Several people have approached the society and asked for assistance in focusing their replies to the consultation so we thought that a few guidelines would assist.
- We would encourage people to reply in a letter to the council, the online form does not allow for all responses to be processed as easily as in a letter and a letter has as much weight as an online response.
- Make sure that your response is evidence based. Much as we may like to say that we want no development in Epping as we like it as it is that carries very little weight. Evidence can be things such as a) Traffic does not allow for development (you could include proof such as photos on various times and dates but these are not required or specific personal experiences) b) Development would cause unsustainable environmental impact e.g. trees with preservation orders, levels of nitrous oxide would be dangerously high (again with proof if possible) c) Access to the site is sufficiently difficult to make the site unviable (with photographic evidence) d) Wildlife issues e.g. bats or endangered wildlife in the area (with proof – newts no longer count, but confident personal observation could be mentioned) e) Details of the site are insufficient e.g. no details have been provided on parking and f) The infrastructure plan is insufficient to determine the viability of the plan (e.g. the district has not obtained commitments from the county council to determine if the plans would be carried out (NB the county council is responsible for roads, schools, hospital, doctors etc.)
- Make sure you include an easy to interpret summary of your points at the end of your letter so that a council employee can easily classify your reply as you do not want your replies misinterpreted.
- Please tell all your friends and neighbours about this draft plan and encourage them to also respond as a surprisingly large number of people are still unaware of what is happening
- Make sure you say clearly that you oppose or approve so that there can be no confusion