Actions so far. GOCA has strongly and extensively objected to the adverse local aspects of this new plan that is shortly to be considered at an Examination in Public. We believe the Plan would destroy the whole nature of our village and detrimentally affect all existing residents’ quality of life forever. GOCA only objected on matters that affect Goffs Oak where the Plan is proposing to develop large areas of our Green Belt to accommodate about 1,000 new houses for about 4,000 new residents with no additional infrastructure. We are certain the current infrastructure of roads, schools and health facilities simply cannot cope with the new demands placed upon it by the scale of new development proposed in the Plan. Our Community needs to object proactively if these developments are not to proceed. Are there any aspects of the Plan we can support bearing in mind local needs?
Young Families. GOCA accepts that there is a shortage of affordable housing for young families in our village. However, none of the proposals will remedy this problem. The applications for development are only in outline and hence there is no detail of the types of houses that are being proposed. All the indicative layouts submitted make it quite clear developers are anticipating that principally 3, 4 and 5 bedroom detached houses will be built starting at say £600,000 plus and most £1,000,000 plus. Not really starter homes for young families we suggest. The houses at this value will not allow Government assisted purchase schemes to help either. Young families will not benefit in our view from the proposed developments, so the problem will continue to exist.
Elderly Needs. GOCA accepts that there is a need to meet the demands of an ageing population. No luck there either in the Plan, sadly, for even though there are some ideal Green Belt sites in the plan, that are near the village centre with easy level access to essential amenities, no bungalows or developments to meet these needs are being promoted. Elderly needs will not be met in our opinion and this is a major problem we believe.
Our proposal. GOCA has put forward strong arguments that new housing development in our Borough should be in locations where infrastructure currently exists and that is in the Urban areas of Broxbourne and not in the Goffs oak Green Belt. Rural areas cannot accommodate large numbers of houses as they simply do not have the infrastructure to support the scale of development proposed. Rural areas could accommodate limited developments for young families and the elderly and that could justify removing small areas of land from the Green Belt. The proposal to build luxury houses for people priced out of the London market is no justification for developing our precious Green Belt. We will continue fighting to protect our village which is the whole reason GOCA was set up in the first place.