Local Plan - where are we now and what's next?

Uttlesford District Council is working hard to develop a new Local Plan that will shape how the district grows and is protected over the coming decades.

Local plans are important as they ensure growth is well planned, appropriately located, addresses climate change and provides much-needed affordable housing. It puts in detail where new homes, workplaces and infrastructure will be located through allocations of land, and helps to protect the district's unique historic and natural environment. 

The council aims to have a local plan in place by summer 2024.

A six-month series of mini consultations has already been carried out with people in the community, covering a range of topics such as character and heritage, climate change, transport and leisure, culture and healthy lifestyles. This approach won a regional award in planning excellence from the Royal Town Planning Institute. 

A further consultation was held last autumn asking landowners, members and parishes to fact-check the sites that were submitted to the council through the 'call for sites' process. 

Officers are now developing and compiling a raft of evidence, including heritage, landscape, infrastructure and employment, and are working with members, expert consultants and colleagues at Essex County Council on the next draft of the Local Plan - known as the Regulation 18 Local Plan - which will go out to wider consultation in the summer. This is the next opportunity for the public to comment. 

Cllr John Evans, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for the Local Plan, said: "Putting together a local plan is a complex process and there are many elements to consider. The council is gathering the required evidence and making good progress. We are working to an ambitious timetable, but it is worth taking some time to get this right and develop the best possible local plan for the district.

"There will some big steps made as the plan moves forward over the coming weeks and months, as well as opportunities for people to comment on the draft plan. Further details on how to give feedback will be made available at the appropriate stage."

Residents are encouraged to find out more about the local plan or sign up to receive regular updates by subscribing to the e-newsletter service - visit www.uttlesford.gov.uk/new-local-plan

30 March 2022