THOSE dithering incompetents at Braintree Council have still not got their Local Plan in place, despite five years of preparation and amendment.

We fought and settled two world wars in the time it has taken them to consider their options. and they still don't have an answer.

Why would they bother? While they are paid to sit on their hands, the Government's housing targets are being met without any effort by Braintree Council (or other councils in a similar position).

By leaving the local plan unfinished, sharks like Gladman step in and cause local chaos with unwanted developments, increases to traffic and extra pressure on already collapsing doctors and schools.

But that doesn't matter, as long as Government and council meet out of date and therefore inflated housing targets.

These targets are based on 2014 data (pre-Brexit vote).

Office of National Statistics published updated figures in September last year showing that 53,000 fewer homes will be needed between 2018 and 2028 from their original predictions, but Government has decided to continue with their original housebuilding targets anyway (maybe they know Brexit won't happen, but haven't told us yet).

I believe the district target for the Braintree area is 716 per annum.

Wow, that's good news for other towns and villages because Halstead is on target to meet that figure on our own.

Even Halstead's town councillors realise that they are ineffectual cogs in the planning machine of Braintree Council and the Government.

One councillor suggested at a recent meeting that Bellway applies for a permanent entrance to their east of Sudbury Road development and it could then ask for a roundabout to be installed to service both the agreed estate and the second estate to be built west of Sudbury Road, for which the planning application had not even been submitted yet.

So much for the democratic right to object - this planning application has obviously already been rubber-stamped, however many objections are submitted.

The whole planning system is outdated and needs rethinking, but if the Government/Braintree Council cannot organise a Local Plan in five years, I guess a revamp of the entire system is out of the question.

Houses stand empty in the north of the UK, or are being sold for £1 (in Liverpool), while here they keep building affordable housing at an asking price of £300,000.

Statisticians and politicians do not realise the impact of their blinkered view and in the meantime it is the local taxpayers who suffer and are helpless to do anything about it.

Julie Kuhlman

Tylneys Road, Halstead