Report reveals location for potential developments in Uttlesford

PUBLISHED: 09:26 01 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:55 31 May 2010

HUNDREDS of sites across the district have been offered up by landowners and developers as potential locations for new houses. A recent report published by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has identified land which could help the district to meet its Gov

HUNDREDS of sites across the district have been offered up by landowners and developers as potential locations for new houses.

A recent report published by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has identified land which could help the district to meet its Government-imposed housing targets.

The report, called the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), is the first of its kind it Uttlesford and is now open to consultation from parish councils and the public.

The Joint Parishes Steering Group (JPSG) was set up to protect the villages of Elseham, Henham, Stansted, Newport and Ugley from major developments.

Chairman on the JPSG, Nick Baker, said: "This is the way the council should've done the housing consultation in the first place. It's a negotiation with the council that we will have to take some houses, but dispersed around the district and not in one single settlement.

"Unfortunately the SHLAA came out in a peculiar way - it was a bit hidden and parish councils need more time to respond to it."

The district has to find space for 4000 new homes for the period up to 2026 and the SHLAA will help the council to decide where the best sites are.

All of the major settlements in Uttlesford including Saffron Walden, Stansted Mountfitchet, Elsenham and Thaxted have had sites earmarked for potential development.

So far 18 parish councils have responded to the SHLAA. The closing date for comments is October 9.

Chairman of Stansted Parish Council, Geoffrey Sell, said: "Members recognised that there will be some development in the village, but what we are trying to avoid is coalescence with Birchanger and Ugley.

"We don't want to develop on green belt land or countryside, but there are redundant sites, such as The Three Colts pub which could be used for residential."

Senior planning officer at UDC, Sarah Nicholas, said: "It is important to remember that the SHLAA provides evidence to support decision making, it does not make decisions about which sites should be developed for housing.

"Any sites which the council consider suitable for development will be subject to public consultation through the planning policy documents."

To view the report search for "SHLAA" on the council's website at www.uttlesford.gov.uk

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