Welcome to the consultation website for the Land East of Highwood Quarry. Here, you can find information about Landsec’s proposals to deliver up to 1,200 new homes, subject to planning approval, on the Land East of Highwood Quarry.
The pre-application consultation has closed, and our Outline Planning Application has now been submitted to Uttlesford District Council for their review. We do however continue to commit to ensure that the local community are kept informed about the progress of the scheme, throughout the planning stages. The project team will still be available to listen to your comments and answer any questions you may have.
You can email us on LEHQ@bartonwillmore.co.uk or by call us on 020 7446 6853.
If you would like to receive updates directly, please take a couple of minutes to register with us.
The site covers 148 hectares to the east of Highwood Quarry sitting to the south of Little Easton and to the north west of Great Dunmow.
The site is in a sustainable location and is a walkable distance from Great Dunmow High Street along with other key amenities including the Tesco supermarket on Stortford Road. It is in close proximity to Stansted Airport railway station which provides direct connections to both London and Cambridge.
The A120 runs to the south of the site providing direct access to the M11 motorway, Bishops Stortford and Colchester. The site is also close to existing employment locations, schools, healthcare services and other community facilities.
In early 2021 Landsec consulted the local community on its emerging proposals. All the feedback received was then carefully considered by the project team, prior to the submission of the Outline Planning Application to Uttlesford District Council, in May 2021.
An outline planning application seeks permission for the principle of development through the setting of Development Parameters for the site which provide a framework within which future development proposals and applications must comply. The Development Parameters submitted will cover a number of different topics including: the proposed land uses, maximum building heights, size of floor space, access to the site and amount of green space within the boundaries of the development.
The Government sets rules for the amount of new housing needed in each local authority area to meet the demand. It also requires local authorities to plan for this new housing by allocating sites which are suitable for development. Suitable sites should then be recorded in a local planning policy document called the Local Plan.
Although there is an identified need and demand for new housing to be provided in Uttlesford, at present there is not an up to date Local Plan to show where these homes should be built. At present Uttlesford District Council does not have enough existing sites proposed for new development to deliver sufficient housing to meet the Government’s requirements and demand in the area. Landsec strongly believes that the development of this site can go a long way to help meet this need in the short to medium term.
With high-quality and sustainable design principles at its heart, the emerging proposals include new homes, a new local centre and a primary school. Throughout the scheme we propose to open and link areas of previously inaccessible green space for the enjoyment of new and existing residents alike.
A range of different homes can be provided by this development, which could help not only those looking to buy their first home but also families who may be looking for increased space, or those hoping to downsize.
The emerging proposals include new walking and cycling routes which will connect the site with Great Dunmow and into the wider walking and cycleway network. The existing Saffron Trail, which runs across the northern part of the site will also be maintained and improved.
Existing habitats are an important consideration in any future development of the site and, wherever possible, the site’s hedgerows, trees, ancient woodland, ponds and habitats will be retained and protected as part of the development.
The area around the development will include enhanced ecology areas and wetlands along with wildflower meadows. These spaces will serve many different uses and the proposed plan is for them to include play provision, sports pitches and allotments. The existing ancient woodland on the site will be protected by a buffer zone, likely to be formed through a border of scrub planting.
The plans also seek to deliver a measurable biodiversity net gain which means there would be an increase in the range and diversity of wildlife habitats compared to that currently existing on the site.
It is anticipated that surface water runoff will travel through the development via a network of swales (a shallow linear depression) and traditional pipework before reaching holding ponds at strategically located low points within the site.
These holding ponds or attenuation basins will be sized to accommodate water from a 1 in 100 year rainfall event (a rainfall event which has a 1% probability of occurring in any given year). The capacity of the basins also includes an additional 40% allowance for climate change. The basins will store water and ensure that it is released into the existing watercourse network at the same rate as the current agricultural use.
A new local centre is proposed in order to deliver small community amenities as well as providing a community hub within the development.
The proposals aim to bring sustainability into the heart of any future development onsite.
All buildings would be designed to be resilient to climate change and to remain comfortable throughout the year. All buildings could have the potential for a connection to a smart electricity grid which can automatically adjust electricity flows to balance the supply from renewable sources and the grid with demand.
In response to UDC declaring a climate emergency and recognising the importance of lowering the development’s carbon footprint Landsec are proposing that there will be no gas connection to the site, with heating provided through an eco-friendly all-electric solution, likely comprising of air source heat pumps. Heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the air outside and using it to heat buildings and water.
This will allow for maximum energy efficiency for the entire development and ensure that it is ‘Net Zero Carbon Ready.’ You can read more about Landesc’s commitment to sustainability and net zero carbon here.
The emerging proposals will aim to deliver water efficient buildings with an aspiration to achieve a residential water efficiency level of 110 litres per person per day. Rainwater storage butts, water meters and low flow water appliances are proposed in homes and businesses to help future residents and businesses minimise water use.
The proposals aim to futureproof the development by delivering high speed broadband and providing charging points for electric vehicles.
Landsec consulted on its emerging proposals in early 2021. We received a really good response from the local community and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate. Please take a look at our Community Newsletter to find out a bit more about what you told us.
