New Uttlesford District Council blocks former Conservatives’ plans to build on designated Green Space land

The UDC Planning Committee has blocked the previous Conservative administration’s attempt to build on designated ‘public open space’ land in Saffron Walden. The land, owned by the council, is a half-hectare triangle of community green-space at the end of De Vigier Avenue on the east of Saffron Walden.

Richard Freeman (R4U) Richard Freeman (R4U)

R4U’s Richard Freeman, one of the ward’s district councillors, said “Several years ago local residents blocked the site to protect it after the Conservative council leader at the time was caught conspiring to build on the site behind their backs. It is not building land. It had previously been transferred to UDC via a covenant for community use ‘as a public open space’ and 250 residents signed a petition to ask that it be kept as such. In a shocking move, after the 2017 stand-off the Conservatives whipped through proposals to bulldoze the land and build on it anyway in spite of R4U uncovering the covenant protecting it.”

Cllr Freeman continued “In May 2019 the district council changed hands and it is now controlled by Residents for Uttlesford. Finally last week the planning application to build on the site came before the UDC Planning Committee, where it was unanimously refused. This was based upon the evidence presented, and the fact that the site had originally been intended for public benefit and not for housing. With the change in council administration to R4U, UDC has strengthened its commitment to listening to residents and is taking a tough line to protect our environment and open spaces across the district. Local residents can finally celebrate this decision.”


The land is between De Vigier Ave and the new housing estate on the Ridgeon site. The previous Conservative administration had intended to extend this road to build houses on the designated green space land.

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.

2 thoughts on “New Uttlesford District Council blocks former Conservatives’ plans to build on designated Green Space land

  1. Mr Robert Tongue

    Was a Great decision well done all.

    The Dates stated though are wrong, this all kicked off in 2014 when we blocked the UDC workforce under orders from the then Conservative Administration from going on there to trash the site like they had done in other areas with no concern for the Wildlife or Nesting Birds, they left with their tails between their legs, it was then we formed a Residents Group and fought them at every opportunity over the last 5 years.

    Reply

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