Protestor gate crashes opening of controversial development by cutting ribbon

The Burnham Waters development in Burnham was officially opened at a ceremony on Friday.

It was an invite-only event and security was at the gate to keep protestors out.

A group of protestors stood outside the development entrance on the B1010 Maldon Road holding ‘Save Our Surgery’ signs.

The protestors were there to draw attention to residents’ concerns following talks of the possibility of the Burnham doctor’s surgery moving to the Burnham Waters site.

The protestors said: “The difficulty in the possibility of the move is there is no public transport to the development site and it is near impossible to get a taxi from Burnham.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Protestors: group of residents hoping to save the Burnham surgeryProtestors: group of residents hoping to save the Burnham surgery (Image: Newsquest)

“It’s just not easy, so it’s going to be really hard for a lot of people to get there, especially for elderly people.”

Rachel Eborall, spokesperson for action group Burnham Save Our Surgery, said: “A proposal by GPs and the local health board to move Burnham-on-Crouch’s only NHS surgery to this private development has been fiercely opposed by town residents.

“It is therefore astounding that Sir John is failing to support his constituents. He is flying in the face of residents’ firm wishes and assisting the developers in their plan to put our surgery out of reach of many patients.’

“Locating the surgery so far away from most patients will make primary health care inaccessible for many.

“However, grabbing our GP practice is that much easier and cheaper for the developers than building and staffing their own private medical centre – as they promised to do.’’

In response to the protestors, Sir John said: “I don’t make any decisions as to where developments are built but I do believe there is a need for this type of development in the area.

“The development is here now and I’d like to see the community integrate with it.

“The shops and leisure facilities will benefit the people in Burnham.

“It is a lovely area to live, it’s a desirable place and I really want to make that clear.

“There are an amount of more affordable homes included in the development, which we are working with Chelmsford City Council to deliver, so this will benefit people in the area.”