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Uttlesford District
St Mary the Virgin, Saffron Walden - geograph.org.uk - 3494445.jpg
Saffron Walden, the administrative centre of the district
Uttlesford UK locator map.svg
Uttlesford shown within Essex
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East of England
Non-metropolitan county Essex
Status Non-metropolitan district
Admin HQ Saffron Walden
Incorporated1 April 1974
  TypeNon-metropolitan district council
  BodyUttlesford District Council
  LeadershipAlternative - Sec. 31 (Conservative)
   MPs Kemi Badenoch
  Total247.56 sq mi (641.18 km2)
  Rank63rd (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Rank267th (of 309)
  Density370/sq mi (140/km2)
95.4% White
1.6% S.Asian
1.1% Black
1.1% Mixed Race
0.9% Chinese or Other
Time zone UTC0 (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code 22UQ (ONS)
E07000077 (GSS)
OS grid reference TL541387
Website www.uttlesford.gov.uk

Uttlesford is a local government district in Essex, England. Its council is based in the market town of Saffron Walden. At the 2011 Census, the population of the district was 79,443. [1] Other notable settlements include Great Dunmow, Elmdon, Stebbing, Stansted Mountfitchet, Thaxted, Debden, Little Chesterford and Felstead among other settlements.



Its name is derived from its location within the ancient hundred of Uttlesford, [2] [3] usually spelled Vdelesford [4] or Wdelesford [5] in the Domesday manuscript of 1086, possibly from Udel's ford . [6]

The River Uttle flows from Elmdon to meet the River Cam at Wendens Ambo. There was originally a ford at Wendens Ambo on the main road immediately to the West of The Old Forge, before a bridge was constructed to the East and the road moved to its current position.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Saffron Walden, Dunmow Rural District and Saffron Walden Rural District. An earlier use of the name comes from the Uttlesford Orchestra, founded in 1956, which played in and around Saffron Walden. [7]


Apart from considerable agriculture, retail and office premises in towns, Uttlesford District includes London Stansted Airport, which is its largest employer. For more detailed analysis of strengths and specializations in the economy see individual settlements, for instance the article: Saffron Walden. In October 2008, the airport won a 40% increase in permitted flights under the flight cap which operates in relation to the airport, from the UK government. [8]

Aside from countryside hotels close to and aircraft maintenance vital to Stansted Airport, airlines have also used a small adjoining business park. Titan Airways has its head office in the Enterprise House in the grounds in Stansted Mountfitchet. [9]

Several airlines, including Buzz, [10] AirUK (later KLM uk), [11] [12] AB Airlines, [13] Go Fly had its head office at the Enterprise House. [14] and Lloyd International Airways had their head offices on the property of Stansted Airport. [15]


The district has the highest average house price of the 14 districts in the ceremonial county of Essex and of the 12 districts administered by Essex County Council. To Autumn 2012, Uttlesford had the 2nd highest quarterly increase in house prices after the Borough of Basildon and 2nd highest annually after the Borough of Chelmsford, both exceeding 5%. As a whole the county has a wide range in house prices, with Uttlesford's average house price only 0.85% greater than in Epping Forest District and 203% greater than the lowest-ranked Tendring district of Essex. [16]

House prices were among the top 10 local authorities for resilience in having returned to or exceeded 2007 levels in a 2011 statistical analysis by The Times. [17]

Local government


On 2 May 2019, Residents for Uttlesford won a majority with 26 councillors, but in October 2019 three members of their group defected to the Green Party to create a new council group, leaving the ruling group with 23 councillors and reducing their majority from 13 to seven seats: [18]

Residents for Uttlesford 23
Liberal Democrats 7
Conservative Party 4
Independent 2
Green Party 3 [19]

The Conservatives held 31 seats in the 2011-2015 term. They retained control of the Council in the 2015 elections, but with a significantly reduced number of seats (-26%). They lost seats to Residents for Uttlesford, who then comprised the second largest party in the District. Between the 2015 and 2019 local elections, by-elections saw Residents for Uttlesford win two seats from the Liberal Democrats while the sole independent joined the Conservatives.

