The day after the public consultation on the draft Local Plan closed, Uttlesford District Council published the list of the possible development sites across Uttlesford.
During this Local Plan period, UDC believes that they need to allow 12,500 to 16,500 new homes. But for the last few years UDC has received the UK’s largest payments from the government for allowing new homes to be built outside of cities. That means they have already approved 7,000 houses since 2011, but still believe they need to find sites for are another 5,000 – 8,500.
A number of landowners have put forward possible locations for new settlements:
- At Easton Park, adjacent to Little Easton and Great Dunmow
- North-east and adjacent to Great Chesterford
- East of Bishop’s Stortford in Birchanger
- Boxted Wood/Andrewsfield to the west of Braintree
- Chelmer Mead surrounding Little Dunmow
There are also a number of relatively large extensions to existing settlements, including:
- The east of Saffron Walden (even though the east of the town was found unsound by Planning Inspectors for the Local Plan and Kier developments)
- Elsenham/Henham (even though the village was found an unsound location for a village extension by both the Local Plan Inspector and central government)
- Thaxted (again the Planning Inspector found building to the north of the village unsound)
- Sewards End
- Hatfield Heath
We haven’t added up the numbers yet, but a quick calculation seems to show that land has been offered for 10x the number of houses we need. So now UDC will need to listen to what the public recently told them, look at evidence and decide where is the most sustainable to allow building. In this context the most sustainable means infrastructure is no worse after the houses are built then before. In other words road are no busier, there are still places for in schools and doctors surgeries, and water and sewers work.
Which sites are in your community?
You can find out what locations have been offered up in your town or village by visiting the UDC website here. They have an interactive map as well as PDF downloads for each settlement.