Planning Application: Saffron Walden (85), Gladman, Little Walden Road (UTT/15/2069/OP)

Gladman (Thumb)

Overview

Application for development of up to 85 dwellings (including 40% affordable housing) on farm land on the north eastern edge of Saffron Walden on Little Walden Road. It is outside of the town’s ‘permitted development boundary’.

The application was first submitted in 2016 as application UTT/16/2210/OP and it was refused by the UDC Planning Committee. There were a number of concerns, including sustainability, traffic and pollution. The developer, Gladman, appealed the decision and submitted a second application to run in parallel to the appeal process.

Site Plan/Map:

Developer’s Site Plan

Details:

Sustainability Impact:

  • Estimated new residential cars: 136
  • Estimated Pre-School places required: 8
  • Estimated Primary school places required: 26
  • Estimated Secondary school places required: 17
  • Estimated 6th Form school places required: 4
  • Estimated Section-106 provision for education: £647,000
  • Estimated minimum developer contribution to sports/open-space: £392,000
  • Estimated value of other ECC Section-106 obligations (non-Highway): £173,000

History/Status:

News:

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Posted in Live, Planning Applications, Planning Consultation

Public Consultation: Air Quality in Saffron Walden

Banner: Traffic

Uttlesford District Council is currently conducting a consultation on its draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) for Saffron Walden, and we urge residents to respond to it because their questions are heavily biased to achieve a particular result – to allow them to approve up to 1,000 more houses on the east of town. UDC is required to produce an AQAP because of illegal air quality in the town centre, and in theory the purpose of the AQAP is to show a clear route to improving air quality.

Latest: UDC has just extended this consultation until 8 April 2016 at 5 pm.

Trojan Horse

This consultation is not what it seems. It is clear from even a brief reading of it that its primary aim is to act as a justification for UDC’s continued intent for large-scale house-building on the east of Saffron Walden, rather than a plan to reduce pollution levels.  A number of the questions are biased and leading and so we are concerned about the way people respond; if people simply tick “yes” to reduce pollution (as everyone would want), it will give UDC a green light to remove parking from nearly 2km of the town’s roads and so allow nearly 1,000 new houses on the east of town.

Our primary concerns

The principal concerns we have on the draft AQAP are:

  • No traffic reduction: There are no aims or proposals to reduce traffic volumes.  Locally pollution is largely due to traffic and queues.  So why are there no proposals to limit or reduce vehicle movements? The answer of course is clear – because UDC intend to increase traffic volumes and need to try to justify how this would not make pollution even worse;
  • Large-scale development on the east: The draft AQAP itself notes that the “growth of Saffron Walden and surrounding areas will lead to increased traffic using local roads, and improvements in emission quality of new vehicles may be insufficient to mitigate against increases in the levels of harmful pollutants emitted by the overall traffic fleet.”  The obvious answer is to limit the growth on the east of Saffron Walden, but there are no questions about the effect of large-scale development in Saffron Walden and the introduction of many more cars – in fact it isn’t even mentioned;
  • Discredited One-Way System reborn: Instead the only concrete proposals identified are UDC’s discredited one-way traffic system.  This is even though Essex County Council’s air quality assessment of the one-way system said that it would actually worsen air pollution in the town centre by bringing many more vehicles, including many more HGVs, in;
  • Removal of residents’ parking: UDC also proposes removal of car-parking from nearly 2km of roads in Saffron Walden. Again as exposed earlier this year, this is part of their plan to sneak through what would effectively be an urban clearway to allow more building on the east;
  • No sustainable travel alternatives: There is no assessment, or even consideration, of how sustainable travel might be increased in Saffron Walden, or what the effects of the UDC proposals might be on sustainable travel.  The more traffic UDC encourages, the more unpleasant it is for people to walk, so the more they drive.

