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The Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Committee (NPAC) has been working hard to ensure that the needs of the community can be reached by working on set policies for future application. The main purpose of the plan is to ensure we have an opportunity to describe what is valued most by the community. We want to be able to retain the character of the area whilst meeting building targets desired by residents.

During the autumn, our residents and businesses have been completing questionnaires and attending consultation events to voice opinions on how Ingatestone and Fryerning will develop in the coming years. This will form part of the evidence gathering to produce our plan. We know our existing housing stock comprises 38 per cent detached and 34 per cent semi-detached dwellings and that 78 per cent are owner occupied.

We have lower than national averages for small terraced houses and flats. Our young people have to move away from the villages to find affordable accommodation to buy or rent. The questionnaire findings show that our older residents would like to downsize but not move away. We have sufficient evidence now, together with the studies that were commissioned by the borough, to begin drafting our plan. Our vision statement is on our web page and we will be writing a practical set of policies designed to achieve it. The next formal stage will be to publicise the draft to the community through a pre-submission consultation before it is revised and submitted to the local authority for independent examination.