How will Great Dunmow develop over the next 10 years?

That's one of the questions being raised at the town meeting this month. And residents' views are being actively sought on a number of issues to shape things going forward.

Dunmow Broadcast: Great Dunmow Town Council mayor Patrick LavelleGreat Dunmow Town Council mayor Patrick Lavelle (Image: GDTC)

Great Dunmow mayor Patrick Lavelle said it's a time of change, but it should be seen in a positive light.

He said the challenge is to ensure that Dunmow does not become a "dormitory town", where people spend time in their cars to go elsewhere for work and for leisure, but to feel integrated into the community.

He wants people to delight in Dunmow, rather than going off by car to Chelmsford, Braintree or Bishop's Stortford.

"We know we are going to get 706 new homes in Uttlesford per year for the next 25 years.

"But Dunmow already has over 2,000 approved new dwellings which have not been built and we are going to get more new dwellings approved every year going forward.

"That from my personal perspective is not a bad thing.

"What that says is that Dunmow is a good place to live and a place where people want to come to live.

"So as a council, what we have to do, what we should be doing, is trying to ensure we keep this as a vibrant community where people want to come to live.

"That's the Neighbourhood Plan."

Cllr Lavelle said they will share where the town is now in terms of development, what changes are known and approved, what else is expected looking forward, and what can be done to influence things so change is good for the community.

As well as looking at housing, there is also a focus on strengthening and rebuilding the community after the Covid-19 pandemic, through town and commerce, the youth centre, and for seniors. This includes looking at needs around sports and leisure facilities.

The annual meeting normally happens in May but was delayed because of the pandemic.

Join the discussion on Tuesday September 28 at 7.30pm at Foakes Memorial Hall, Stortford Road, Great Dunmow.

There will be further meetings for more detailed topic discussions.