HOUSING | Housing Density


4.4.1    The density of residential development plays an important part of the character of the area and the quality of life of residents. In order to ensure an efficient use of land, and at the same time respect the character and architectural heritage of the area, housing density will be appropriate to the location.

4.4.2    Higher density housing will bring a corresponding need for more green space.

4.4.3    High density housing was built at the development known locally as Crabtrees (which includes neighbouring roads). The density at this location is around 60 dwellings per hectare. Insufficient provision for parking is a continual issue at this location, and serves as proof that the car ownership levels which are necessary in Saffron Walden cannot be supported by high housing densities.

4.4.4    A housing density of 40 dwellings per hectare is considered appropriate for Saffron Walden. Exceptions to this may be considered where underground parking is proposed as part of the scheme. Planning applications which come forward with inadequate parking provision will be resisted.


1. Densities should be appropriate to site context including location, and scale, character and grain of built form in neighbouring developments. As a rule, this will mean achieving the average net density of:

a) 40 dwellings per hectare in urban extensions to Saffron Walden;

b) 40 dwellings per hectare in infill sites within Saffron Walden; and

c) 35 dwellings per hectare in rural exception sites, should any come forward during the SWNP period.

2. Higher densities will be acceptable if this can clearly be justified to the site context and where the development proposal complies with the SWNP policy on parking and it is clear that there will be no additional pressure placed on town-centre parking or there are achievable solutions available to the site such as underground parking, which will not impact on the viability of the development such that it cannot meet standard obligations to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

This policy supports the Neighbourhood Plan Objectives 1,2,3,4,5


Please use the relevant section numbers as reference markers when writing your comments.

One Response

  1. I am in complete agreement with this. Crabtrees is a nightmare, claustrophobic and impossible to navigate around in a car. The lower the density, the better, for the wellbeing and mental health of the residents.

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Neighbourhood Plan Objectives

Objective 1

Saffron Walden will be an economically active and self-sustaining town, offering equal opportunities to all.

Objective 2

Saffron Walden’s residents will be able to live as healthily as possible.

Objective 3

Saffron Walden will be an environmentally sustainable town.

Objective 4

Saffron Walden’s heritage assets, high quality landscape and conservation areas will be protected or enhanced.

Objective 5

Saffron Walden will retain its market-town feel and community spirit.


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