Policy Statement: Planning & the Local Plan

You said:

We feel under constant threat from developers. Sort out the costly inherited Local Plan mess; listen to us, act for us, and make sure our communities are better as a result of building.

We will work to deliver a new Local Plan to protect our communities from predatory development. We will fight the government’s nationally imposed housing targets. We will make sure that the scale of development in Uttlesford closely relates to the identified housing need, and also that the Local Plan satisfies the Planning Inspectorate and government requirements.

Through the Local Plan, new housing will be built in the locations that the evidence shows is the most sustainable. We will obtain the right mix of social, affordable and market housing. New homes will be built to high environmental and energy efficiency standards with designs in keeping with the local area, and ensure.

We will seeks to maximise developer contributions toward infrastructure and benefits for the community. We will hold to account both developers and the agencies responsible for the delivery of that key infrastructure, working to ensure that this is in place as new housing is built.

We will encourage parishes and towns to develop their own Neighbourhood Plans so as to  give those communities a stronger voice and more control over their future. We will consult with residents about all planning applications in an open and transparent manner. We will actively involve town and parish councils in arriving at decisions based on evidence, not on political influence.

We have four key principles that we will apply to the consideration and development of any significant Local Plan sites that may be required in Uttlesford:

  1. Evidence-led: Proper evidence should be produced, used and published to determine the number of new houses Uttlesford needs to provide and the best locations, including that for housing need, sustainability, air quality, water, green spaces, roads, schools and other infrastructure.
  2. Infrastructure First: The building of new homes in any significant Local Plan site must happen after or with the delivery of key primary supporting infrastructure, such as roads and schools, and alongside secondary items such as retail facilities, employment land, medical centres, sports/green spaces, high-speed broadband and utilities.
  3. Local Control: If the Local Plan requires any new settlements, they will be steered by local Development Corporations, or another similar mechanisms, that will hold developers in check, ensure infrastructure delivery, protect existing communities, and get the best deal for local people. We believe that they should be majority owned by UDC, and include board members from adjacent town and parish councils.
  4. Housing Affordability: A portion of the affordable housing provided, by any new settlement that may be required, must be prioritised for local people, and include schemes for local key service-workers.