Takeley residents successful in preserving an important right-of-way for their community – Press Release

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local party of towns and villages, has announced that R4U’s Cllr Natalie Sullivan-Smith has been successful in preserving an important public right-of-way and reinstating hedgerow that UDC allowed a developer to rip up in Takeley.

In 2014, Countryside Properties removed part of a hedgerow to extend their building site onto a public footpath running beside their Friars Place development in Takeley. The hedge provided a visible boundary to the development as well as a habitat for wildlife. In spite of local protests, residents became more frustrated when in early 2015 UDC granted retrospective planning permission which allowed the developer to rip out the rest of the hedgerow.

R4U’s Takeley Parish Councillor, Natalie Sullivan-Smith led the year-long residents’ campaign which has just seen the public footpath and hedge restored.

Cllr Natalie Sullivan-Smith said:

“I am pleased that we have successfully preserved this much used and important right-of-way. We insisted that the fence was moved back, retaining the access and restoring the footpath width, which is important for pushchair access and dog walkers.  And even though it will take a number of years to grow to full height, importantly the hedge has now been replanted.”

“Countryside Properties have indicated that they’ll complete the final hedgerow works before Christmas. But it is disappointing that residents had to get involved to make the District Council and developer do the right thing. It is also frustrating that UDC refuses to make all developers adhere to the Considerate Constructors Scheme as part of granting planning permission. It happens elsewhere, so why not in Uttlesford?”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.