Uttlesford’s new housing targets revealed

3,300...that is the number of houses the district council believes are needed across Uttlesford between 2013 and 2028.

The Local Development Framework working group agreed the figure on Monday (April 2), after selecting the economic migration scenario from a recent Essex-wide demographic study which proposed seven different options. It would see the future population and household growth constrained by the yearly growth of the labour force.

The figure is in stark contrast to new Government forecasts. As revealed by the Reporter last week, the population in the district is set to grow by 17,100 over the next 15 years, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics. That would likely mean a need for about 7,772 homes.

It is also a lower number than previous Government-set targets, which led to the district council having to find sites for 4,200 additional homes from 2007 onwards.

That target is being scrapped by the current government, allowing councils to instead plan for a scale of growth that they believe is appropriate.

It is also possible this figure of 3,300 homes will reduce to nearer 3,000 in the next few months because of planning applications currently being considered.

Cllr Susan Barker, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “The proposal is jobs and economy-led, which means that the number of jobs likely to be created in the district has been looked at and from that, the figure of up to 3,300 additional homes has been calculated.

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“We believe this is a sensible way to proceed and gives a level of development that the district can accommodate. I would encourage everyone to take part in June’s consultation to make sure they have their say on whether they think this is an appropriate level of development.”

It will now have to be ratified by the cabinet tonight (Thursday).

The working group’s next task over the coming months will be to propose where the houses are likely to go, before this is presented to the cabinet on May 24.

The next public consultation will take place in June. Along with housing numbers, this will also look at where new businesses should be accommodated and how to address the issue of gypsy and traveller sites.