600 people turn out to share their vision of what Saffron Walden should look like in the future
17:44 24 March 2014
Saffron Walden Town Hall was packed on Saturday with people wanting to share their vision about how the town should develop in the future.
The public consultation event, hosted by campaing group WeAreResidents.org, was aimed at gauging the appetite of residents for the creation of a Town Plan for Saffron Walden.
A Town Plan, which fits within the district’s Local Plan framework, describes a vision for a town and legally establishes planning policies for the development and use of land. It also provides the mechanism for a greater portion of financial benefits derived from developers to be given directly to the community.
Dan Starr, chair of WeAreResidents.org, said: “The response was outstanding, with more than 600 local residents and representatives from the media, clubs, churches and the various councils attending the event – at times you couldn’t move in the town hall.
“Thank you to all that attended and we are really grateful for the more than 500 contributions and suggestions received.”
The exhibition featured six topic zones, including education, the environment, jobs and economic development, families and communities, housing development, and local government.
Each zone included information boards to stimulate discussion, surveys, comment walls, and suggestion jars as well as volunteers who were knowledgeable in each subject.
WeAreResidents.org has published all the exhibition content on the group’s website as well as the ability for additional comments to be submitted.
John Lodge, the Essex county councillor for Saffron Walden, spoke to residents at the event.
He said: “Local people clearly love where they live. They are engaged with the issues and absolutely want to have a stake in deciding the town’s future. Localism is alive and well in Saffron Walden.”
WeAreResidents.org will compile and review the consultation responses, before preparing a briefing for the town council to get the ball rolling on the preparation of a Town Plan.