As Uttlesford District Council moves towards the final stages of its Local Plan, R4U has announced four key principles that are the party’s commitment to local control over planning and development the district. The principles, which R4U is seeking to have incorporated into UDC’s draft Local Plan, relate to the evidence that supports the plan, infrastructure, local control, and housing affordability. They are particularly important for locations where UDC is proposing new settlements, such as near Great Chesterford and Great Dunmow, and to the west of Braintree near Stebbing and Felsted.
Seat at the table for existing residents
John Lodge continued “In detail, firstly UDC must publish the rest of the evidence to prove to residents that the best locations for new homes have been chosen. Secondly, housing must follow infrastructure, not the other way around. We need roads, schools and surgeries. Thirdly we expect the creation of new settlements to be steered by local Development Corporations to oversee developers, protect existing communities, and get the best deal for locals. They should be set up and majority owned by UDC, and include board members from the community, and adjacent town and parish councils.”
Making Affordability Work
Leading the Way
Cllr John Lodge concluded “Our local principles show leadership and are the only honest way that residents can be actively involved in the future of where we all live. I have already raised our key principles with the UDC administration and look forward to working with them to make them an important part of the district’s new Local Plan. As a party we will support UDC’s new Local Plan when these resident-focused principles are adopted.”
UDC is proposing that the majority of new housing be provided in 3 new settlements. These are very ambitious goals as the simultaneous building of 3 new settlements by a single planning authority is almost unprecedented. UDC has no previous experience of this, and so as the local residents’ party, R4U wishes to see its 4 key principles adopted by UDC for the final version of their Local Plan so as to minimise the delivery risk and increase the local control associated with their Plan.
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 www.residents4u.org.