Deadline: Consultation closes this Friday 4th. Get your Local Plan feedback to UDC now.

Uttlesford Local Plan Public ConsultationUDC is undertaking a public consultation on its new draft Uttlesford Local Plan. This consultation is about housing strategy, i.e. where to build new homes. It ends on 4th December at 4:30PM, so get your comments in.

This is our quick guide for residents. If you only have 10 mins to respond, we list the ‘Big Questions’ you may want to answer 1/2 way down the page. Skip the background information and go right there now to get started.

Looking to answer the most basic question

The council’s previous draft was completely rejected by the Planning Inspector last December, and so the council has to start again. That means that this round of public consultation has to ask the most basic question, in effect:

“What strategy should we adopt for the majority of new homes – put them in existing towns and villages, in a new settlement, or something else?”

UDC say that follow-up consultations will focus on the actual sites and details, but this one is about the wider approach.

How many new homes?

UDC believes that they now need to approve a minimum of 580 new homes a year from now until 2033, the end of the Plan. This is a few more than the 568 they calculated several months ago, way above the 338 from a few years ago, and for some reason a lot more per-capita that surrounding districts.

UDCare also looking at another model that would approve 750 a year. UDC think they may need the larger number as it provides ‘future proofing’ of the plan because the government is always pushing for more and they may force Uttlesford to take homes from other districts if those other councils can’t meet their own targets (even though those districts are building fewer per-capita).

Using the smaller number, UDC need 12,000 homes over their plan period, but can count existing development that have been approved but not yet built. That means that UDC will still need to find sites for between 4,600 and 7,600 new homes, depending on the rate per year. Note: the maths and resulting numbers in the UDC consultation document is wrong but they have refused to fix this or issue a correction.

To illustrate the scale of what’s needed, Saffron Walden is the biggest town in the district today with 6,700 homes, and Dunmow has 3,800. It’s obvious that wherever new homes go, new-settlement or not, it will require a *significant* investment in roads, schools and employment.

Telling UDC what you think

Below are the questions UDC would like people to think about. To help you, we’ve made them clearer to understand, combined duplicate questions and scrubbed bias from them. We’ve also put what we think are the most important at the top of the list. That means you should be able to respond in 10 minutes or less. For background you can also read our pre-filled response for residents here or even just edit it and send it in.

** Deadline: Friday 4th December at 4:30PM **

The simplest way is to pick the questions you want to answer below and email your answers in to UDC using the email link that is also in the section below.

Alternatively you can submit comments on the UDC website. They have produced lots of documentation and a form that you can use. You can also use their web-portal, but you’ll need to create an account on the UDC website first.

The questions

Simply write your answers in an email and send it to planningpolicy@uttlesford.gov.uk. Don’t forget to include the question numbers you are answering. See the questions below. You can also cut and paste them into your email from our unformatted text file here.

If you have less than 10 minutes, we suggest you answer these key questions:

When responding provide your name and address.

Q3, Q10, and Q18 (combined): Settlement Hierarchy and New Settlements: Should UDC put the majority of the 3,000-12,000 new homes in existing larger towns and villages; or significantly expand an existing town/village; or in a new settlement; or another scenario?

Q11: Locations for a New Settlement/Areas of Search: If a new settlement option were selected, what things should UDC consider and where it should go?

Q4: Infrastructure: What infrastructure issues, such as roads, schools, healthcare, and water, are the most important for UDC to consider?

Q19: Other Points: Are there any other points that you wish UDC to consider?

You may want to consider answering one of these if you live near Saffron Walden, Dunmow or Bishops’ Stortford:

Q12: Saffron Walden Expansion: What specific issues should UDC consider when assessing a large extension/expansion to Saffron Walden?

Q14: Great Dunmow Expansion: What specific issues should UDC consider when assessing a large extension/expansion to Great Dunmow?

Q13: Bishop’s Stortford Expansion: What specific issues should UDC consider when assessing a large extension to the east of Bishop’s Stortford inside Uttlesford (Birchanger area)?

And if you live in one of the larger villages, you may want to answer this for your settlement:

Q15: Village Expansions: What specific issues should UDC consider when assessing development in a village?

If you have more time:

Q6: Housing Mix and Affordability: What size/type of houses do we need more of (starter, bungalow, 4 bedroom, etc)? What affordable models work best, e.g. shared/part ownership, or private landlord, or council housing?

Q5: Employment: Which locations are best for providing jobs and why?

Q16 & 17 (combined): Dwellings per year: How would you change your answers if instead of 580 new homes were required a year, 750 were required?

And if you want to give a complete response:

Q9: Locations for New Homes/Areas of Search: Are there specific locations that you think UDC should be looking at for the larger developments of new homes?

Q8: Environment: What do you think are the main issues that UDC should consider in relation to the sustainability, the natural environment, pollution and our historic heritage?

Q7: Open Spaces: What do you think are the main issues that UDC should consider in relation to leisure, recreation, allotments, parks and open space?

Q2: Cross-boundary Planning: Are there any specific cross-boundary planning issues that UDC should consider in its Local Plan?

Q1: Vision and Strategy: In the Local Plan, what do you think UDC’s vision for the future of the district should be?

