Proposal for more 'open' planning process in Uttlesford outlined

Uttlesford District Council Offices

Uttlesford District Council - Credit: supplied

Parish councils in Uttlesford are set to get a greater say in how developers '"give back" to the community in the planning process.

Uttlesford District Council will set up a charter for developers and involve town and parish councils in pre-application meetings in a bid to create a more "open" planning process.

The proposals were drawn up by a cross-party Planning Obligations task force and agreed by the council's cabinet on July 1.

Cllr John Evans, portfolio holder for Planning and the Local Plan, said the task force's review would help ensure town and parish councils feel supported by the authority.

He said: "This review was designed to make sure the council facilitates a more open and productive relationship between the district and town and parish councils.

"This was an important much-needed piece of work and I would like to thank the members of the Planning Obligations Task and Finish Group for their comprehensive report.

"I am delighted it has received the backing of cabinet colleagues.”

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The Planning Obligations Task and Finished Group had prepared a report for the council's cabinet. It set out that 71 per cent of respondents to a recent survey felt they have very little to no influence over the planning obligations process.

To improve this, a charter for people applying for planning permission will be drawn up.

Known as the Uttlesford Developer Contribution Document, it will set out the council's approach to issues such as making sure developers make fair financial contribution to infrastructure.

Uttlesford District Council also said it will develop a publicly-accessible database to view what developers should be providing when they build new developments.

Cllr Chris Criscione, who chaired the group, said: "This review was rooted in a general perception that communities were losing out when developers reneged on their agreed commitments.

"Together, members and officers set out to review what could be done to make sure that communities have their voices heard in matters around what developers contribute to the local community to mitigate their impacts, and we are confident that our report does just that."