Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan

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Homes and Housing

Objective 7: To deliver a housing growth strategy tailored to the needs and context of Tiptree.

Objective 8: To identify and allocate sites to support the construction and delivery of 600 homes by 2033.

Objective 9: To include variety and choice to meet existing and future needs in terms of housing type and tenure.

Objective 10: To promote developments with sufficient off-road parking, front gardens and varied housing densities and styles as befits Tiptree's rural community.

Objective 11: To integrate green 'corridors' for foot and cycle paths, recreation and wildlife into new developments.

Objective 12: To focus development in the north and west of the village where access to main routes will minimise the impacts on the village centre.

Local Character and Design

Responses to the Community Questionnaire reveal a strongly held desire for Tiptree to remain a village with a 'village feel'; small enough for there to be a sense of community but large enough to provide essential services within the village. There is a strong desire for new housing to reflect the village character and to avoid the imposition of an urban landscape. It is acknowledged that this has not always been achieved in the past. Dwellings should be built in clusters with space between to break up the development and to provide space for footpaths, cycle-ways, trees and wildlife corridors that connect to existing facilities and networks. New development should incorporate integral features of benefit to wildlife, such as integral swift bricks, bat tiles, sparrow terraces, starling boxes, hedgehog highways, invertebrate "hotels", log piles, reptile refugia, etc. A wildflower lawn mix can be used for amenity areas, which significantly improves the value for insect pollinators. Roads should have pavements and most dwellings should be set back and have front gardens. The streetscape should be attractive and well managed with storage space for recyclables, refuse/wheelie bins and bicycles and lay-bys for on-street parking. In recognition of the forecast increase in demand from electricity networks for solar panels and batteries as well as electric vehicle charging, and from digital networks for faster broadband, it is important that houses are designed so that new technology and infrastructure can be incorporated in the build or retro-fitted as necessary.

Wilkin Drive, Tiptree

(2) POLICY TIP02: GOOD QUALITY DESIGN

  1. All development within Tiptree must demonstrate good quality design and respect and enhance the character and appearance of the surrounding area and the way it functions. Achieving good design in Tiptree means responding to and integrating with local surroundings and landscape context as well as the existing built environment. In particular, proposals must demonstrate that they will appropriately address the following:
    1. Ensure new development proposals reflect the local vernacular in terms of house styles, building set back and arrangements of front gardens, walls, railings or hedges.
    2. Incorporate inter-connected areas of open space and green infrastructure to form discreet groups of buildings to break up the building mass.
    3. Retention of existing landscape features such as mature trees and hedgerows which contribute to local landscape character and ecological diversity.
    4. Incorporate the principles of Secured by Design to design out crime.
    5. Propose trees and mixed hedges of predominantly native species to screen development and integrate it into the landscape.
    6. In order to address the need for biodiversity net gain, integral features of benefit to wildlife should be incorporated into buildings and amenity areas.
    7. Ensure safe access to routes for pedestrians, cyclists and road users, particularly towards the village centre, local schools and other amenities.
    8. Use of high quality materials that complement the existing dwellings in the immediate vicinity.
    9. Properties to be designed so they incorporate appropriate infrastructure, including electric car charging points, and can be retro-fitted for new electricity and digital technology.
  2. Designs that incorporate new technology to increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint will be encouraged.
  3. In order to ensure a high quality and well managed streetscape, developments must ensure that sufficient external amenity space is provided, as well as space for refuse and recycling storage and car and bicycle parking (including on-street parking).

Inworth Grange Pits

Residential Car Parking

It is recognised that the number of vehicles per household is increasing, particularly in a village where most working people are dependent on personal transport to get to work and public transport networks are limited in terms of frequency and destination.

The main economic centres where Tiptree residents work or shop are Colchester, Chelmsford and London. The Colchester Travel to Work Patterns 2015 report identifies that 72% of workers from Tiptree leave to go elsewhere each day. The larger dwellings in Tiptree are home to households with high numbers of workers for whom accessibility to the workplace is a key consideration.

The bus service to Colchester and Maldon is approximately half-hourly Monday to Saturday and two-hourly on Sundays. Buses can be full at busy times and, if so, may not stop. The bus only goes to Colchester town centre and the last bus back from Colchester leaves at 19.20. The only other regular bus service is between Tollesbury and Witham which also serves Kelvedon and Witham railway stations. It runs approximately hourly weekday mornings and two hourly in the afternoons and on Saturdays. There is no service on a Sunday. The last buses returning from Witham are 16.06, 17.58 and 19.05 week days; 16.35 and 17.35 Saturdays. Not surprisingly most workers choose not to use the bus for reasons of timing, workplace destination and convenience.

