Revealed: UDC considers almost 300 possible new development sites

A brick building in the evening: Uttlesford District Council's offices, known as The Council Offices, Saffron Walden, Essex

Uttlesford District Council Offices, Saffron Walden. - Credit: Will Durrant

Almost 300 sites in Uttlesford have been submitted to be considered for future housing or business development.

Uttlesford District Council put out a "call for sites" earlier this year to see where landowners, and parish and town councils thought new builds should go.

There were 299 sites submitted which the council could decide to put in a new Local Plan - a policy used to decide which land should be used for future housing, business and industrial development.

A first draft of the Local Plan is expected in early 2022.

Several large sites feature on the list, but no decision has been made as to which sites will be selected.

Land next to the B1383 between Stansted and Ugley could feature up to 20,000 square metres of space for employment, or 4,800 homes.

Sites in the Great Chesterford area have been identified for housing and other uses, including a 0.5 square mile patch next to the A11 between Stump Cross and Abington.

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Most of the sites feature along the A120 corridor between Stansted Airport and Braintree.

A 3.1 square mile site between Dunmow and the airport has been identified for housing, while up to 6,500 homes could fit onto a site near Hatfield Heath.

The Local Plan is designed to set limits on where developers can seek planning permission for new homes, businesses or industrial units.

Councillor John Evans, the UDC cabinet member responsible for planning and the Local Plan, said the scheme will prevent a developer-led approach to new builds in the future.

Cllr Evans said: "Once in place, the new local plan will make it easier to stop speculative development and ensure that new development is well-planned, addressing a wide range of objectives to include those such as climate action, raising design quality and improving sustainable transport options."

The next step in the Local Plan process is to consult town and parish councils about the sites.

UDC has agreed that the final plan will be "aspirational but realistic" based on economic and population trends.

UDC has an online portal for the new Local Plan project: