A decision on whether 40 homes can be built on arable fields near Dunmow will be made by the Government after the council was stripped of its planning powers.

The proposed development on the edge of Takeley could result in the loss of approximately 2.3 hectares of agricultural land.

Additionally the site falls within the Countryside Protection Zone (CPZ), an area surrounding Stansted Airport which is primarily designated to prevent coalescence between the airport and the surrounding countryside.

The land, part of Warish Hall Farm, had been part of a controversial bid for 188 homes and primary school extension but was rejected by Uttlesford and then by the inspectorate on appeal due its impact on a number of heritage assets and on the character of the countryside.

But now Weston Homes have applied directly to the planning inspectorate for permission to build 40 homes, 16 of which will be affordable, on land known as Jack’s.

Weston Homes says there were no substantive objections raised by the council in relation to the proposed development of Jacks as part of the previous 188-home Warish Hall Farm application.

The planning route in applying directly to the government has been in play since the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced in February 2022 that Uttlesford District Council was being designated.


Designation means applications for major developments can bypass the council and go directly to the planning inspectorate.

The developers say currently Uttlesford District Council is failing to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

They argue there is also a growing waiting list for affordable rented homes and shared ownership properties which total over 1,500 people.

A statement as part of the application said: “Overall, the site is considered to be well contained within the wider landscape.

“Due to the high quality nature of the intervening landscape within the proposals and limited visibility, as a result of surrounding development, the proposals will make no contribution to any perceived coalescence of the settlements of Takeley and Little Canfield.

“The proposals will not therefore lead to a demonstrable loss of openness or bring about coalescence with the airport.”