Consider this before responding

We would recommend these 3 things:

  1. Either that you don’t respond to the detailed on-line survey (and use the email below), or if you do that you tick the “No, I disagree” boxes in relation to paragraphs 7, 8 and 9 of Question 1, which are designed to imply public support for UDC’s development of the east of Saffron Walden;
  2. If you do respond to the on-line survey, you include in the comment box for Q2 feedback to the following effect “I disagree with the draft Air Quality Action Plan.  It has no proposals to reduce traffic volumes in Saffron Walden or to limit development in Saffron Walden because of the air quality issues.  Instead it is completely reliant on hoped for improvements in engine technology to improve air quality, and no reliance can be placed on these hopes as they are outside of UDC’s control. The draft Air Quality Action Plan needs to be completely redrawn to restrict development in Saffron Walden because of the effects it would have on pollution, and to state clearly that the levels of air pollution in Saffron Walden will be properly treated as a major consideration in any housing allocations.  I also disagree with the proposed junction changes to Saffron Walden and the road changes proposed by UDC / ECC in 2014, and the proposals to remove parking on main routes through Saffron Walden.  The draft Plan needs to set out a clear route for limiting traffic volumes in Saffron Walden and the Saffron Walden Ait Quality Management Area, and clear proposals for making the roads safer for sustainable transport users; at present it is silent on both.”
  3. If you don’t respond to the on-line survey you can e-mail UDC at consultation@uttlesford.gov.uk with the subject “Air Quality Action Plan consultation” with the suggested response above.

Where to respond

Please respond to the consultation!

The consultation papers can be found at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/aqconsultation and the last date for responding is 5.00pm on 8 April 2016. The survey link is in the middle of the page. Alternatively you can email your response to UDC using the email address above.

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Posted in Consultation, Environment, Essex County Council, News, Planning, Pollution and Air Quality, Roads and Transport, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Uttlesford District Council’s secret housing plan reveals 1,700 new homes in Saffron Walden claim residents’ group – Press Release

Banner: UDC digger in Saffron Walden

WeAreResidents.org believes that the UDC Cabinet is still acting undemocratically in an attempt to dump nearly 1,000 new homes on Saffron Walden behind residents’ backs.

As part of its new draft Local Plan, UDC just published its report of possible development sites in Saffron Walden. The report recommends locations it considers suitable for 100 homes across a handful of smaller sites throughout the town, but controversially another 800 new homes on 3 sites on the East of town. UDC claims these sites would be suitable if there were “appropriate highway mitigation measures.” These new homes would be in addition to the over 800 homes that already have planning permission, making a total of 1,700 if all were approved.

A few weeks ago a Freedom-of-Information request by WeAreResidents.org showed that UDC was working on just such a highways scheme. Conflict escalated as UDC tried to force it through without the required approval from the Town Council.

Dan Starr, chair of residents’ group, WeAreResidents.org said:

“The UDC Cabinet was sent the clear message by voters at the last election that they didn’t want any more development to the East of Saffron Walden. But the fact is the UDC Cabinet has been ruthless in its obsession to build there none the less. A few weeks ago we found out they were trying to silently sneak through an east-west express-way by removing residents’ street parking from 1.7km of roads. Next they stopped the public from complaining by banning them from their latest consultation on the list of development sites. And now their secret plan has been laid bare as they’ve published the actual list of those sites. With their secret road changes, it would dump 800 more homes on the East of Saffron Walden, making 1,700 new homes in total in the town. We also know UDC has threatened to use taxpayer money to compulsory purchase land to make the scheme happen if landowners don’t want it. It’s a shocking betrayal of residents’ wishes.”

Dan Starr continued:

“UDC even seems to be picking and choosing evidence to suit its own ends. Planning Inspectors refused 2 sites in Thaxted and Clavering, and so UDC isn’t recommending those as suitable. But Planning Inspectors also refused the East of Saffron Walden twice, yet UDC says those sites are OK. The truth is UDC doesn’t need to build on the East of Walden at all as there are many more sites than are needed across the district. So why are they doing it? I’m sure UDC will come back with some slippery political speak about the sites ‘not being decided yet’ but the fact is that building on the east was rejected by thousands of residents and 2 Planning Inspectors. Why would they continue to risk wasting another £2 million of taxpayers’ money on another Local Plan failure?”

About WeAreResidents.org

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.