Energy policy

In May 2006, a report commissioned by British Gas [20] showed that housing in Uttlesford produced the highest average carbon emissions in the country at 8,092 kg of carbon dioxide per dwelling. [21] In response the council stated

We try and lead by example but there is nothing else we can do to get people to save energy [22]

Uttlesford council has, however, introduced a planning permission condition requiring certain energy conservation measures to be taken when homes are extended, [23] and has a number of other initiatives. [24]

A 2010 study by the consultancy Altechnica indicated that all of Uttlesford's energy could come from renewable sources. [25]



The West Anglia Main Line passes through Uttlesford. There are stations at:

From all stations, there are regular services northbound towards Cambridge, operated by Greater Anglia. At certain times, trains continue towards Ely and King's Lynn. CrossCountry also operates northbound trains from Stansted Airport and Audley End to Cambridge, Peterborough, Leicester and Birmingham New Street.

From Stansted Airport, a southbound train is operated towards Bishop's Stortford, Harlow, Tottenham Hale and London Liverpool Street, operated by Greater Anglia under the Stansted Express brand. This train sometimes calls at Stansted Mountfitchet.

Greater Anglia operates southbound trains from other stations in the district to Bishop's Stortford, Harlow, Tottenham Hale and Liverpool Street. A southbound hourly fast-train also calls at Audley End, with additional services at peak times towards London from this station. [26]


Roads in the district are managed by Essex County Council, with some routes controlled by Highways England. [27]

The M11 motorway between London and Cambridge passes through the district, with junctions at Stansted Airport (junction 8) and Stump Cross, near Saffron Walden (9). This places the district in the M11 corridor for innovation. [28] Northbound from Stump Cross, the A11 forms part of the northern boundary of the district, carrying traffic to Newmarket and Norwich.

The A120 runs east-west through the district between Stansted Airport and Braintree, via Great Dunmow. This connects the district to Hertford, Colchester and Harwich.

Other roads in the district are B-class roads. This includes:


Stansted Airport is in the district. Stansted is the fourth-busiest UK airport, with flights to over 200 destinations. [29]

Bus & Coach

There are several bus routes which cross the district and which connect the district to neighbouring destinations, [30] including:

Great Dunmow and Stansted Airport are on the First Essex and Arriva Shires & Essex networks. First bus 42A calls operates from both destinations to Chelmsford, and X10 and X30 connect Stansted Airport to Chelmsford, Basildon and Southend-on-Sea. Arriva bus 133 connects Stansted and Great Dunmow to Colchester.

Arriva Bus 510 links Stansted Mountfitchet and Stansted Airport to Bishop's Stortford and Harlow. [31] [32]

Saffron Walden is on the Stagecoach Cambridge network, served by the Citi 7, although Megarider tickets are not valid in the district. [33]

Stansted Airport is served by National Express and Airport Bus Express coaches to destinations in London and across the UK. [34]


Flitch Way, a straight bridleway which carries NCR 16 in the district. Flitch Way at Takeley - geograph.org.uk - 349436.jpg
Flitch Way, a straight bridleway which carries NCR 16 in the district.

Several cycle routes cross the district, linking towns in the district to the National Cycle Network.

National Cycle Route 11 (NCR 11) crosses the district north-south, from Ickleton to Stansted Mountfitchet, running mostly on rural lanes. NCR 11 eventually links the district to the River Stort towpath in Bishop's Stortford (towards Harlow, NCR 1 and London). Northbound, the route continues towards Cambridge, Ely and Downham Market. A spur of the route leads into Saffron Walden, running for much of its length on a segregated cycle route.

National Cycle Route 16 runs east-west between Stansted Mountfitchet and Braintree, via Great Dunmow town centre. The route runs for much of its length on segregated cycle track, and it runs unbroken through the district, mostly parallel to the A120.

National Cycle Network 50 runs north-south between Takeley and Quendon in Uttlesford. The route ultimately runs between Quendon and Ulting (near Maldon) running entirely on country lanes.

In the media

In 2001, Uttlesford was voted as the best place to live in England, in a survey by the Sunday Times . A range of factors, including housing costs, quality of schools and low crime contributed to the overall result.[ citation needed ] Uttlesford has also been polled as the healthiest place to live in the UK.[ citation needed ] Starting in 2001 with help from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) a group of grey seals were raised in boyton end because of the phocine distemper virus destroying almost 50% of the grey seal population between 1988-2002 they now have a population of around 150 seals [31] [35]

Unique features

The district is the only British local authority (excluding parishes) to begin with the letter 'u'. The only other initial letter used by only one UK local authority is 'y' for York. [16]

The district is the only British local authority to have a branch of Pret a Manger, but no branch of Greggs. [36]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Stansted Airport</span> Passenger airport at Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, UK

London Stansted Airport is an international airport located near Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, England, 42 mi (68 km) northeast of Central London.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saffron Walden</span> Town in Essex, England

