News from Uttlesford District Council: Extra community engagement key to local plan work

Extra community engagement key to local plan work

Six months of public engagement will soon get underway as work ramps up towards a new local plan for the district.

Uttlesford District Council must submit the plan to the government for inspection by December 2023 and is creating additional opportunities for people to get involved in the plan-making process, including through a series of independently-chaired community stakeholder forums made up of representatives from local groups and organisations, and by mini ‘consultations’ on a number of themes. The themes will cover key issues including character and heritage, climate change, local economy, transport and healthy lifestyles.

The programme will start in the coming weeks and will run until spring next year. The feedback gathered from the exercise will be used to inform the new local plan which will provide a vision and framework for addressing the housing, economic and infrastructure needs of the district for years to come.

The previously-submitted Local Plan was withdrawn earlier this year after planning inspectors said it had some significant shortcomings.

Cllr John Evans, Portfolio Holder for Planning and the Local Plan, said: “A lot of preparatory work has taken place and will continue to be built on, which has been important to enable a draft plan to get off to the right start.

“We are doing things differently this time and want to engage all parts of the community in a conversation about the issues that matter to local people and to have an effective exchange of ideas which would not be possible with a conventional consultation. We will be inviting all sectors of the community to get involved in this process and help us create a plan that is sustainable and meets the needs of the district.”

The stakeholder meetings will be conducted via video conferencing and live-streamed so that members of the public can listen in. The content of the meetings will be made available online for the duration of the consultation period. Members of the public will be able to submit their comments after each meeting and also when the plan reaches the next formal consultation stage.

Further details about the meetings will be made available and the community kept up to date.

Information and updates will be posted on the council’s website at and social media channels.

We also encourage all concerned to sign up for regular local plan information and updates by subscribing to our e-newsletter service – visit