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Posted in Events, News, Parking, Press Releases, Residents Groups, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Read Document: WeAreResidents.org Public Consultation response to removal of Saffron Walden on-street parking (TRO5523/Amendment No. 40, Order 201*)

Banner: Parking Removal

Download Document (PDF)Read the WeAreResidents.org public consultation response to the  proposals to remove parking in Saffron Walden from Ashdon Rd, Borough Lane, Mount Pleasant Rd, Peaslands Rd – TRO5523/(Amendment No. 40) Order 201* – Public Consultation (February 2016):

More Information

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Posted in Essex County Council, Planning, Planning Consultation, Reports and Documents, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Parking quango unable to justify proposals to remove 1.7km of parking in Saffron Walden – Press Release

Banner: Parking Removal

An FOI request shows that there is no justification for UDC to remove 1.7km of parking from Saffron Walden streets according to WeAreResidents.org.

Uttlesford District Council asked for street parking to be removed from a number of roads in Saffron Walden as part of their draft Local Plan in 2013. The Plan would have seen large-scale building on the east of the town, but it and Kier’s 300-home development were rejected by the Planning Inspector and so the need to remove parking disappeared. Despite the rejection, 3 years later UDC is continuing to push forward the proposals using their cross-council quango, the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).

Dan Starr chair of WeAreResidents said:

“Saffron Walden is 2km wide and UDC wants to remove parking from 1.7km of our roads, including 50% of the residents’ parking on Ashdon Rd. They say they want to do it to improve traffic flow and safety, but they have failed to produce and evidence to support it.”

“The NEPP refused to provide the supporting evidence, so we were forced to use a Freedom-of-Information request to get to the facts. It transpires there isn’t any evidence and the NEPP say they only have a handful of documents that refer to any part of the scheme, including a report that says no changes are needed. We can also now see that the wholesale removal of parking from the north and south of the town wasn’t requested by anyone that represents the town; it was by UDC’s Head of Planning Head, but he provided no justification. It is no surprise they wouldn’t give us the documents.”

“Justification is required by law, so where is the evidence? Nothing says there is a long history of accidents, bad parking, or blocking of commercial or emergency vehicles. Trip times haven’t been measured. No one has looked at the impact to residents or nearby schools. The NEPP’s own process requires approval by Town Councillors and they haven’t even tried to get it. In fact the Saffron Walden Town Council opposes the scheme.”

“The whole process is a sham, but none the less UDC will try and sneak it through using an unaccountable quango. Clearly they are still trying to open up the east of town for developers via the backdoor, in spite of the refusal. UDC’s current actions also raise huge questions about their claims that the current Local Plan process is open and transparent.”

More Information

About WeAreResidents.org

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.

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Posted in Essex County Council, Live, News, Planning, Planning Consultation, Press Releases, Roads and Transport, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Document: FOI documents returned by NEPP for parking restriction proposal in Saffron Walden (TRO5523)

Download Report

Download Document (PDF)

Documents received under a Freedom-of-Information (FOI) request from the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) in relation to a proposal to remove 1.7km of street parking from Ashdon Rd, Borough Lane, Mount Pleasant Rd, and Peaslands Rd in Saffron Walden.

The proposal is TRO5523/(Amendment No. 40) Order 201* .

More Information

Posted in Freedom of Information (FOI), Parking, Reports and Documents, Roads and Transport

Document: UDC’s legal advice about Kier (UTT/13/2060/OP) appeal obtained under FOI

Download Report

Download Document (PDF)

Documents received under a Freedom-of-Information (FOI) request from Uttlesford District Council (UDC) in relation to the Kier appeal for planning application (UTT/13/2060/OP). The documents are they legal advice they obtained that the UDC leadership used to guide councillors to vote not to defend the appeal.

More Information

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Posted in Freedom of Information (FOI), Planning, Planning Application News, Reports and Documents, Rotten Boroughs, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Concerns that UDC ‘acted wrongly’ over Kier appeal after FOI request shows UDC misrepresented legal advice to Planning Inspector – Press Release

Banner: UDC FOI request

WeAreResidents.org, the independent residents’ community group, has announced that documents obtained under a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request have raised new concerns that Uttlesford District Council (UDC) acted wrongly in relation to the recent Kier appeal in Saffron Walden.

In 2014 after UDC’s planning committee had refused Kier planning permission, UDC decided not to defend the subsequent appeal by the developer. Kier was seeking to build 300 homes on the east of Saffron Walden on one of UDC’s preferred draft Local Plan sites. This left the Town Council and local residents group WeAreResidents.org alone to defend the appeal and foot the nearly £50,000 legal bill.

