Our Environment & Green Spaces

There are a number of environmental aspects to be considered for our Neighbourhood Plan.


Saffron Walden is the only place in the district with illegal air quality. This is due to previous poor long range planning that allowed the building of many houses in parts of the town without providing the necessary new east-west roads – standing traffic creates pollution. As a result the town is one of the few places with a formally declared emergency air quality zone, called an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area). It stretches right from the water town to the allotments on Windmill Hill, and east down Radwinter Road.

Pollution creates significant health problems, particularly to the young and old. Most resident are not happy with the pollution, but what do we do about it in our Neighbourhood Plan?

Open Spaces

Saffron Walden is surrounded by rolling countryside. Within the town itself there are a number of green and open spaces. These are spread amongst housing, or more formally provided, such as The Common, Bridge End Gardens and the Anglo American Playing Fields. UDC has waived its right to require developers to provide open spaces for sports and leisure across the district. However if we feel they are important, our Neighbourhood Plan can require something different.

Do we want to require developers to provide open spaces? Would we trade communal open spaces for giving new homes larger gardens? UDC permits development of between 35 and 67 new homes per hectare today in Saffron Walden, and has an average of 54. How dense to we want our new homes packed?

Sewage and Floods

We have many small-bore sewers and the treatment plant at Swan Meadow is at capacity. Additionally new homes are creating more surface water run-off. As a result we’ve seen flooding in a number of places over the last few years, including on Elizabeth Way, Thaxted Rd and Victoria Avenue.  Where would we want a new treatment plan in the town if one was required?

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