connect us with nature. They also contribute significantly to carbon capture.

Essex should be preserving, not selling or building on, its public green and open spaces.

Essex Liberal Democrats understand the need for bold, county-wide policies to urgently address the Climate and Ecological crisis. We will continue implementing ambitious tree-planting strategies. We will work with District Councils to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, with incentives to increase recycling rates to 60% and stop further closures of the county's recycling centres.