Dan Starr, chair of WeAreResidents said:

“When deciding if UDC should contest the Kier appeal, it obtained legal advice which it then blocked the public from seeing and scrutinising. During the appeal UDC wrote to the Planning Inspector to say that they hadn’t contested the appeal because, in their opinion ‘there are no legitimate planning grounds’ for Kier’s development to be refused. This was clearly not true because the Town Council and WeAreResidents.org subsequently won the case. Of even more concern is that it’s not what their legal advice said either.”

“WeAreResidents.org has now received copies of UDC’s legal advice via a Freedom of Information request. These documents directly contradict UDC’s public statement to the Planning Inspector, which seems to have been calculated to assist Kier as much as possible in winning their appeal, when they should have been opposing it.”

Dan Starr continued:

“Scrutiny of the just-released documents reveals more. At the time we wrote to UDC to request that inaccuracies and apparent bias be corrected in the officer’s report about the Kier development before it was sent to their lawyers. In reading the documents it has become obvious that these were not acted on by UDC when obtaining their legal advice. However, and in spite of that, UDC was still given a ‘30-40%’ chance of winning by their lawyers. This is clearly completely different from stating that there are ‘no’ grounds at all on which to oppose the appeal.

“It is impossible to reconcile the statements made by UDC and their now public legal advice – and they have refused to explain why they took the action they did. A new Chief Executive starts at UDC in February, and WeAreResidents.org will be requesting that she conducts a full review of UDC’s actions in relation to Kier.  It would seem that they were at best negligent, and their conduct raises serious issues as to the propriety of their actions.”

About WeAreResidents.org

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.

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Posted in Housing and Planning, News, Planning, Planning Application News, Press Releases, Rotten Boroughs, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Resident power: Clavering residents group win appeal against Gladman development

Clavering appeal win against GladmanChampagne corks will be popping tonight as local residents’ action group Hands-off-Clavering have won their appeal against developer Gladman who wants to build in their village. The Gladman development would have seen 42 new homes in the small Essex village of Clavering. This is the second appeal that Gladman have lost in Uttlesford district, after losing a similar appeal in Thaxted earlier in 2015.

In the decision notice the Inspector stated that planning permission was refused because:

  • UDC had the required 5-year supply of new housing approvals and so the development isn’t needed;
  • Planning approval would breach a number of UDC environmental and heritage planning policies;
  • It is considered unsustainable under the National Planning Policy Framework.

These are similar reasons to why planning was refused for 2 other recent appeals in the district – Gladman in Thaxted and Kier in Saffron Walden. Both of these appeals were referenced in the Clavering decision notice.

Congratulations to the Hands-off-Clavering team and their hard work on mobilising the village, their technical submission, fundraising and appeal itself.

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Posted in Housing and Planning, News, Planning, Planning Application News, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford Local Plan

UDC publishes list of possible development sites

Uttlesford Local Plan Call for Sites MapThe 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.

In the summer of 2015 UDC asked landowners if they’d like to build on their land and the resulting map is what they got back.

The sites

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)
  • Takeley
  • Stansted
  • Newport
  • Sewards End
  • Clavering
  • 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.

Posted in Housing and Planning, News, Planning, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

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

12,500 new homes needed in Uttlesford says UDC

12500 new homes in UttlesfordUttlesford District Council (UDC) has published a new study it commissioned with neighbouring councils. The study determines that UDC needs to allow 12,500 new houses in Uttlesford.

Local Plan delays mean more houses required

The study is part of the remedial action that the Planning Inspectorate called for when it rejected the UDC Cabinet’s draft Uttlesford Local Plan in December 2014. The Council Leadership has also said that it calculates that it needs to allow the approvals of new houses at a rate of 568 per year for at least the next 18 years. Previously in 2011 the Council determined it needed to provide 40% fewer (338 pa), but constant delays by the Council in the delivering the Local Plan has meant that the number has kept increasing.

As part of finding a place for these new houses, UDC has asked for developers to come forward with land. UDC’s map below shows where they are looking for land for new homes (click map for larger version).

