Call for Sites generates enough land for up to 70,000 new homes in Uttlesford
Land that could accommodate “well in excess” of 70,000 new homes in Uttlesford has been put forward for consideration for the new Local Plan – 57,000 more than are actually needed.
The Uttlesford District Council-led 'Call for Sites' exercise has yielded 299 plots that landowners and developers wish to be considered for development.
The local authority must now decide which of these locations, shown on its Call for Sites map, to choose to meet the need for up to 17,000 new homes by 2040 – the amount deemed necessary by the Government.
Plans are already in place for more than 4,000 new homes, leaving the council needing to find space for 13,000.
The suggested sites include:
- 1,433 acres (580 ha) between Little Hallingbury, Hatfield Broad Oak and Hatfield Heath for 6,500 homes
- Around 800 acres (324 ha) of farmland at Bollington Hall in Ugley, which could take 4,800 homes
- 447 acres (181 ha) at Tye Green, Elsenham, with room for 500 dwellings
Stansted Parish Council chair Maureen Caton said that it was not taking the response to the Call for Sites lightly and it would look carefully at the significance and impact of each proposed site.
“We acknowledge the need for housing but are also aware that we have already provided for new developments such as Walpole Meadows and Elms Farm, not forgetting Forest Hall," she said.
"We are discussing in detail at various levels within our planning group/Neighbourhood Development Plan group and full council what is in the best interests of our parishioners.”
Cllr John Lodge, leader of UDC and its ruling Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) party, said the council would now spend six months gathering evidence to establish which sites were suitable.
“Sites will be rigorously tested for their suitability and their sustainability on a range of matters, such as impact on landscape, heritage, transport and how they fit with the vision and strategic direction of the plan," he said.
“The council is committed to create a Local Plan that supports high-quality design, climate action and protects our natural environment.
"It's important that the council has the evidence to make sure the best sites are chosen and that the other sites can be very effectively protected from unwelcome development.”
The Local Plan currently being drafted is UDC’s third attempt at getting it approved.
Cllr Neil Reeve, R4U member for Broad Oak and the Hallingburys, who sits on Uttlesford’s Local Plan Leadership Group, said there was no need for panic on seeing the map.
“I'm just trying to put the immediate alarm to rest in as far as we have five or six times the amount of land that will be required,” he said. “In that context, we don't need to worry as there's a long journey to go.”