Saffron Walden is a market town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, 12 miles (19 km) north of Bishop's Stortford, 15 miles (24 km) south of Cambridge and 43 miles (69 km) north of London. It retains a rural appearance and some buildings of the medieval period. The population was 15,504 at the 2011 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bishop's Stortford</span> Market town in Hertfordshire, England

Bishop's Stortford is a historic market town in Hertfordshire, England, just west of the M11 motorway on the county boundary with Essex, 27 miles (43 km) north-east of central London, and 35 miles (56 km) by rail from Liverpool Street station. Stortford had an estimated population of 41,088 in 2020. The district of East Hertfordshire, where the town is located, has been ranked as the best place to live in the UK by the Halifax Quality of Life annual survey in 2020. The town is commonly known as “Stortford” by locals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Great Dunmow</span> Human settlement in England

Great Dunmow is a historic market town and civil parish in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England. It is situated on the north of the A120 road, approximately midway between Bishop's Stortford and Braintree, five miles east of London Stansted Airport.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ugley</span> Human settlement in England

Ugley is a small village and civil parish in the non-metropolitan district of Uttlesford in Essex, England. It is about 2 miles (3 km) north from Stansted Mountfitchet, and situated between Saffron Walden and Bishop's Stortford. Within the parish is the village of Ugley Green, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the south.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stansted Mountfitchet</span> Village in Essex, England

Stansted Mountfitchet is an English village and civil parish in Uttlesford district, Essex, near the Hertfordshire border, 35 miles (56 km) north of London. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 5,533, increasing to 6,011 at the 2011 census. The village is served by Stansted Mountfitchet railway station.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saffron Walden (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Saffron Walden is a constituency in Essex represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by Kemi Badenoch, a Conservative.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Birchanger</span> Human settlement in England

Birchanger is a village in Essex, England, 3 km (1.9 mi) northeast of Bishop's Stortford and 25 km (16 mi) northwest of the county town, Chelmsford. The village is in the district of Uttlesford and the parliamentary constituency of Saffron Walden. There is a Parish Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Broxted</span> Human settlement in England

Broxted is a village and civil parish in the Uttlesford district, in the county of Essex, England. It is situated 11 km (6.8 mi) north-east from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire and 23 km (14 mi) north-west from the county town of Chelmsford.

Stansted was a rural district in Essex, England from 1894 to 1934.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bishop's Stortford railway station</span> Railway station in Hertfordshire, England

Bishop's Stortford railway station is on the West Anglia Main Line serving the town of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, England. It is 30 miles 27 chains (48.8 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Sawbridgeworth and Stansted Mountfitchet stations. Its three-letter station code is BIS.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Molehill Green</span> Human settlement in England

Molehill Green is a hamlet in Takeley parish in Essex, England, close to the perimeter of London Stansted Airport, The hamlet consists of approximately forty houses and lies about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) north of Takeley village.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elsenham</span> Human settlement in England

Elsenham is a village and civil parish in north-west Essex in eastern England. Its neighbouring towns include Bishop's Stortford, Saffron Walden and Stansted Mountfitchet.

Bentfield Bury is a small village in Essex, England. It is one of over 100 villages in the district of Uttlesford and is within Stansted Mountfitchet parish. Nearby towns include Saffron Walden and Bishop's Stortford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hatfield Heath</span> Village in Essex, England

Hatfield Heath is a village, civil parish, and an electoral ward in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, and at its west is close to the border with Hertfordshire. In close proximity are the towns of Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. Stansted Airport is approximately 5 miles (8 km) to the north.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Hundred Parishes</span> Area of eastern England

The Hundred Parishes is an area of the East of England with no formal recognition or status, albeit that the concept has the blessing of county and district authorities. It encompasses around 450 square miles of northwest Essex, northeast Hertfordshire and southern Cambridgeshire. The area comprises just over 100 administrative parishes, hence its name. It contains over 6,000 listed buildings and many conservation areas, village greens, ancient hedgerows, protected features and a historical pattern of small rural settlements in close proximity to one another.

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is a localist political party in the United Kingdom. The party was launched in 2014, and formed from a number of residents groups in the area. The party is based in the Uttlesford administrative district in Essex and promotes a localist agenda that seeks to give residents a greater say in the future of their district. Residents for Uttlesford has elected representation at multiple levels of local government: Uttlesford District Council, Essex County Council and various town and parish councils, including the councils for both towns in Uttlesford, Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow.


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Coordinates: 52°01′08″N0°14′12″E / 52.0190°N 0.2367°E / 52.0190; 0.2367