Skip to content

Opportunities & challenges

Insight from the local community, Council officers, heritage experts and landscape consultants has identified a number of issues and opportunities for development across the district. The Uttlesford District Design Code offers the possibility of addressing some of these to inspire and promote high quality new development across the area.


  • Inspire and encourage high quality design in new developments, reinforcing Uttlesford’s unique character, landscape and heritage
  • Encourage provision of safe, attractive walking and cycling routes
  • Future-proof new developments so that they can adapt to changing lifestyles, technologies, and ways of travelling
  • Ensure new developments address climate change
  • Encourage PV & solar panels, EV charging points, and green energy used
  • Mitigate flooding risk and manage water to protect chalk streams through landscaping measures such as attenuation ponds and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
  • Ensure well-planned public open spaces and rights of way
  • Improve health and wellbeing for all
  • Use native planting to increase biodiversity, encourage wildlife and add aesthetic value

Issues and challenges

  • Growing population has put a strain on services and infrastructure eg schools, healthcare, roads
  • No Local Plan in place to guide development
  • Currently difficult to encourage volume housebuilders and developers to deviate from their standard house types and include architectural details that are more specific to Uttlesford
  • Often new development is sprawling and low-density, and does not include uses other than residential
  • Often new development is not integrated well into the rest of the town/village or the landscape
  • Lack of safe space for cycling on roads
  • Lack of social spaces and places of activity for young people
  • Climate change
  • Flooding risk and need for careful water management to protect chalk streams
  • Open spaces and play space often poorly sited in new developments and not well integrated into the design