Although the public consultation has now closed and the Outline Planning Application has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council for their review, Landsec’s project team are still here to listen to your comments or answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to email us or give us a call on 020 7446 6853.
If you missed our consultation or would like a reminder of our proposals you can watch a recording of one of our webinars below. All our consultation materials are available to download here.
If you have any difficulties accessing any of the information, please do not hesitate to contact the project team who will be very happy to help.
020 7446 6853
LEHQ Community Engagement Team,
C/O Barton Willmore,
7 Soho Square,
Have Your Say
Many thanks for your interest in our proposals. The public consultation period has now finished. However, if you wish to make any further comments or ask any questions please email us or give us a call on 020 7446 6853.
If you would like to make any comments on our application, please visit the Council’s planning website: https://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/article/4863/Comment-or-search-for-a-planning-application and enter reference number: UTT/21/1708/OP.
As with any new development there are often questions raised by the community.
What is the purpose of the Local Centre?
The proposed Local Centre would be a focal point for the new community and would be located centrally within the development. The exact composition of the local centre would be determined at the reserved matters stage, but it is envisaged as a combination of space for circulation and social gathering.
It is anticipated that there would be provision of a small range of facilities, of a local nature, which would generally meet the day-to-day needs of the community. Such facilities could include shops, cafes, small workspaces, a community centre etc.
Will you use local companies for the construction phase?
As this is an outline application, the specific construction requirements are not yet known. If outline permission were to be granted, details such as temporary construction jobs for local people, over the build period would be a matter to be considered as part of any future reserved matters application. This would involve discussions between Uttlesford District Council and the developer.
Landsec anticipate any outline planning consent would include developer obligations relating to employment, and these would be set out in the Section 106 legal agreement.
Will you be providing a new Doctors surgery?
There is an opportunity a healthcare facility to be provided within the local centre, subject to market demand. Provision of healthcare facilities such as doctors’ surgeries is based on local requirement needs which are set out by the NHS.
How much of the proposed housing will be affordable?
The outline application includes provision for 40% affordable homes.
Will local people in housing need be prioritised for affordable homes?
There are several affordable home tenures that could come forward at the site. The type and tenure of affordable homes will be discussed with the Council as part of the S.106 negotiations. It is anticipated that the Council will require people on the Councils’ housing list to be prioritised in relation to some of the affordable housing tenures.
Will the new houses built provide discounted housing for people over 50 or cash buyers?
The outline application does include provision for homes of various types and tenures, and potentially some later living or homes available to those who may be retired.
The exact mix and tenue of more specialist housing will be determined at reserved matters stage and will be based upon requirements set out by Uttlesford District Council and the market.
Where will the new resident’s work?
It is anticipated that residents of the development will work in a variety of locations including Stansted Airport, Great Dunmow, Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and London.
Why do we need more housing in this area?
The Government sets targets for housing delivery for each Council. For UDC the target is c.700 homes each year.
Why do we need this development when there are already over 700 houses approved for Woodside Way?
Taking the West of Woodside Way development into account UDC still has a shortfall against the Government housing target to deliver 700 units each year.
Will the Countess of Warwick Show still be able to be held on the field?
We understand that part of the site is used this annual event, which is subject to a separate arrangement with Landsec. The proposed development would not prevent the event taking place, and may provide opportunities for its relocation if desirable.
Will the existing farms on the site be redeveloped?
There are no proposals to redevelop the existing farm buildings as part of the planning application. It is envisaged that these will refurbished and remain in residential use.
Will you provide housing with solar panels?
Solar panels could be considered at the future reserved matters stage. Elements within the Energy Statement (submitted with the outline application) specifically seek to promote lower carbon and sustainable energy use and mitigate against energy wastage. The requirement for energy-efficient, lowcarbon well-insulated buildings, an all-electric energy supply for the site, and the use of air source heat pumps are examples of these elements.
The analysis in the Energy Statement found that these features make more difference to carbon and householder energy costs than solar panels would. Therefore, these are the things in which Landsec believe it is crucial to invest and commit to, before considering the inclusion of solar panels, but this is not ruled out.
How do you propose to preserve, maintain and enhance the public rights of way both during the works and on completion?
Public rights of way such as the Saffron Trail and the bridle paths form an important part of the site and will be enhanced and maintained as part of the development.
The application also proposes key walking and cycling routes from east to west through the site, which pick up on the existing public rights of way and promote their future use.
Will you provide an electric car charging station, such as Braintree Electric Forecourt?
There will be provision of EV charging points in accordance with policy, to allow for the anticipated transfer from fossil fuels to electric vehicles over the next 10 years.
An electric car charging station will be considered at reserved matters stage.
What will happen to the deer who currently roam on the land?
Although deer will be unable to roam the built part of the site, they will continue to range over farmland and woodland in the local area (they currently use a wide area, including the site but also well beyond the site boundaries).
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website today.
We would like to hear from you with any further questions that you may have about the scheme and we would encourage you to contact the project team directly about any element of the emerging proposals using the details below. They will be very happy to answer your questions and provide further information.
020 7446 6853
LEHQ Community Engagement Team,
C/O Barton Willmore,
7 Soho Square,