Search site

Garden Community Principles

A leading expert on national planning issues, including the impacts of development on communities and the environment, addressed Uttlesford District Councillors earlier this month as part of the ongoing work on the emerging Draft Local Plan.

AAA Default News Image (UDC Square Logo)

Dr Hugh Ellis, Head of Policy at the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), gave a short presentation on the importance on garden community principles and land value capture. This was followed by an informative Q&A session, in which councillors had the opportunity to ask Dr Ellis more detailed questions about development corporations, government thoughts on garden communities, design, affordable housing and more.

The presentation followed a recent TCPA-organised study tour that six members and officers from the council attended to learn about other garden communities from across the country. 

Over the summer the council consulted on its recommended sites that will help to meet the district's housing and jobs requirements over the coming decades, as well as the associated policies that will help to shape the infrastructure needed to support development. This included proposals for three new garden communities on land at Easton Park, North Uttlesford (north-east of Great Chesterford), and west of Braintree.

Responses from over 2,000 individuals and organisations were received to the consultation, and this will be used, along with the evidence base and national policy, to shape the next version of the local plan which the council will consult on again next year.

For more information about the draft local plan, visit or to view the comments made during the recent consultation visit the online portal at


Garden community principles

Garden communities are planned settlements that enhance the natural environment and offer high-quality affordable housing and locally-accessible work in attractive, healthy and sociable communities. The principles form an interlocking framework for garden community delivery, and include:

• Land value capture for the benefit of the community

• Strong vision, leadership and community engagement

• Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets

• Mixed tenure homes and housing types that are genuinely affordable

• A wide range of local jobs within easy commuting distance of homes

• Imaginatively designed homes and gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities and local opportunities to grow food

• Development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and that uses zero-carbon and energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience

• Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant and sociable neighbourhoods

• Integrated and accessible transport systems with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport

For further information, visit the TCPA website,