Campaigners in Clavering are pushing back against a 'coordinated onslaught' of development in the village.

Residents' group Keep Clavering Rural, which was formed in 2014 and has around 280 members, aims to resist urbanisation from new housing developments.

Over the past couple of years, the village has faced what campaigners describes as an "unprecedented" number of planning applications, which have increased in recent weeks and months.

A spokesperson for Keep Clavering Rural said: "Now that residents and the parish council have voted strongly to create a Neighbourhood Plan this seems to have triggered yet more development activity.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Proposed development sites in ClaveringProposed development sites in Clavering (Image: Keep Clavering Rural)

"The last few weeks, when everyone was preoccupied with festivities, Clavering has had to face an apparently coordinated onslaught of planning applications from landowners, who are perhaps keen to seek approval before the Neighbourhood Plan gives residents more say in where new houses go.

"The new Local Plan suggests a timeline of up to 18 years for our allocation of 111 new houses; sadly, there seems to be a rush to get them all dumped on the village in year one!"

Keep Clavering Rural's focus is normally on sites of more than five new houses, but they also give smaller sites attention if they believe they could lead to "inappropriate and harmful" development.

The campaign group believes that the village does not have sufficient transport links to accommodate a significant increase in houses.

A spokesperson said: "Clavering has a village shop and school, a village hall and a pub with rooms.

"This means it is considered to be a larger village in the draft Local Plan and therefore should take a significant number of new houses.

"However, there are no transport links other than school buses, while the country roads linking us to Newport or Audley End stations are not cycle-friendly or easily walkable.

"It means you need a car to live in Clavering. Experience has shown that this has undoubtedly been a problem for some affordable housing tenants, particularly those previously living in urban locations with convenient facilities.

"Without a car, how do you get to work as there are very few employment opportunities in the village? And how do you get to medical facilities?"

The campaigners also observed that recent applications have been focused on sites furthest from the village's core facilities along Stortford Road.

Their fear is that if one application gets approved it will pave the way for similar developments.

An Uttlesford District Council spokesperson said: "We have received more than 1,700 responses to the draft local plan proposals, including from Clavering.


"These will be fully considered as we start to work on the next iteration of the Local Plan.

"In the meantime, the council will robustly defend planning appeals by developers in Clavering and elsewhere in the district."

Keep Clavering Rural has a number of supporters who donate to the expense of professional reports and advice to back up their objections, and they are asking for more financial donations.

To support them or keep up to date with planning applications email