R4U secures last minute concession for residents ahead of draft Uttlesford Local Plan consultation

This week R4U has secured a concession to give residents a stronger voice and better outcome as the draft Uttlesford Local Plan moves into public consultation.

Councillors at Uttlesford District Council met on 11 July to approve sending the latest draft of the administration’s district Local Plan to a full public consultation. The draft was approved for consultation, but only after a last minute amendment was secured by opposition party Residents for Uttlesford.

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

R4U’s John Lodge is the Opposition Leader at UDC and also a member of the cross-party group set up in 2015 to provide oversight of the new Local Plan process. He said “In 2014 the previous Uttlesford Local Plan was rejected by the Planning Inspector for a number of failures, including UDC’s ‘duty to cooperate’, question-marks over sustainability and infrastructure, poor choice of locations for new homes, and missing evidence. That failure cost local taxpayers more than £2million.”

Cllr Lodge continued “As the voice of local residents, our amendment to the new draft Plan is designed to stop the same costly mistakes being made again; and it was approved with cross-party support. As a result UDC has now agreed that: residents’ concerns will be acted on where practicable; new garden communities will be built so they won’t negatively impact nearby communities; and there will be on-going three-way engagement and collaboration between UDC, developers and communities with their parish/town councils.”

“R4U will continue to hold the UDC administration to this and expects them to respond to and properly consider all concerns that are raised during the current public consultation. We urge all residents to respond to the public consultation on the district council’s Local Plan on the UDC website.”

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 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. 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.