Uttlesford local plan submitted for examination - what’s next?

PUBLISHED: 08:53 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:03 21 January 2019

Campaigners are trying to stop 5,000 houses being built in Great Chesterford as part of Uttlesford's local plan. Picture: StopNUtown

Campaigners are trying to stop 5,000 houses being built in Great Chesterford as part of Uttlesford's local plan. Picture: StopNUtown


Uttlesford District Council’s local plan has been submitted to the Government for public examination.

Submission of the local plan follows years of public consultation and sets out the vision for the region for the next 15 years.

The submission has been delayed several times in order to add an amendment to the plan and commission an updated sustainability appraisal.

With homes in Uttlesford now costing more than 12 times the average wage and local families being rapidly priced out of the area, the council says the plan lays out a roadmap to ensure the number of new homes needed and the required infrastructure keeps pace with the growing population, whilst maintaining the rural character of the district.

Cllr Howard Rolfe, leader of the council, said: “This is an exciting time for Uttlesford as we move to the next stage of the Local Plan process. Putting together a local plan complex but it is vital to ensure we conserve and enhance the district’s intrinsic character and beauty while supporting our thriving rural communities.

“A balanced approach of new developments and managed growth in existing towns and villages has been proposed as the best plan to ensuring a positive future for our district. The plan delivers for all residents, addressing the needs of the area without compromising on what makes Uttlesford one of the top-rated places to live in the country.

“A huge amount of work has gone into the plan making in order to submit it prior to the government’s deadline of January 24. A key element of this work has been listening to feedback from communities – their contributions have been extremely valuable and have helped shape the proposals. I’d like to thank everyone for their involvement and look forward to further engaging with residents and businesses as our plans develop.”

The council is required by government to produce a local plan and outline how it will meet a target of 14,000 new homes by 2033.

Of this target, approximately 8,000 homes have already been built or have planning permission within existing towns and villages.

To help address the remaining housing challenge, the plan proposes three new garden communities, built to Garden City Principles, as well as managed development in existing towns and villages. This approach helps protect Uttlesford from speculative development and ensures the rural character of the district is preserved.

Representations made by the community throughout the process have also been submitted with the local plan and it is anticipated that public hearing sessions will begin in May or June.

Following this, the Planning Inspectorate will make its recommendation on the soundness of the plan and if it receives positive feedback the plan will be formally recommended for adoption by Uttlesford District Council.

Work will also shortly begin on creating Development Plan Documents, a process that will shape more detailed plans for the Easton Park and North Uttlesford Garden Communities, with opportunities provided for local people to help co-design these areas. Work on this has already started for the West of Braintree Garden Community.

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