150 homes approved for Saffron Walden

The Poppy View housing development on Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden

An artist’s impression of how the Poppy View development could look in Saffron Walden - Credit: Supplied by Bellway Homes

A housing development of 150 homes rejected for failing to provide sufficient green and amenity space has been approved on appeal.

The first homes on the site, east of Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden, are due to be completed by spring 2022.

Applicant Bellway Homes appealed after Uttlesford District Council refused the scheme in February 2020.

UDC said the scheme failed to provide sufficient or adequate green space and amenity space. The council also criticised the play area location, and argued it lead to an unsuitable design.

In granting approval on Friday, January 29, a government planning inspector said the lack of a district Local Plan meant there was no adopted development policy specifying the amount of green and amenity space required.

The previous Local Plan, which could have established such requirements, was found to be ‘unsound’ by independent inspectors and withdrawn by the R4U administration. 

The inspector also said that the play area is on the most even land possible, meets the needs of all users and access to it is safe and walkable. 

The land already had outline planning permission for housing which was granted in April 2019. This meant the scale and nature of the development was deemed acceptable to the council before detailed proposals were made. 

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The Bellway development will be known as Poppy View and have 90 properties for private sale, with a further 60 homes as affordable housing through shared ownership or rent.

Bellway Essex managing director Richard Burrows said: “Now that we have received planning permission, we can look to begin work on providing Saffron Walden with a wide range of much-needed new homes to suit a variety of buyers, from first-time purchasers to families. 

“This development will also help to support employment in the area, as jobs will be created directly from people working on the site and indirectly through local suppliers and contractors. 

“In addition to the new homes, our plans for Poppy View also include the extensive planting and retention of trees and hedges, a tree-lined spine road, and the creation of two landscaped green spaces and a children’s play area. This development will be beneficial to both new and existing residents in the town. 

“We are now looking to move onto the site and begin initial works in the coming weeks.” 

Bellway has scheduled the launch of the development for later this year.