Logo: Great Dunmow Neighbourhoood Plan Great Dunmow Neighbourhood Plan
What kind of town do you want Dunmow to be in 15-20 years?

Welcome to the Great Dunmow Neighbourhood Plan Website

Great Dunmow Town Council has produced a Neighbourhood Plan.

On this website you can find out why we're doing it, where we've got to, and - first and foremost - what neighbourhood planning is all about.

So, what is a Neighbourhood Plan?

The Neighbourhood Plan for Great Dunmow contains a set of policies aimed at managing change and growth in the town. It is a positive way in which the local community can shape how the town grows so that the character of and quality of life within Dunmow are maintained or even improved.

Our Plan covers the parish of Great Dunmow. The Neighbourhood Plan area was approved by Uttlesford District Council in 2012.

The Neighbourhood Plan will sit alongside the District Council's Local Plan, which will set out the strategic policies for the whole of the District. All planning applications in Dunmow will have to be in accordance with the Local and Neighbourhood Plans once adopted.

The power to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan and the various rules and criteria are set out in the Localism Act and the National Planning Policy Framework.

So, who's doing it?

The Town Council set up a Steering Group to see us through the process. The Steering Group was made up of Town Councillors and others with an interest in the future of Dunmow. It met about every 6 weeks. The funds for the Plan were provided mainly by the Town Council and partly through grants made by the Government. The Steering Group was supported by Planning Aid England, the Rural Community Council of Essex, the District Council, and an independent planning consultant.


Dunmow has grown substantially in recent years - both on its fringes in large housing estates and also through the redevelopment of smaller sites within the town. The population increased by 26% to 8830 people between 2001 and 2011, during which period 812 houses were built.

Development is controlled by the Local Plan of the District Council. However the current Local Plan was adopted in 2005 and needs to be replaced. The District Council published its first draft in 2012 but withdrew it in 2014.

The fact that the Local Plan is out of date in some respects has led to the submission of a number of planning applications for housing on sites that were not considered to be suitable in the existing Local Plan and are not identified as appropriate in the draft Local Plan. This situation creates a great deal of uncertainty.

It is vital that the whole community understands the implications of approving or refusing such applications. The Neighbourhood Plan must be in line with the Local Plan when it emerges but it can have a great influence on the way the agreed amount of deployment takes place.

The Town Council embarked on the Neighbourhood Plan in order to give the community a voice in what kind of town Dunmow will be in 5, 10 or 20 years' time and to gain some influence over inevitable changes.