Preparing a new Local Plan for the district

In spring next year, Uttlesford District Council will be consulting the public about a new local plan which will set the framework for where development will take place in the district over the next two decades.

The new plan will set out high standards for development and provide new opportunities for local people and businesses to comment on the proposals.

At a meeting of Cabinet on 2 September, members approved a report that would see the council, and all landowners, promoters and developers who propose a site for larger scale development, jointly sign a commitment to providing well-designed, net zero carbon developments and to work with local communities to prepare masterplans reflecting this. Other requirements to provide timely infrastructure and other matters beneficial for the community will also be provided for under it.

The commitment - called a Memorandum of Understanding - will only take effect if the council in the event selects a site for inclusion in the local plan, which will follow a thorough assessment of the suitability of all the proposed development sites district-wide.

Cllr John Evans, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for the Local Plan, said: "The council has set out its commitment to creating a new local plan that supports high quality design and also protects the natural and historic character of our district and environment. This partnership approach will help us to deliver sustainable communities for the future of the district and also keep our residents at the heart of the plan-making process."

Last month the council published the 299 sites that landowners, promoters and developers had put forward to be considered for development which, if all were approved, would amount to in excess of 70,000 homes. However, many more sites and locations have been put forward than will be required for the district's development requirements. Over the coming months the council will be gathering evidence and carrying out technical assessments to decide which of these potential locations may be chosen to meet the requirement for up to 17,000 homes over the next 20 years. Any sites which may be included in the local plan will be fully consulted on, with everyone given the opportunity to comment on the first draft of the plan which is due to be published in 2022.

Residents are encouraged to find out more about the local plan on the council's website, or sign up to receive regular updates by subscribing to the e-newsletter service, here

7 September 2021