Criticism of Braintree Council’s Local Plan meetings being rushed is disappointing.

I am not a member of the Local Plan committee but have attended the vast majority of these open to the public, transparent meetings, since it commenced in 2015.

The Local Plan committee consists of experienced and knowledgeable councillors drawn from across all political groups.

With about 35 public meetings held to date, serious questions and scrutiny have been the norm, accompanied by huge agendas, huge workload and huge technical reports - it all goes with the territory.

One meeting went on for more than six hours.

The council has held four open, district-wide public consultations, (including the current one) totalling 26 weeks (with hard copy documents available in the libraries, plus Braintree Council office) twice sent specific Local Plan leaflets to every resident, with about 100 evidence based online documents - available 24/7.

The Local Plan has been to full council three times for debate with formal vote in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

A lot of effort from council officers has ensured councillors, communities and residents have been kept well informed and encouraged to have their say on the future of the district. I am sure many of my councillor colleagues do not feel the process has been rushed with more than ample opportunity to have a say on the future of our district.

Peter Schwier

Conservative district councillor for Gosfield and Greenstead Green ward