Parish councillors in Takeley are calling to protect the countryside surrounding Stansted Airport from speculative development.

The land is currently within a Countryside Protection Zone (CPZ), which was recommended by the government in the 1980s - allowing a belt of green space around the airport.

However since the publication of Uttlesford's draft Local Plan on October 30, Takeley Parish Council is concerned that the district council has inadvertently put the policy at risk by voting to start the Regulation 18 Local Plan Consultation.

They fear this would urbanise Takeley, affecting all land along the B1256 from Start Hill to Great Dunmow.

Takeley Parish Council, along with residents and other parish councils, will be fighting for the reinstatement of the CPZ in response to the draft Reg 18 consultation.

Chair of Takeley Parish Council Pat Burnett said: "We feel this is the thin edge of the wedge as the south of the district has taken more than its fair share of houses over the past 10 years.

"The new Local Plan is asking Takeley to accept another 1,636 houses and they wish to take the protection of the CPZ away from the villages south of the A120.

"This will open up the flood gates for speculative developers trying to get permission for all the other sites along the 1256 from the Birchanger roundabout to Dunmow."


The parish council spoke at the district council's public meeting, asking them to change their consultation and explaining that there was no need to remove the policy - simply to look at expanding Priors Green in Takeley and Little Canfield.

They will continue to put their case to Uttlesford District Council in the consultation, which ends on December 15.

A spokesperson for Uttlesford District Council said: "We have been holding public exhibitions this week, including in Takeley on Monday, for residents to come along and find out more about the plan and ask questions.

"We would encourage anyone with an interest in the draft plan to submit a representation during this public consultation.

"Further details are available on the council’s website.

"All the comments received will be considered before the plan is updated and published next summer."