Neighbourhood Plan Result

Saffron Walden Town Council is delighted to announce that the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan was overwhelmingly approved at the referendum held last week. 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%.

The Neighbourhood Plan will be used in assessing future development in Saffron Walden.

The 21 policies in the Neighbourhood Plan now must be complied with when any planning applications are submitted. The policies relate to :

  • Housing Mix: new planning applications for over 10 houses must be based on housing need.
  • Affordable Housing: 40% of new houses in developments of over 10 to be affordable and distributed through development, not in one place.
  • Design: new development must meet the requirements of UDC’s design guide, currently being developed. Impact on Conservation Areas must be taken into account, from development outside as well as within, including views and the impact of traffic
  • Parking: Electric charging points for all new dwellings
  • Convenience stores should be included in new developments.
  • Shop front design should contribute to the character of Saffron Walden
  • Better Communications infrastructure
  • Ecology
  • Promoting Walking and Cycling, travel plans and public transport
  • Open space should ensure new open space is properly designed, not split into small plots or close to roads
  • Provision of an arts centre
  • Health Centre, keeping our community hospital

Mike Hibbs, the Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, said “It was an honour to be asked to chair the Neighbourhood Plan Group. The team comprised Saffron Walden Residents with an extraordinary array of talents and many years of experience. The hard work put in by these volunteers over the last six years has culminated in a document that will influence the outcome of development in Saffron Walden for the better. We owe them all our grateful thanks for their perseverance and dedication to the Town we all love so much.”

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, Leader of Saffron Walden Town Council, said “We are delighted that the Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan has been overwhelmingly passed by local referendum, with 93% of votes cast in favour. It is now set to form part of local planning policy. It puts more controls on developers, including requiring them to provide more affordable housing, a higher proportion of 2 and 3 bedroom homes for local residents trying to get on the property ladder, and, for the first time, encourages them to comply with minimum room sizes. It also requires stronger environmental obligations, including more green spaces and support for sustainable transport. Developers and UDC will be required to meet our town’s new local planning policies every time they want to build new homes. At SWTC, we’d like to thank the officer team at SWTC, former and current councillors and the many residents that helped develop and get approval for our new Neighbourhood Plan.”

More details here