R4U are having a real effect in planning for the future.

Please cast your mind back to the days of the last conservative administration at UDC. The most important committee for the lives of all of us in Uttlesford, the Plan Policy Working Group (PPWG) was held in deep secret with only tory members present and unsustainable deals were hatched with developers.

Fortunately though, a number of those large and damaging housing developments were thrown out at appeal by the Planning Inspector. Then in the May elections all of the Conservative councillors were thrown out in Saffron Walden and the new R4U councillors are happily having a real effect on the way in which UDC is planning for its future.

The PPWG is now held in public with the proceedings broadcast on the web and members of the public are actually able to participate. We have a commitment from officers who are carrying out the detailed planning work that the plan will be constructed by working from objective assessments and the process WILL NOT BE DRIVEN BY DEVELOPERS.

We will shortly be publishing the early work of the PPWG and consulting with you all on the work to date. I would like to encourage everyone to look closely at the plans and feed-back their views through the consultation process. It is your chance to shape the future of your district.

One Reply to “R4U are having a real effect in planning for the future.”

  1. Geoff Powers


    I can’t quibble with your declaration of openness – and patently, ensuring developers keep their noses out of the process is just how it should be – and I am encouraged by the new arrangements for public participation, which all will agree are very positive. I am much more concerned about the continuing propensity of some of the ‘duff’ Tory councillors* we still have around to make idiotic decisions if for no better reason than that after 8 years they really do not seem to comprehend what the process is all about.

    The council is clearly being pointed towards a single-settlement solution. Once that decision is made in principle – a decision the council surely cannot now avoid – what price evidence-led planning? Will it become ‘cats in a sack’ time once again? We have to have to ensure that everyone involved in the process is repeating the mantra: ‘Planning is not a political process!’

    (* I will refrain from identifying them by name!)

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