Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has announced that its new administration has committed to re-engineering Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to deliver a proper Local Plan after the Planning Inspectors found the second Plan submitted by the previous Conservative-led administration to be unsound.
Early in 2019 the Conservative-led Uttlesford District Council administration submitted their draft Local Plan to the government’s Planning Inspectors for examination. The Inspectors have now written back to UDC to say that the Plan has failed its first examination and been found ‘unsound’ in a number of significant areas. In between the Plan being submitted and the examination, the Conservative Uttlesford council administration was swept away and replaced by local party Residents for Uttlesford (R4U). The previous Conservative administration also had their first attempt at a new Local Plan rejected in 2014.
R4U Chair & Leader UDC
Cllr Lodge added “The Inspectors found fault with the evidence base, infrastructure provision, financial viability, control over delivery, and their proposals to build 3 new towns all at the same time. This result is a damning indictment of the previous Conservative administration. They consistently failed to properly plan for our future and have now produced 2 faulty Local Plans. It has cost local council taxpayers £6 million and perpetuated the near decade long developer free-for-all across our towns and villages. Unfortunately this will now continue for several years while we prepare a proper plan. They have badly let us all down again.”
R4U’s John Lodge concluded “Residents elected R4U to lead UDC to sort out the mess the previous administration left behind. Now that we have clear direction from the Planning Inspector, we will. Uttlesford District Council needs to be re-engineered so that it is able to be a strategic ‘place-maker’ for our district. The senior officer team have embraced this and we have already started a number of projects. Under our Residents Administration the new Local Plan will be evidence led, deliver infrastructure first, have effective local control by residents, and tackle housing affordability. It is critical that there is proper planning for our district’s future.”
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.