Posted in Consultation, Housing and Planning, Planning Consultation, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
14 comments on “Deadline: Consultation closes this Friday 4th. Get your Local Plan feedback to UDC now.
  1. Ann Stoyell says:

    As a resident of Castle Street I have seen over the last few years 100% increase in traffic, including heavy vehicles driving along Castle Street. Very few observe the speed limit and certainly some of the larger lorries and coaches have problems getting round the narrow part of the road. All the houses are built on Sole Plates and the constant traffic is detrimental to them.
    Saffron Walden needs a Ring Road otherwise the historic streets that attract people to visit will stop.
    There should be a New Settlement, NOT on the East side of Saffron Walden as that is where the already built new houses are that are causing such traffic problems in the town but nearer to the A5 and M11 and Whittlesford Railway Station. Apparently Sainsbury have land in that area to build a large store and it is an easy commute for people who work in Cambridge and London.
    Piecemeal building has not worked. There are not enough school places, doctors, and the water and sewage is at capacity.
    The New Plan should actually look at the reality and build in an appropriate place.

  2. Chris Johnson says:

    We need more homes, but I am aware of NIMBY attitudes. Community is the main issue for me thus Social Housing to allow families & friends to stay close if they wish to; but new private houses bring mostly new blood to communities, (avoids a two headed, inbred society!). So new developments can bolt on to established communities as well as the logistics are carefully planned. New towns are good, large or small as everything can be included to serve the dwellings and bring new facilities for the local communities.
    So a mix is best, but with a high level, say 60% of social housing, that way we keep 30% for our existing local communities/family’s/people.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for the comment Chris. Please can you also make sure you send it to planningpolicy@uttlesford.gov.uk so they hear it too.

    • M. Ford says:

      Thank god for the vast majority of people in Saffron Walden who have NIMBY attitudes(which Mr Johnson thinks is a terrible offence, to like where you live and try to retain a resonable quality of life) and want a new settlement/development which is the most logical sensible answer instead of concreting over Saffron Walden and making it into a new town,You cant move in certain roads in Saffron Walden for the sheer volume of traffic, queuing up for the doctors surgeries like a third world country, every school both primary and secondary in and around Saffron Walden is already overcrowded Its not rocket science, build a new settlement(or the option of two new settlements) from scratch and get it right with all necessary infrastructure/schools/doctors surgeries etc etc.

  3. Mr & Mrs R Hitch says:

    Why do e need all of these new houses? who are they for? not English people or for the
    good of England.

  4. Keith Vines says:

    Q3, Q10, Q11 & Q18:
    Clearly we are not going to be able to bolt-on all this extra housing to our existing towns and villages, the infrastructure simply won’t take it. Therefore the obvious place for a new settlement is at Stumps Cross. Nearly all of the new jobs being created in the region are within the science parks in and around Cambridge, including those close to us like the Genome Campus, Little Chesterford Science Park and the Biomedical Campus at Babraham. Nobody wants to travel through the narrow streets of Saffron Walden in order to reach Cambridge if this can be avoided. This new settlement would also serve those commuting to London via the stations at Great Chesterford and Whittleford, while being close to the M11 for easy access by road to Bishops Stortford and Newmarket. Admittedly infrastructure would need to be put in place but that would apply to any new settlement. In terms of location this is a no-brainer. I realise it might not be adequate and we will have to consider other locations as well, but it’s one small step in the right direction.

  5. Miranda Baddeley says:

    Comments about the Local Plan
    Questions 3, 10 and 18: I think there should be a new settlement, with small scale pockets – in-fills – of new housing in existing towns and villages as and when this has the support of local residents and does not require substantial new infrastructure.
    Question 11: a new settlement should be located within reasonable walking distance 2 or 3 miles maximum ? to a railway line and station (existing or to be planned). It would also need to be able to feed into the existing road arteries and networks without increasing the present log jam in towns and villages.
    Question 19: this plan is an opportunity for promoting uttlesford as an area which is encouraging environmentally sustainable solutions, (for example for energy, transport, water and waste management), innovative design and inclusive, friendly communities.

  6. Harry Cundell says:

    Q3,10,18 my answer is that we need a new settlement of mixed housing
    Q 11 we should be more concerned with new schools, doctors surgeries, an eye on sewage, flood plains and of course the closeness to existing motorways. .Q 12 Saffron Walden is gridlocked with cars and lorries already. As I said Pollution is being overlooked, and Drs and Schools not built in time, there are no places for pupils already
    Q19 Saffron Walden is a market town with great heritage !!

  7. Richaed Ansell says:

    How can the town cope with all extra traffic the primary schools are full to bursting .All dentist doctors are full ,plus roads cannot cope .You are building all houses for the affluent people I have lived in town nearly all my life ,luckily i have a council house otherwise I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy one ,both my children have moved out of town because to expensive

  8. C. Foulkes says:

    Uttlesford is quite a lot bigger than Saffron Walden. Why does thi huge housing development have to be bolted on to Saffron Walden or surrounding villages?

    I am concerned by the amount of muddied water surrounding infrastructure needed to support any such development. In the local press a council member has said there is no problem with school capacity. He presents a bunch of figures suggesting that there will be over two hundred reception places available until 2019.

    There is no indication of where these figures come from. I would rather listen to the head teachers in the locality. They know the state of affairs in their own schools and I don’t think they have any reason to paint an unduly dark picture.

    Regarding where to develop, surely there could be a mixture with some infill on available space, agreed by all affected and a bigger development where land permits. Saffron Walden already gridlocks at the drop of a hat and all the extra traffic from a developents to the east of the town will only exacerbate the problem.

    C. Foulkes

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