District council announces it will stick with local plan, as examination hearings loom

Uttlesford District Council are gearing up for public hearings which will examine their local plan.

Uttlesford District Council are gearing up for public hearings which will examine their local plan. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Uttlesford District Council boss, Dawn French, has confirmed that the district’s local plan will not scrapped, after an intervention from planning inspectors who questioned whether the council’s controlling party supported the plan.

The plan, which identifies sites that can be developed for housing and will shape future development up until 2033, was submitted for examination in January, as part of a process which could see its adoption.

However, ahead of public hearings which will examine the plan, to begin next week, planning inspectors wrote to the council asking for clarification on Residents for Uttlesford's (R4U) stance on the plan, advising: "If the council no longer supports key aspects of the plan it has submitted, the appropriate action would be to consider withdrawing that plan from examination."

R4U came to power in May after the Conservatives, who bought the local plan forward, suffered a heavy defeat. They have raised significant concerns about the plan in the past including a "detailed objection to the sustainability appraisal", the letter said.

Yesterday, Miss French, the chief executive at UDC said in a letter to inspectors Louise Crosby and Elaine Worthington: "The answer to your questions is that the council has made the decision to submit a local plan which it considers to be ready for examination, as set out in its decision of 9 October 2018, any change in that decision could only be a matter for full council, there are no plans to revisit that decision, and therefore there is no change to the council's decision in that regard."

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Yesterday was the deadline set by the inspectors to respond to their query.

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