UDC is specifically looking for land for:

  • Large scale development to create significant town extensions to Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and east of Bishops Stortford;
  • Large scale development of the major villages of Elsenham, Great Chesterford, Hatfield Heath, Newport, Takeley, Thaxted, Stansted Mountfitchet;
  • Major new settlements on greenfield sites near Birchanger, Elsenham/Henham, Great Chesterford, Great Dunmow, Flitch Green, Little Easton, Stebbing, Takeley;
  • Smaller expansion of the smaller villages of Ashdon, Birchanger, Debden, Clavering, Chrishall, Farnham, Felsted, Flitch Green, Great Easton, Great Sampford, Hatfield Broad Oak, Henham, Leaden Rodding, Little Halingbury, Manuden, Quendon, Radwinter, Rickling, Stebbing, Wimbish ;
  • These locations are in addition to all of the existing sites that the UDC Cabinet previously identified in their rejected draft Local Plan (including those that have already been refused planning by the Planning Inspectorate).

Our existing towns and villages can’t take it

Our existing schools and doctors’ surgeries are full, our sewers are bursting, and our roads are often jammed. We firmly believe that our existing towns and villages can’t take the scale of development that UDC demands. UDC’s own Comparative Sustainability Assessment evidence shows that an approach that looks at new settlement(s) for housing is the best solution – and we support it. A new settlement impacts the fewest existing residents and developers are required to pay their way by providing all of the necessary infrastructure. We also believe that an evidence-led process should determine the best and most sustainable location(s) for any new settlements.

As we’ve done before, we’ll be keeping you informed as UDC brings their proposals to public consultation. Stay tuned.

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Posted in Consultation, Housing and Planning, News, Planning, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Planning Application: Little Easton (65), Duck St (UTT/15/2069/OP)

Overview

Application for development of up to 65 dwellings on land East Of The Stag Inn, Duck Street. Little Easton. Proposed housing mix is: 39 market priced, 26 affordable (40%).

Site Plan/Map:

Locations Plan (UDC)

Developer’s Site Plan

Details:

Sustainability Impact:

  • Estimated new residential cars: 104
  • Estimated Pre-School places required: 6
  • Estimated Primary school places required: 20
  • Estimated Secondary school places required: 13
  • Estimated 6th Form school places required: 3
  • Estimated Section-106 provision for education: £495,000
  • Estimated minimum developer contribution to sports/open-space: £300,000
  • Estimated value of other ECC Section-106 obligations (non-Highway): £132,000

History/Status:

News:

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Posted in Housing and Planning, Live, Planning, Planning Applications, Planning Consultation, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council

Planning Application: Newport (94), Ellis/West of London Rd (UTT/15/1869/FUL)

Overview

Eco development of 94 dwellings (74 market-priced and 20 affordable) on farmland between London Rd and the Newport Primary School.

Site Plan/Map:

Developer’s Locations Plan

Developer’s Site Plan

Details:

Sustainability Impact:

  • Estimated new residential cars: 151
  • Estimated Pre-School places required: 9
  • Estimated Primary school places required: 29
  • Estimated Secondary school places required: 19
  • Estimated 6th Form school places required: 4
  • Estimated Section-106 provision for education: £715,000
  • Estimated minimum developer contribution to sports/open-space: £434,000
  • Estimated value of other ECC Section-106 obligations (non-Highway): £191,000

History/Status:

News:

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Posted in Housing and Planning, Live, News, Planning, Planning Application News, Planning Applications, Planning Consultation, Spotlight Articles

Planning Application: Saffron Walden (36), Catons Lane/Lime Avenue – Persimmon (UTT/15/2008/FUL)

Overview

**This application has been withdrawn **
Persimmon Homes’ development of 36 one, two and three bedroom houses and apartments on land to the east of Catons Lane and west of Lime Avenue in Saffron Walden.

The site is adjacent to the recently built 15-house Lime Avenue development, also by Persimmon. In Saffron Walden Persimmon have built the Tudor Park development opposite Ridgeons on Ashdon Rd.

Note: UDC has failed to implement the right policies to be able to collect money from developers to properly fund education. Because of this for Catons Lane, the developer will pocket an additional £125,000 which should be funding school expansions.

