Developing Uttlesford – have your say on the future of the district
MAJOR consultation that will contribute towards the shape of Uttlesford for decades to come gets underway next week with a series of public exhibitions.
Starting next Friday (January 20), members of the public and interested community groups are encouraged to have their say on the suitability of dozens of sites put forward by landowners for possible development in the coming years.
The consultation also gives the opportunity to comment on planning documents which will be used by the council when it comes to deciding planning applications in the future.
The public exhibitions are being held at locations across the district and residents can look at plans showing where the sites are and give their opinions on whether they believe those sites are suitable for development.
The council is not at this stage consulting on housing numbers – that will form the central part of the next stage of the consultation process in June, once regional housing targets are officially abolished and local authorities have been given full permission to set their own housing numbers.
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It is important to note in this consultation that just because a site has been put forward by a landowner or developer, it does NOT necessarily mean the council believes it is suitable for development. Also important is that NOT ALL the sites put forward will need to be allocated for housing.
Council leader Cllr Jim Ketteridge said: “This public consultation is important for the future of our district and will play a key role in deciding the planning framework the council will use for the next 15 years.
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“I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit one of these exhibitions, view the plans, and contribute towards the discussion on how Uttlesford should be developed in the coming years. All exhibitions are open into the evening to allow people who are out at work during the day the opportunity to take part.”
Cabinet member for environmental services, Cllr Susan Barker. said: “There are no easy decisions when it comes to deciding where new housing and businesses should be sited.
“Our approach is to focus development around larger settlements where the necessary infrastructure and amenities are already in place. We want to hear what people in the district have to say and responses to this consultation, together with the consultation that was carried out on the Core Strategy in 2010, will held develop a new draft Local Plan.
“The Local Plan is the key document that will be used in determining development in the district for years to come and the June consultation will allow people to look at that document as a whole, including potential numbers of houses on sites.”
The public exhibitions all run from 10am to 8pm:
Friday January 27 - Community Information Centre, Thaxted
Monday January 30 - Church House, Newport
Tuesday January 31 - Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow
Thursday February 2 - Priors Green Community Centre, Takeley
Friday February 3 - Memorial Hall, Elsenham
Monday February 6 - Day Centre, Stansted
Tuesday February 7 - Town Hall, Saffron Walden
Thursday February 9 - Community Centre, Great Chesterford
The two Community Forums on Tuesday February 28 (Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow) and Thursday March 1 (Uttlesford District Council offices, Saffron Walden) will host the exhibition and a time to discuss the questions raised in the consultation. These meetings start at 7.30pm, with the exhibition open from 7pm, and, like all the other the public exhibitions, are open to all.
Residents can take part in consultation online - all the relevant documents for this consultation can be found at uttlesford.gov.uk/developinguttlesford
Those people who cannot attend any of the exhibitions and do not have access to the internet can view the documents at the Council Offices in Saffron Walden, the Community Information Centre in Thaxted and at Great Dunmow Library. Call 01799 510454 for more information.