The elevation of the proposed North Uttlesford Garden Community will put it in the top 2% of most visible land in Uttlesford, making it visible from 57% of all surrounding land in a 5 mile radius. By comparison Saffron Walden’s visibility is 27%. That is a very big difference!

In fact you couldn’t pick a worse location. The areas marked red on the map are the most visible elevations in Uttlesford. As you can see, NUGC will dominate the Cambridgeshire plain to the north and west, and be visible from the valley that runs south into Uttlesford.

That’s what happens when the council doesn’t listen to its own landscape consultants, who said no (or to the council’s own landscape officer – who also said no). Instead Uttlesford District Council is trying to force this development simply because the land has been put forward by the owners, not because it makes sense to build there.

It’s official. There is nowhere in north Uttlesford to site a town of this size and be more visible. It is a reckless disregard of important principles of planning.

Thanks to Nick Burton for doing this research and producing the map.This has been produced by a process called Cumulative Viewshed Analysis. This involves creating a digital model of the landscape and running 4,300 calculations for each 500m square of land in north Uttlesford to assess the relative visibility. After ranking the 500m squares of land, those areas that fall in the top 2% most visible are shown here in red.