Site Plan/Map:

Location in Saffron Walden

Developer’s Site Plan

Details:

Sustainability Impact:

  • Size of development (dwellings): 36
  • Estimated new residential cars: 58
  • Estimated Pre-School places required: 4
  • Estimated Primary School places required: 11
  • Estimated Secondary School places required: 8
  • Estimated Post 16/6th Form school places required: 2
  • Estimated Section-106 provision for education: £275k – less £125k for Secondary and Early Years education which ECC is unable to collect due to UDC policies
  • Estimated minimum developer contribution to sports/open-space: £166k
  • Estimated value of other ECC Section-106 obligations(non-Highway): £73k

History/Status:

News:

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Posted in Live, News, Planning, Planning Application News, Planning Applications, Planning Consultation

Press Release: Appeal victory for Saffron Walden residents against unsustainable development by Kier

Hot on the heels of a victory for Thaxted residents, Saffron Walden has achieved a solid victory of its own. After an appeal by developer Kier to build 300 homes, the Planning Inspectorate has upheld the refusal and so they will not be allowed to build. The decision also states useful precedents that should help protect the town in the future.

Impacts of building on the east of Saffron Walden were highlighted by
residents nationally on BBC Town with Nicholas Crane in 2012.

The primary reason for the dismissal of the Kier appeal was the unsustainable traffic impacts, which residents have been highlighting for several years.

 “The effect of the proposals on the efficient operation of the local highway network is a significant negative factor with adverse economic effects through congestion and delays. The loss of the best and most versatile agricultural land has not been justified.”

“The harm that I have identified in these respects in combination would be significant. On the basis of the detailed evidence before me, overall the proposals would not amount to sustainable development. I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.” Kier Appeal Planning Inspector Mike Moore.

The Kier site was promoted by the UDC Cabinet in their 2014 failed Local Plan. When rejecting the draft Local Plan, the Planning Inspectorate was critical of the impacts to traffic from building on the east of Saffron Walden. This second decision reaffirms those concerns.

Kier’s application was originally refused by the UDC Planning Committee. The UDC Cabinet decided not to defend the refusal because they were unhappy with the Planning Committee going against their draft Local Plan. This left Saffron Walden Town Council and residents’ lobby group WeAreResidents.org to jointly fight the appeal and foot the £50,000 costs on their own.

WeAreResidents.org is one of the founding organisations of Residents for Uttlesford (R4U). R4U was set up to give residents a real voice in what happens locally. The local party won 9 Uttlesford District Council seats in the May 2015 elections and is now the second party in the district and largest party on the Saffron Walden Town Council.

in his appeal dismissal notice Inspector Mike Moore stated that:

  • Development not needed: The development was not needed because UDC was able to demonstrate that it had the required 5-year supply of new homes, even at the increased levels indicated by the Local Plan inspector in 2014.
  • Significant negative traffic impacts: He said “It is clear that the extent of congestion in the original assessments has been underestimated. The cumulative effect of the proposed development and other commitments would be significant at some key junctions in terms of additional delays and queuing at important times of the day. The conclusion on the effect of the proposals on the efficient operation of the local highway network is a significant negative factor with adverse economic effects through congestion and delays.”
  • Loss of productive farmland: He said “The loss of the best and most versatile agricultural land has not been justified. I have seen no comparative assessment of development locations in Uttlesford. As such, while the loss of the best and most versatile land would be modest in the context of the general quality of agricultural land in the District, this would be a disbenefit of the proposal to be weighed in the overall balance in my decision.”
  • Unsustainable development: He said “On the basis of the current evidence, the harm that I have identified in these respects in combination would be significant, outweighing the benefits that I have outlined…..overall the proposals would not amount to sustainable development…. I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed”

The full appeal dismissal notice can be downloaded and read here.

In his decision the Inspector made statements that should inform other planning applications in Saffron Walden and elsewhere in the district. These included:

  • Uttlesford has a 5-year supply of new homes: UDC is required to show it has a 5-year supply of new homes so that it can repel predatory development. The Inspector reconfirmed that this is the case and that UDC should be considered a only ‘five percent’ authority, i.e. one that needs to demonstrate a 105% supply of new homes because it has consistently met or nearly met this requirement.
  • Saffron Walden’s road network can’t cope: The lack of a proper highways strategy for the whole town, inadequate funding, and no certainly over delivery all prevent future large-scale development of the east of Saffron Walden.

