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Timetable updated for the Local Plan

Uttlesford District Council will work to a new timetable for the emerging Local Plan, which will bring high quality homes and employment to the District for decades to come.

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The local plan is an important document as it sets out where new local homes and businesses will go in the future, as well as the things such as transport improvements and extra community facilities needed to support it. The plan also includes guidance on how this development will happen. This will help the District to keep its high quality of life and special character.

The plan timetable has been updated due to the large number of comments received in an earlier local plan consultation, which ran from July to September 2017. People were asked for their views on the sites put forward for development, and almost 6,000 comments were made by over 2,000 individuals and organisations.

The Council has looked at all the comments and is carrying out further work to address some of the issues raised, including the water cycle study, archaeology, heritage, employment, transport and sports facilities. This will add to the background work the Council has already done.

The new timetable means the Cabinet and Full Council will consider the next version of the local plan - called 'pre submission'- in June, with another round of public consultation starting in early summer.

A main part of the draft proposals, as consulted on by the Council in July last year, are three new garden communities - North Uttlesford, Easton Park, and West of Braintree.

The Council expects any garden communities to set a standard for modern living, with well-designed homes, jobs, services and community facilities supporting a high quality of life and creating healthy, safe and vibrant places. The garden communities would also add to the future economic success of the District and wider area.

Whilst recognising the ambition and scale of the proposals, the Council wants the settlements to be built to garden community principles. A key element in achieving these principles is to ensure essential infrastructure such as schools, roads and leisure facilities, including opportunities for new country parks, are built at the appropriate time. In order to do this the Council has employed a team of people who will look to bring maximum benefits from the new settlements to new and existing communities.

The team is looking at a wide range of delivery options for how to bring the communities forward (*see notes). The decision on which options to use will develop over the coming months as part of the negotiations with landowners. The final decision on the best approach for each garden community will be made in due course.