Saffron Walden secondary students to go to Newport thanks to Tory UDC Cabinet Local Plan

The UDC Cabinet’s failing Local Plan will force new Saffron Walden students to Newport due to the lack of planned spaces.

In its Local Plan UDC must find space for more than 4,600 new homes in addition to the 7,000 that it has already approved. In their draft Local Plan, UDC is targeting more than 1,300 of those homes for Saffron Walden.  Following the publication of a key ‘viability report‘ commissioned UDC, R4U has expressed concerns over school places.

John Lodge (R4U)John Lodge
R4U Chair & Leader UDC

R4U’s Chair Cllr John Lodge said “A few weeks ago UDC were forced to halt their draft Local Plan after it was found that a series of key evidential reports were missing. This week they have published the first batch of the missing reports. Key to our future is the Viability Study that shows the impact of new homes in different Uttlesford towns and villages. It is produced by a consultancy that is independent from UDC. The education section doesn’t make happy reading for those in Saffron Walden. The town’s High School is full and so the report says that secondary school places will be shifted to Joyce Frankland Academy instead. This lays bare the folly of bolting on a major town extension over new sustainable settlements. A new settlement requires developers to deliver all the infrastructure required, including new schools and roads. Developers have no such obligations in sprawling towns. This short-changes taxpayers and robs us of our quality of life. The report was quietly published in October so UDC clearly knew this fact last week, yet failed to disclose it at the public meeting on the Local Plan, even when Plan Czar Cllr Susan Barker was asked directly. We can now see why they’ve been hiding these documents.”

Heather Asker (R4U) Heather Asker (R4U)

Cllr Heather Asker, who is R4U’s Saffron Walden candidate for the 2017 Essex County Council elections, said “Local families will be shocked. Those living in the town expect to get their kids into the secondary school in the town, and many pay more than the average for their houses based on that fact. Joyce Frankland Academy is a great school, but it is completely unacceptable to bus town students to Newport and back every day. R4U has been highlighting the poor choice of mass building on the east of Saffron Walden without infrastructure for a few years now, yet the UDC Cabinet have their heads stuck firmly in the sand.

Furthermore estate agents are marketing new homes on the basis of quality town schooling, which has now become extreme misrepresentation.  Cllr John Lodge has pledged to devote all his efforts on the Local Plan Process, and I am R4U’s ECC candidate for the elections in May 2017. If elected, a key part of my role will be pushing for a realistic and deliverable long-term education strategy, representing locals with their education and school bus issues.

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 leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK.

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 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

One Reply to “Saffron Walden secondary students to go to Newport thanks to Tory UDC Cabinet Local Plan”

  1. Neil Hargreaves

    It is going to get worse. SWCH currently give priority to siblings regardless of where they live. They are consulting on dropping that. So if you live in a parish previously in the SWCH catchment, but now only in the JFA catchment, you could have children at different schools.

    JFA is scheduled to have another year group for 2018/19. So more parishes around Walden will likely switch from SWCH to JFA

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