New homes in Uttlesford to be ‘hybrid’ mix, report recommends

The consequences of the Referendum continue to impact on the housing market

The consequences of the Referendum continue to impact on the housing market - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A mix of housing built in a single settlement and tacked on to towns and villages is the preferred way of delivering 4,600 homes in Uttlesford.

As part of the ongoing process of drafting a Local Plan, Uttlesford District Council will consider a proposal on where new homes will be built over the next 17 years.

The report proposes five options on how the homes should be distributed across the district up to 2033, though council officers are recommending a hybrid strategy as the preferred option.

This is seen as “being sustainable, deliverable and accommodating potential contingency for growth”, according to Uttlesford District Council, but would lead to a loss of countryside and may have a detrimental impact on historical character of existing settlements.

The other options available were a single settlement, adding developments to villages, just adding homes to Dunmow and Saffron Walden and adding homes to villages and towns.

The latter, according to officers, unlike the previous three, would potentially be a “sound” plan, as towns are “sustainable locations for development” and it would sustain village vitality.

Relying on one or two single settlements would be too risky, as they may not be able to fulfil the housing need within the desired period.

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The planners conceded adding homes to villages and towns could result in disproportionate growth and worried that individual developments wouldn’t provide the necessary infrastructure.

Council leader Howard Rolfe said: “It is important that we now agree the overall distribution strategy in principle so we can move the plan forward. Officers have put forward a preferred option for development across a new settlement or settlements, towns and villages, and it is up to the council to make a decision.

“However, we are not at the point where we will be making any decisions on specific sites, or how much development will go where. This is the next stage in the process, and there will be consultation events in the coming months so that everyone can have their say on the draft plan.”

The report was discussed at Tuesday’s Planning Policy Working Group on Tuesday (July 12) and will go before the council cabinet today (Thursday), but the proposal will then need to be formally approved by full council later this month.

A full pre-submission consultation will then be carried out over the winter. It is anticipated that public hearing sessions will begin in early autumn 2017, with adoption of the plan expected by December 2017.

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