 

About WeAreResidents.org

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.

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Posted in Housing and Planning, News, Planning, Planning Application News, Press Releases, Roads and Transport, Spotlight Articles, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council

Kier appeal decision expected after election

Local Plan in Life Support (Feature)

Kier over map of east of Saffron WaldenMike Moore, the Planning Inspector responsible for the Kier appeal, has written to the appeal parties to let them know that he will issue his decision by 4th June 2015.

Kier wish to build 300 houses on protected farmland off Thaxted Rd just outside the Saffron Walden boundary. Their application was refused by the UDC Planning Committee in 2014 because it was unsustainable. Kier appealed the decision and the hearing was held from 17th – 20th March.

 

 

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Posted in Housing and Planning, Planning Application News, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan

Appeal starts against Gladman’s 120 homes in Thaxted

Thaxted-Gladman-map (feature)

Last year Uttlesford District Council refused planning permission for 120 homes on the edge of Thaxted. The developer, Gladman, appealed the decision and the hearing starts tomorrow, Tuesday 12th January. The appeal hearing is expected to run for 8 days, Tuesday to Friday this week (13-16th) and Tuesday to Friday next week (20-23rd). The hearing is being held in the UDC officers on London Rd in Saffron Walden and starts each day at 10 AM. The public are welcome to attend.

The Hands-off-Thaxted residents group and Parish Council are jointly fighting the appeal. They would appreciate any members of the public who may have a few hours over the next 2 weeks to pop down and provide moral support.

More information can be found out about the appeal on the Planning Inspectorate portal and the planning application page on the UDC website.

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Posted in Housing and Planning, Planning Application News, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council

Kier housing appeal for east of Saffron Walden set for 17 March 2015

Kier housing on east of Saffron Walden

Kier over map of east of Saffron WaldenThe Planning Inspectorate has just announced that the Kier’s appeal against the refusal to build 300 houses on the inaccessible east of Saffron Walden has been set for 17 March 2015. It is expected to last up to 4 days.

WeAreResidents.org is working jointly with the Saffron Walden Town Council to fight the planning application. The appeal was originally scheduled for December but was postponed because of bereavement.

WeAreResidents.org believes that the Planing Inspector’s recent rejection of the Uttlesford Local Plan strengthens their case against Kier. The former mayor of Saffron Walden, Cllr Keith Eden also believes that the rejection of the Local Plan changes things for Saffron Walden, and gives it more time to decide through the Neighbourhood Plan process.

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Posted in News, Planning Application News, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford Local Plan

Press Release: Refusal of Local Plan gives residents a boost on delayed Kier housing appeal

WeAreResidents.org Logo Stacked (WaR)

WeAreResidents.org Logo StackedFriday 5th December 2014, Saffron Walden: WeAreResidents.org, the independent residents’ community group, announced that the recent Planning Inspectors’ refusal of the draft Uttlesford Local Plan will add significant weight and authority in its upcoming fight with developer Kier.

Kier is proposing to build 300 new houses on the east of Saffron Walden. In April this year UDC’s Planning Committee refused permission for the development after they found that the application breached 5 local and 7 national planning policies, including increased illegal pollution inside the emergency air quality zone around the town centre.

Kier appealed the decision which UDC decided not to contest because the site was designated as one of its draft Local Plan sites. However the Saffron Walden Town Council and WeAreResidents.org have joined forces to fight the appeal.

Dan Starr, chair of WeAreResidents.org said “On 3rd December the Planning Inspector ripped up the draft Uttlesford Local Plan, meaning that the Kier site is now no longer a Local Plan site. In fact now the previous policy holds sway, meaning the land is protected against house building. In his decision, the Local Plan Inspector agreed with us that many of the existing settlements, including Saffron Walden, were constrained and can’t grow easily. Our legal team believe that we now have an even stronger case against this type of unsustainable development which has little infrastructure.”

The appeal for the Kier development application was due to start on 9th December but has now been deferred by the Planning Inspectorate due to bereavement. A new date has not been set, but it is expected it will be in the New Year.

About WeAreResidents.org

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.

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Posted in News, Planning Application News, Press Releases, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
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Feature: Local Plan Sites

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