Local Plan to be built on not torn up, says Uttlesford District Council in response to Planning Inspector’s remarks


- Credit: Archant

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has vowed to tweak its flawed Local Plan rather than scrap it and start again – after a final report by the Planning Inspector suggested not every aspect was ‘unsound’.

The report, released today (Monday), clarifies and expands on the issues outlined in Roy Foster’s summary statement on December 3, which focused on the suitability of Elsenham for major development and the need for a greater number of houses.

The plan had set out sites for the building of 10,460 homes over a 20-year period between 2011 and 2031.

UDC says the findings mean the authority will be able to build on its existing evidence base and develop this as necessary, with a working group recommending revisions in preparation of a revised Plan.

The working group, with cross-party membership and meetings open to the public, will take forward Uttlesford’s draft Local Plan.

Leader of the council, Cllr Howard Rolfe, said: “We acknowledge the Inspector’s report, which is both detailed and comprehensive.

“There are a number of positives we can take from his conclusions and he sets out a clear direction for the working group and the council to follow.

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“The working group will be re-structured to drive this process forward – importantly, the meetings will be held in public and there will be an opportunity for public speakers, the working group will continue to be cross-party and I hope that all political parties represented on Uttlesford District Council will accept a seat at the table.”

The council has said the inspector noted that the Saffron Walden allocation policy was, in strategic terms, “a sound allocation”, although UDC has accepted that more explicit detail is required to determine the functionality of the link road between Thaxted Road and Radwinter Road.

The Great Dunmow allocation policies are described in the report as “generally sound”.

The inspector also observes that the employment strategy and settlement classifications are sound.

One of the working group’s first tasks will be to assess the implications of the inspector’s full statement in detail. A report will be prepared for the group ahead of its initial meeting in the New Year.

The revised plan will be submitted to Full Council.

To read the statement in full, visit uttlesford.gov.uk/localplanexamination.