An update on Uttlesford District Council’s Local Plan – is your site suitable for development?

UDCupdateIn response to the withdrawal of Uttlesford District Council’s Local Plan earlier this year, the council have proposed a new approach which will focus on the emerging development strategy.

In light of this, the council have recently been exploring areas for significant housing growth across the district as part of their Areas of Search. This will form the evidence base and key considerations for which areas will be taken forward to meet a projected housing need. Its findings will form part of a public consultation running from October to November 2015.

It represents a prime opportunity for landowners and the wider community to have their say on the strategic development of housing across the district, and to unlock the development potential of their sites as part of this process.

A number of key development plan stages to be aware of include:


Call for Sites: The council invites landowners, developers and the general public to identify land that may have development potential. The process is ongoing throughout the plan preparation and the suggested sites will inform the preparation of the site allocations within the Local Plan.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA): This document assesses all the sites that the Council is aware of, including those identified under a ‘Call for Sites’, to consider their suitability for inclusion as a site allocation. The SHLAA informs the development strategy and is a ‘live’ document.

Areas of Search: A strategy-led approach, that will provide an evidence base and key considerations for which areas will be taken forward to meet a projected housing need of 580 dwellings per year, whilst an even higher level of 750 dwellings per year will also need to be considered in order to ensure that the local Plan is fully justified.

The Areas of Search will include areas on the outskirts or near to:

  • Saffron Walden
  • Great Chesterford
  • Great Dunmow
  • Elsenham
  • Bishops Stortford

These areas of search are currently undergoing an appraisal and will form part of the basis of a 6 week public consultation in October and November 2015.

What does this mean for landowners?

Uttlesford District Council’s lack of a local plan is a key opportunity for landowners to get involved in the consultation process and promote their land to be included as a future development site. The Area of Search highlights locations which have been identified by the council for potential strategic expansion.

If your land is included as a site allocation for a particular use, it increases the likelihood for a successful planning application, as the principle of development will have already been secured.  Whilst this process can be lengthy and sometimes complex, there is merit in pursuing as the financial rewards can be great.

When promoting sites for potential inclusion as a site allocation, the key to success will be to demonstrate that the site constitutes sustainable development and supports the development needs of an area.

How do Plainview Planning add value?

Plainview Planning specialise in gaining planning permissions for landowners, with options to enable them to retain full control over the future development of their site and maximise land values. There are two primary ways in which we promote sites through the development process:

  • Professional Services – We would provide “traditional” town planning services and advice.
  • Land Promotion Agreement – With your agreement, and subject to a more detailed assessment, we would be willing to fund all professional services for an application, without any financial risk to you. Our fees would be paid from a fair percentage of uplift in the land value following any sale.

In each case we provide a robust and comprehensive service, specifically, we would:

  • coordinate your promotion efforts to make sure that the Council is provided with persuasive documentation about your site;
  • ensure that the right groups are lobbied at the right time to maximise chances of inclusion;
  • monitor the status of Local Development Frameworks throughout the country and are well placed to guide you through the administrative and political process;
  • provide professional expertise and funding to effectively promote your land and our services can be provided on a joint-venture basis.

Our experience with land promotion projects is wide ranging and we have worked on many schemes including large sites in Burnham, Dover and North Fambridge. (

Please contact to discuss your requirements.