6th October 2015, Uttlesford: Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local advocacy group for towns and villages, has renewed its calls on Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to adopt the ‘most sustainable’ new settlement option in light of the Council’s report that Uttlesford needs 12,500 new homes to be built.
Dan Starr spokesperson for R4U said “The Uttlesford District Council leadership is focused on the £100 million the government will directly pay it for allowing these houses, but let’s put it into context. 12,500 new homes is an astonishing 40% increase in the number of households in the district. It will generate 32,000 new residents, 20,000 new cars, and 7,800 new school pupils.”
Dan Starr continued “Our towns and villages can’t take the scale of development that UDC demands. Existing schools and doctors’ surgeries are already full, sewers are bursting, roads are regularly jammed, and we have illegal air pollution. Residents just can’t understand why the UDC administration still seem intent on allowing large scale development bolted on to our existing towns and villages – even though a number of these sites have already been rejected by the Planning Inspectorate as being unsuitable. “
Dan Starr concluded “We have pushed for an evidence-led process and the evidence is clear: new settlements near to road and rail are the most sustainable. They are also the most beneficial as developers have to pay for all of the necessary infrastructure. It is these sites that must be brought forward for public consultation, not our bursting towns and villages.“
In its report UDC calculates that 12,500 new homes are needed as part of the remedial action that the Planning Inspectorate called for when it rejected the UDC Cabinet’s draft Uttlesford Local Plan in December 2014. The report also shows that the Council needs to allow the approvals of new houses at a rate of 568 per year for at least the next 18 years. Previously in 2011 the Council determined it needed to provide 40% fewer (338 pa), but constant delays by the Council in delivering the Local Plan has meant that the number has kept increasing.
About Residents for Uttlesford
Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local party of towns and villages. The party was formed by a number of residents’ groups in north-west Essex to provide a strong, independent voice for local people. The party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not politicians from Westminster parties.
R4U is the fastest growing local political movement in the district. In 2015 it became the second party at Uttlesford District Council. In 2017 R4U achieved further gains with a 60% share of the vote in a local district council by-election. Success has been based on the group’s desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.
Residents for Uttlesford also has numerous Town and Parish Councillors. It is the largest party at Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt its finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards.
R4U can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.