WeAreResidents.org held a town plan consultation event in March 2014 to gauge the public appetite for creating a town plan for Saffron Walden. The Town Plan, if produced and approved by the Planning Inspectorate, would give the town a vision, strategic direction and framework for local planning and infrastructure.
Town Plan allows better self-determination
Saffron Walden has no Town Plan today and so, for example, only has a limited legal voice when new housing applications are determined.
A Town Plan (technically called a Neighbourhood Plan) is a part of national planning policies and sits underneath and informs a Local Plan. UDC is currently producing the Local Plan for the district. The national planning policies require that a local elected body commission and oversee the production of the plan. In the case of Saffron Walden, this is the Town Council.
Six hundred residents attended the March WeAreResidents.org consultation event and there was overwhelming support for the initiative. Since then, WeAreResidents.org has taken the feedback and presented it to the Saffron Walden Town Council to request that the Town Council start the process, working with WeAreResidents.org to produce it with other groups in the town.
Town Council on board
At the May 15th Saffron Walden Town Council meeting the council gave the production of the Town Plan the green light and formally asked WeAreResidents.org to join the Town Plan Working Group. WeAreResidents.org are excited to be driving this important initiative with the Town Council for Saffron Walden and its residents.
After the Town Council meeting, Dan Starr chair of WeAreResidents.org said “We are pleased that the Town Council has formally accepted our offer to work with them to produce a Town Plan for Saffron Walden. We love where we live and look forward to getting started.”
It is expected that the Town Plan will take 6-9 months to produce. It will then be reviewed by a Planning Inspector and subject to a local referendum. The March 2014 WeAreResidents.org public consultation is available online.