A referendum held in Thaxted on Thursday resulted in a 96% approval rating for the Neighbourhood Plan. Eight hundred and sixty one votes were cast in favour with only thirty five against. This means that the Plan will be taken forward for adoption by Uttlesford District Council and become a part of formal planning policy which will be used to determine planning applications within the parish.


It is only the second Neighbourhood Plan to have been completed in Uttlesford (Great Dunmow was the first) and represents the conclusion of three years work by a small group of volunteers. The process involved a comprehensive analysis of the characteristics of the village and research surveys to establish the hopes and aspirations of the community for its future development. 


The 96 page Plan is backed up by some 600 pages of supporting documents including commissioned professional reports covering the historic environment and the quality of the landscape that surrounds it. These studies were used as the basis for establishing where future development was appropriate and where it was not. Policies also deal with housing needs, the retention of historic views, wildlife habitats, the local economy and infrastructure and will remain in force until 2033. 


Peter Neale, chairman of the Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group commented ‘The introduction of neighbourhood planning gave small local communities such as Thaxted the opportunity to truly influence the way in which their village develops in the future, to plan constructively and to resist inappropriate development by opportunist developers who care little for the wishes of local people. Preparing a plan involves a huge amount of work but the result is immensely satisfying’. Terry Frostick, Chairman of Thaxted Parish Council in endorsing Peter’s comments said that ‘This is an historic day for Thaxted. The result of the referendum proves how much the local community appreciates the work that has been done by the steering group and we now look forward to working with Uttlesford planning officers and the planning committee to ensure that our village develops in a way that residents want.’