Over 2,000 homes to be built between Elsenham and Henham under Uttlesford’s new proposals

Elsenham and Henham are set to bear the brunt of Uttlesford District Council’s revised housing projections – with 2,100 homes to be dumped between the two villages.

Earlier this month the authority announced it was having to plan for approximately 2,700 additional homes as part of its revised Local Plan.

Leader Jim Ketteridge said the change in stance was necessary to reflect the latest government data on population growth in the region over the coming decades.

He said: “The original draft plan from 2012 does not include sufficient sites to accommodate the increase in housing numbers we now need to address.

“Our plan must meet Office of National Statistics population projections and these show that the East of England is expected to see one of the biggest increases anywhere in the country. The council has a statutory duty to plan for growth – there is no option around this.”

Cllr Ketteridge added: “Adding new recommended sites across the district to the sites already in the draft plan will ensure that there is a good supply of sustainable sites over the plan period to meet the demand for new homes to buy and rent.

“Yes, the district will see a significant increase in housing over the next two decades but it is important to remember that current and future residents will see benefit from improvements to services and facilities which new development brings.”

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The proposed sites for the other 600 homes are:

• Land west of Great Dunmow and south of Stortford Road (400 houses)

• Helena Romanes School site, Parsonage Downs, Great Dunmow (100 houses)

• The Ashdon Road Commercial Centre, Saffron Walden (167 houses)

These sites are on top of the 3,300 homes already identified in the council’s draft Local Plan, to run from 2011-2031.

Both the cabinet and Local Plan working group will discuss the proposed sites at a meeting on November 1.

A public consultation will then be open from November to January 2014. Residents who have taken part in previous consultations on the plan will be contacted directly to seek their comments on the additional new homes and the proposed sites.

UDC said the site selection was based on the results of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and the evidence base which the council has been preparing to support the Local Plan.

A spokesman said: “The site between Elsenham and Henham is being recommended to balance the substantial growth planned in Dunmow and meet demand for new homes in the south west of the district with its proximity to key transport links, the M11 and A120 and Stansted Airport.

“The site would also include provision for a primary school, medical centre, retail and employment use.”

Extra sites are being recommended in Great Dunmow and Saffron Walden. In Great Dunmow, the majority would be allocated on land west of Great Dunmow and south of Stortford Road. It would deliver a new secondary school and playing fields on a 14 hectare site and a medical centre.

The provision of the new school would be funded by the redevelopment of the existing Helena Romanes School site for another residential development of 100 homes.

What do you think about the proposals? E-mail sam.tonkin@archant.co.uk