Councillors in Uttlesford are due to consider a "revised and improved" draft Local Plan that will set out homes, employment and infrastructure in the district.

The Local Plan Panel - a cross-party group set up to lead the project - will meet on Monday, July 15, and papers for the meeting have been published and are available to view on the Uttlesford District Council website.

This latest plan proposes a requirement for about 1,500 fewer homes than previously put forward, as well as "significant improvements" to strategic site allocations and an updated affordable housing policy to better reflect some of the affordability issues in the district.

Feedback received during the previous stage of the Local Plan consultation has been taken into account, and further work has been carried out to address the issues raised.

The consultation, which was held last year, generated about 5,000 comments from 1,700 respondents. 

The revised proposals have been formed following a "wide-ranging and comprehensive" period of evidence gathering and testing.

Cllr John EvansCllr John Evans (Image: Uttlesford District Council)

Cllr John Evans, portfolio holder for planning, said: "I’m pleased to see a number of positive improvements and changes to this plan which have taken into account the many representations that were raised during the last consultation.

"It is crucial that we get a new Local Plan in place as it establishes the policies that serve as the foundation for reviewing planning applications and prevents speculative development, the last local plan being more than 19 years old.

"Councils that have a current Local Plan have greater powers to approve or reject unsuitable individual planning applications compared to those that don’t have one in place, and it is vital that Uttlesford’s Local Plan is approved so that we can once again take back development control locally.

"This latest plan looks to respect the important qualities and features of the district whilst providing the housing and employment, open space and other infrastructure required over the next two decades."

The council is preparing for at least 14,741 homes that are required between 2021 and 2041 - around 8,700 of which have already been built or have planning permission.

In the revised plan, the level of housing allocations for 6,076 homes that was initially proposed has been reduced to 4,638 homes.

The 489 home strategic allocations at Thaxted has been removed altogether, and the 400-home strategic allocation at Newport has been replaced with a requirement for 300 homes - to be planned through the Neighbourhood Plan on a collection of smaller sites.


The western part of the previously proposed allocation at Takeley will no longer include any development and will remain in the Countryside Protection Zone, while the affordable housing policy has been amended to prioritise provision of social rented property.

Following the Local Plan Panel, the revised plan will be considered by the council's cabinet on July 18.

If approved in an extraordinary council meeting on July 30, the plan will go out for a period of public consultation before it is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for assessment later this year.