Quendon Hall Estate owns substantial land in the parish. It is managed by Pegasi Management Company.
In 2021 Uttlesford District Council issued a Call for Sites for land for housing development in the district over the next fifteen years, as part of the Local Plan. Many more sites for development have been put forward than are required, and UDC are examining the suggested sites. The initial list of sites are likely to be published for consultation locally in Q2 2022.
Pegasi have put forward two sites in the village, one in Coney Acre for 35 houses on 1.4 hectares (opposite the property Redlands), and a second larger site of 6.4 hectares (for 135 houses) in the angle between Cambridge Road and Belchams Lane. Both these sites have been dropped from previous iterations of the UDC process.
Effect of Designation Notice
From February 2022 the Planning Inspectorate will take over large-scale development planning decisions from UDC, following a decision that too many large scale development applications have been turned over on appeal. However this will not affect the Call for Sites and consultation process which will continue as planned.
There was an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting to which the public and press were invited, for Pegasi to present their vision for the developments publicly. This took place on 24th February 2022 at 7:15pm in the Primary School Hall.
After a presentation of their vision Pegasi ran a Question and Answer session, in an Open Meeting which immediately followed the PC meeting.
There were 87 villagers present. At a show of hands they were almost (85 of 87 with 2 abstentions) unanimously against the proposal.
Click here for a summary of the questions and answers following the presentation.
Subsequent correspondence with Pegasi regarding (1) the original promise to walk away if the village were against the development proposals and (2) relations between Maces Farm and the village. PC missives in italics.
Dear Ms Upton
We are writing to you for clarification on a matter which was discussed at our first and only meeting on 12 November 2019. We, members of the Parish Council, met with yourself, Robert Timmins and William Rogers, at your request, to listen to a proposal to develop accommodation in the villages of Quendon and Rickling Green that could be rented by all members of the community. You had no details at that time or which sites you had in mind, it was just a concept and you wanted to see if the Parish Council and the residents would be interested. At this meeting, you assured us that if the residents of the village had no interest in the development, you would effectively walk away and go elsewhere. Robert was, therefore, informed on 23 July 2020 that there was unanimous objection by the Parish Council to development of such large scale in the villages.
Why then, following the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting last Thursday, Robert Timmins announced that this assurance no longer stood?
Do you realise that this development will increase our villages by over 50%, encouraging a transient community without the infrastructure to support it? So you must surely understand why last Thursday's very well-attended meeting received such a negative reception and a unanimous show of hands against large scale development at the end! Robert was asked if there was any appetite for a much smaller development but apparently this would be financially unviable, which we do find hard to comprehend.
Please will you reconsider soonest so our community can once again rest at ease.
Finally, may we point out that the goodwill that was always in abundance to the village from Maces Farm is, unfortunately, no longer there, it has slowly eroded over the last few years owing to a number of petty and unnecessary measures being applied by management . How ironic then that the estate is now so keen to work with the village community but the goodwill from the village to the estate is now no longer there!
Dear Ms Kitkat,
Thank you for your email.
At this stage, we have just replied to the call for sites invitation from Uttlesford District Council’s Local Plan. As we discussed with you quite openly some time ago, we tend not to sell, so would look to provide homes for rent. The nature of any build to rent scheme generally needs some degree of scale to make it viable - developers make their money from sale and that’s not what we do as a business. Nothing is set in stone but whatever we do, it will need to make business sense for us. As significant investors in the village, it’s in our interests to ensure that any project we bring forward is sensitive, in keeping with what is there and brings greater benefit to the community, especially in terms of amenity. The vast majority of our residents stay for the long term, which is good for everyone.
In terms of community , I am so sorry that changes have occurred at times, e.g. the cricket club being unable to store the lawnmower at Maces Farms. I am sure Rob has explained, life is increasingly fraught with risk these days and we must remain mindful of such considerations as we operate a busy working Farm and Estate. Graham and Mark would welcome the continued opportunity to visit the village school to share what we do on the farm and we are looking at other ways to engage with young people and the wider public to provide an understanding more about care of the land and stewardship. We will of course continue to support the village fete and fun run; we will continue to rent the land out for the allotments and work with the Parish Council regarding the football field as it is today and later on if our plans as presented materialise.
We’ll always do what we can to be good neighbours, that hasn’t changed. Where we have to say ‘no, sorry’, we’ll let you know why, it won’t be out of pettiness or without reason.
Rob will keep in touch with the local community .
Dear Ms Upton
Thank you for your email confirming that the assurance you gave the village no longer stands and that the estate has no intention of reconsidering their position. We will let the residents know of this correspondence.
You should be aware that the relationship between Maces Farm had been strong and open, Graham and Mark worked with the village, kept the village informed and partook in village life. It is a real shame as it certainly feels as though the dynamic has recently altered.
Outside of your proposed large scale development, we would at least like to try and re-establish a better working relationship with Maces Farm. If you would like to meet up at any stage, we would be more than happy to!
Dear Ms Kitkat,
To be clear, nothing is set in stone, happy to discuss once we know more from Uttlesford.