Parish Online brings Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan to life

Parish Online brings Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan to life


The use of maps as part of Saffron Walden’s Neighbourhood Plan allowed the Council to make complex issues easily understandable by including relevant maps and diagrams.



The Neighbourhood Plan team at Saffron Walden needed an effective way to communicate the areas that are included in the plan including;

  • Housing
  • Design
  • Business
  • Connectivity
  • Ecology
  • Infrastructure
  • Transport
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Arts and Culture
  • Education
  • Healthcare

One of the main aims of using digital mapping as part of their Neighbourhood Plan was to ensure the document was easy to understand, removed uncertainty regarding the areas of issue, and to make it an engaging read. By drawing readers in they hoped to gain valuable and meaningful feedback from the public.



Saffron Walden built up a range of Map Layers within their Parish Online account to communicate certain aspects of their plan. Resulting maps were produced relating to;

  • Site allocations for proposed housing
  • Design considerations around the town
  • Showing the commercial, retail, residential mix in the area
  • Outlining areas subject to change-of-use
  • Transport flow and air quality monitoring points
  • Showcasing heritage, such as listed buildings
  • Public rights of way in and around the town.

In most cases these layers were simple polygon areas that were styled in different colours to make the maps clear and easy to read.


As Parish Online is web-based with everything stored online, members of the Neighbourhood Plan team could access it at any time to make improvements or amendments. This makes the task of developing the content for a Neighbourhood Plan much less onerous. This was especially important as the team consisted of a mix of local volunteers and Town Councillors.

The Neighbourhood Plan is published on a dedicated website so members of the public can read, review and comment on the proposal.



“Parish Online is a must-have for our team.

You simply cannot do without it for producing an engaging neighbourhood plan.

Being able to have multiple logins to the software we were able to collaborate on the Neighbourhood Plan work to produce clear and useful maps.

We now use Parish Online for our routine maintenance works. This gives us a live, interactive picture of our Council so we can efficiently locate and action fixes and improvements.”

Chloë Fiddy - Planning and Projects Development Officer


All about Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden is one of the finest preserved examples of a medieval market town in the UK and is quintessentially English. Located just 50 miles from London it has a wealth of attractions including gardens, museums, unique family-run shops and the largest and most beautiful Parish Churches in Essex.

Title Picture:Archant. All other pictures sent to us by Saffron Walden Town Council

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Saffron Walden Town Council


05 February 2020


Public Engagement, Neighbourhood Plans
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