Monday 10th March 2014: Saffron Walden based WeAreResidents.org has announced it intends to build a strategic vision and plan for the town, working with other local residents and organisations. To start the process the group are holding a public consultation event at the Saffron Walden Town Hall on Saturday March 22nd between 10 AM and 1 PM.
John Lodge, Essex County Councillor for Saffron Walden said “Residents have told me that they believe that Uttlesford District Council are not concerned about the future of the town or its residents. It’s time that local people decided for themselves what we want our town to be. Join us, and help us help Saffron Walden.”
WeAreResidents.org says that the initial event is open to all and designed to capture the opinions and needs of local residents, groups and organisations on a range of issues, including new homes; roads, traffic and parking; schools and education; family services; leisure facilities; and retail, jobs and the local economy. The group says that opinions gathered will be used in the formation of a Town Plan for Saffron Walden, which will be consulted on later in the year.
Dan Starr, chair of WeAreResidents.org said “There is no strategic plan for Saffron Walden so it’s open season for anyone with an agenda. Without a plan there is no direct financial gain or proper forward investment in roads, schools, sports, jobs, health and families, and we are living with the consequences every day. If you love where you live, come to the Town Hall on 22nd and help us build a strategic plan for our future.”
National planning law specially calls for these types of plan to allow local people to decide the right type of growth in their communities. Once these plans are adopted the law allows 25% of all monies collected from new-home builders to be directly funnelled to the local community, provided that the district council has put in place the correct supporting policies.
In the lead up to the event 6,000 leaflets are being delivered to homes, local groups and organisations in Saffron Walden to promote the event. The leaflet can be downloaded from the WeAreResidents.org website.
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Notes for Editors:
- The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows for the creation of Neighbourhood Plans that inform the creation of Local Plans. A Town Plan for Saffron Walden (built subject to the NPPF) would be considered a Neighbourhood Plan.
- A Neighbourhood Plan establishes general planning policies for the development and use of land in a community and can be detailed or general, depending what local people want.
- Communities with Neighbourhood Plans receive 25% of any Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) arising from developments in their area compared to those without a neighbourhood plan who will receive 15%. UDC has not yet adopted CIL, but WeAreResidents.org are pushing for its adoption as it allows communities affected by new home building to directly financially benefit from the development of their communities.
- Saffron Walden currently has no (Town) Neighbourhood Plan and so doesn’t benefit from either the protection of an adopted plan or financially from new home building.
Founded in 2011, WeAreResidents.org is the Uttlesford based group that provides a strong, independent voice for the views of local residents. The group campaigns for long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area. WeAreResidents.org works with other similar groups across Uttlesford and enjoys the strong support of professionals in key and relevant professions.
WeAreResidents.org is one of the residents’ groups that help start Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local political party of towns and a village that is seeking to give residents a stronger say in local matters.
WeAreResidents.org can we found on the web at www.WeAreResidents.org.