Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan

Uttlesford District Council formally ‘made’ (adopted) the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan on 11 October 2022.

The Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed here

Background

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Saffron Walden Town Council is delighted to announce that the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan was overwhelmingly approved at the referendum. In the referendum, 93% of votes cast were in favour of adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan, with 7% against. The votes cast represented a turnout of 18%.

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The Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan working group is deeply saddened to hear the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Whilst we are in a time of national mourning Government guidance has confirmed that the referendum should continue to take place Thursday 15th September.

Uttlesford District Council have stated “We thought very carefully about whether to continue with this poll, in light of the sad circumstances following Her Majesty’s passing.  We sought advice from the government who confirmed unequivocally that the referendum must by law continue as planned.” This statement can be found here.

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Both Saffron Walden Town Council and the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan Working Group are pleased to confirm that Uttlesford District Council Cabinet considered the SWNP on 7 July 2022, where it was agreed, the plan will proceed to referendum on 15th September 2022.

On 15 September, residents will be asked to vote on whether the SWNP should be used by Uttlesford District Council when making planning decisions.

As context planning decisions are made by Uttlesford District Council using planning policies, which are set to a national, county or district scale. The current Uttlesford Local Plan policy is dated 2005 and UDC are in the process of finalising a new version.

A Neighbourhood Plan sets policies specifically for the area, in this case Saffron Walden. The SWNP includes policies relating to: House sizes, development designs, parking on new developments, commercial premises, connectivity, ecology, transport infrastructure, open spaces, sport, the arts and healthcare.

The formal decision statement issued by Uttlesford District Council can be found here

Further Information can be found on the Uttlesford District Council website https://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/saffronwaldennp

Details regarding the referendum dates can be found here via the Uttlesford District Council website https://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/article/7930/Saffron-Walden-Neighbourhood-Plan-Referendum

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At its Full Council meeting on 8th November 2021, the Town Council agreed to continue with the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan.  The external examiner had raised some queries in the draft plan and none of the queries raised are insurmountable or detract significantly from the overarching principle of the plan.  The proposed Neighbourhood Plan documents the issues raised by residents of Saffron Walden and is an accurate reflection of the needs, aspirations and desires of town residents for the future of their town.  Through extensive consultation, the plan identifies specific, desirable measures which seek to improve the quality of life for both now and the future.  It seeks to protect the rich heritage of the town whilst enabling appropriate and sympathetic growth and development.

The Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan was always an ambitious document, seeking to offer the very best outcomes for the town and its residents.  The amendment or deletion of some policies will not detract from the essence of the plan; it will still be reflective of local issues and concerns and seek to address these in a suite of statements and policies.

Whilst the external examiner raises a number of specific matters in her interim findings, neither the Town Council or Uttlesford District Council are informed of specific amendments or deletions to individual policies.  It is anticipated that by continuing with the examination process, these specific concerns will be addressed with opportunity for SWTC and the NP Working Group to respond further.

The examiner’s final report was issued to SWTC and Uttlesford District Council on 28 April 2022 who recommended, subject to the modifications that the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Development Plan can proceed to a referendum.

At the SWTC Full Council meeting of 4th May 2022, this report was considered as a confidential item at the request of UDC officers.

Uttlesford District Council considered the SWNP and the Examiners report on 7 July 2022 and it was resolved to proceed to referendum in September.

You can find Uttlesford District Council’s New Local Plan here

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