Have your say on the future of Uttlesford and Braintree at East of England Regional Assembly event

THE public are being asked for their views on how the region should grow and develop over the next 20 years at a regional debate taking place in Great Dunmow. The event – on November 3 at 7pm – is part of a consultation being run by the East of England Re

THE public are being asked for their views on how the region should grow and develop over the next 20 years at a regional debate taking place in Great Dunmow.

The event - on November 3 at 7pm - is part of a consultation being run by the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) until November 24.

The consultation primarily seeks responses to four scenarios for housing and economic growth across the region including the district council areas of Braintree and Uttlesford.

One of the scenarios includes a new settlement of up to 20,000 new homes in either Braintree or Uttlesford.


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The consultation will help EERA to develop a new target for the number of new homes and jobs to be planned for in the region between 2011 and 2031.

The four scenarios which offer different approaches to housing and economic growth are:

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Scenario 1 - 26,060 new homes p/a - continuation of existing target and broadly based on the views of local councils in the region

Scenario 2 - 30,100 new homes p/a - promotes growth in areas identified by the Regional Scale Settlement Study published in January 2009. Chelmsford would grow to be a regional city, three medium-sized new settlements of up to 20,000 homes located in Central Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and either Uttlesford or Braintree - and smaller increases in Peterborough, Suffolk and the rest of Essex.

Scenario 3 - 29,970 new homes p/a - promotes growth around successful business locations where new jobs are attracting workers. Additional growth is spread over many districts but with a particular focus on Hertfordshire, south Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Scenario 4 - 33,650 new homes p/a - promotes growth where households are projected to grow. It is based on long-term trends such as people living longer and people moving to the region. It focuses the majority of additional growth in Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Scenarios 2-4 will test the Government's view that more homes are needed in the region although EERA has already rejected the highest end of the range of new homes being proposed by the Government - about 39,000 new homes a year.

EERA Regional Planning Panel Chairman, Cllr Derrick Ashley, said: "We need to plan for new homes so that first-time buyers, young families and others in housing need can buy or rent a home at a price they can afford. Businesses also need the confidence to invest in our region.

"But we also want to protect the environment and the quality of life for existing and future residents of the East of England. New development must be appropriate and supported by Government investment.

"We will look closely at all the responses to the consultation before publishing, in March 2010, a detailed plan for how many new homes are needed up to 2031.

"Although there may be changes to the planning system in the years ahead, the evidence gathered will be valuable for the continuing need to plan for new jobs and homes."

The consultation is part of a wider review of the East of England Plan which covers important issues such as transport, the environment, energy and waste as well as new homes.

The revised East of England Plan will not be completed until 2011 and the public will have further opportunities to have their say. It is the responsibility of local councils to determine the exact locations of where new homes should be built through their local development frameworks.

The Uttlesford and Braintree event will take place at Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow at 7pm on November 3. A place can be booked online at http://events.eera.gov.uk/conferences/ or contact Jayne Cole, Conference Organiser, EERA, 01284 729405, jayne.cole@eera.gov.uk

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