In 2014 the Parish Council began investigating the the benefits of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the villages of Elmdon, Duddenhoe End, Wenden Lofts and Pond Street (Upper and Lower). The process evolved and a ended with the publication of our Village Design Statement in 2018.

In May 2022 the Parish Council discussed the possibility of adopting a Neighbour Plan as logical next step strengthening the Parish's voice in planning matters. The subject is regularly reviewed pending the District Council settling on a new Local Plan, the last one having been rejected by the Government.

Councillor Donaldson's article outlining the case can be seen here: Neighbourhood Plan

What is a Village Design Statement (VDS)?

A Village Design Statement provides an opportunity for the community to describe how they feel the physical character of the parish can be enhanced.

It is a document that identifies what is special, unique and distinctive about the character of the parish.

It will provide an assessment of the character of the built and natural environment and elements of design that are of local significance. The document also provides views and opinions about various elements of character and aspirations for the future.

It results in guidelines about the design of future development (including an attempt to influence permitted development).

What is the status of a VDS

The VDS sits outside the local authority development plan as ‘a material consideration in the determination of planning applications’ or ‘planning guidance’ (subject to local authority approval)

Uttlesford District Council has adopted The Elmdon & Wenden Lofts VDS as approved guidance in determining planning applications and the preparation of the local development framework.

See UDC Design Statements


The following links provide further information and background about local planning and Village Design Statements.

Community Led Planning (

Uttlesford District Council - Parish and village plans

Uttlesford District Council - Local Plan 2005

Home | Essex Design Guide

The Village Design Statement

VDS 12.02.19 (C).pdf