Many areas around towns and villages in the Braintree district are changing fast due to development. We do need new homes and employment sites, but all too often once sites are in the hands of developers, trees and hedges are cut down and ponds filled in.

The combination of the Government’s drive for development and the failure of the Conservative administration at Braintree District Council to secure a Local Plan has left volume developers in the driving seat when it comes to planning, and many communities feel left behind.

Many local residents have expressed concerns about the amount of development being proposed in the Bocking area, including at Straits Mill where 1,000 houses are planned. 
Yes, some development is possible on the site, but why does there have to be so much loss of wildlife habitat? The Essex Wildlife Trust has raised concerns about the loss of ponds and trees. There are also concerns about flooding.

And while on development sites we are seeing the loss of natural features, when the Green & Independent Group at BDC recently proposed investing £250,000 in new community woodlands in the district, which would not have added to the council tax, the Conservatives voted it down. 

Excessively high development rates, increasing traffic levels and loss of habitats are all going the wrong way if we are to be serious about tackling climate change. 

As well as those impacts, the proposed Rivenhall Airfield incinerator would be the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in Essex. Are the authorities mitigating for all this? No, they are not even coming close.

Prior to 1934, Bocking had its own parish council. Perhaps it is time to look at establishing a local council again for the area, to give residents of Bocking more say in what happens in their community. 
In the G&I Group we are very supportive of the work parish councils do for their communities and have consistently defended their ability to have a real say in local planning.

Councillor Nick Unsworth
Kelvedon Road, Coggeshall
Green Party County Council candidate for Bocking division