Community consultation has revealed an average of 1.77 cars per Tiptree household in 2016 (based on a 24% response rate from 4000 homes) and this is likely to be an underestimate because the age group 19 – 44 was underrepresented compared to other age groups. Nevertheless an average of 1.77 cars per household is 32% higher than the average of 1.34 quoted by the Department of Transport for the East of England in 2015/16 and represents a 15% increase compared to the average of 1.54 cars per family recorded for Tiptree in the 2011 census.

For these reasons parking provision should be at least as generous as Policy DP19 of the CBC Development Policies. Policy DP19 sets a minimum standard for residential areas of 1 car parking space for each 1-bedroom dwelling or 2 car parking spaces for each dwelling of 2 or more bedrooms, in addition to 0.25 spaces per dwelling for visitors.

This plan considers it important to provide sufficient off-road parking as well as space for visitors with the aim of maintaining an orderly streetscape that is safe for children and pedestrians. Whilst garages are desirable, they are often not used for car parking. This plan encourages the use of open parking on drives, parking courts or car ports. Any street parking should preferably be in lay-bys with sufficient remaining road width for two cars to pass.

(2) POLICY TIP03: RESIDENTIAL CAR PARKING

  1. All new residential developments within Tiptree must demonstrate sufficient provision of off-street car parking to reflect current vehicle ownership in the parish. The following minimum levels of off-street parking shall be provided:
    1. 1-bedroom dwellings – 1 car parking space.
    2. 2- and 3- bedroom dwellings – 2 car parking spaces.
    3. 4-bedroom dwellings or larger – 3 car parking spaces.
    4. All dwelling sizes – an additional 0.25 visitor spaces per dwelling.
  2. In order to ensure that off-street parking is fully utilised, the provision of open parking under car ports, on drives or on parking courts with designated spaces is encouraged in preference to garages. Height and width of parking spaces should be in accordance with the space dimensions set out in 'Essex Parking Standards: Design and Good Practice document' or successor document.
  3. In order to achieve an orderly streetscape on-street parking will be mainly in lay-bys.

Building for Life

Ensuring a high quality design of developments in terms of integration into the existing footprint, character and community of the village has frequently been expressed as a high priority for residents in consultation. In line with the CBC Local Plan (paragraph 15.54) we are encouraging new developments to apply the Building for Life design standard.

(1) POLICY TIP04: BUILDING FOR LIFE

  1. A. Applicants for major residential development (as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework) are encouraged to meet Building for Life 12 (BfL 12) standards and to demonstrate this through the provision of an assessment as part of any planning application.
  2. B. Where a development seeks to meet BfL 12 standards, applicants are strongly encouraged to achieve GREEN scores against: criteria 1 (Connections), 4 (Meeting Local Housing Requirements), 5 (Character) and 6 (Working with the site and its Context).

Dwelling Mix

The 2011 census shows that proportionally, Tiptree lacks 1&2-bedroom dwellings and has excess 3&4-bedroom dwellings (see the table below).

Colchester Borough Council policy recognises the historic over-provision of larger dwellings. The emerging Local

Plan Part 1 (Policy DM10) requires development to provide a mix in line with the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and this requirement should be followed in Tiptree. Following the SHMA, the emerging Local Plan requires over 38% of all units to be 1- and 2-bedrooms (4.9% 1-bed and 33.3% 2-bed). For Tiptree's 600 dwellings this will provide approximately 30x1-bedroom and 200x2-bedroom dwellings.

The RCCE housing Needs Survey (2017) also identified a need among current Tiptree residents for 25 bungalows (mostly (80%) 2 bedroom plus a few 3 bedroom).

Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan accepts that a discussion of the number of bedrooms is primarily about dwelling size and price. For this reason a dwelling the size and price of a two bedroom house but with a third bedroom in a loft space for example would be an acceptable alternative to a 2 bedroom dwelling.

The following policy will be superseded by Policy DM10 at such time as the emerging Local Plan is adopted.

(1) POLICY TIP05: DWELLING MIX

  1. Housing developments should provide a mix of housing types to suit a range of different households as identified in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Colchester, along with any evidence of specific local housing needs.
  2. Developers are required to demonstrate how their proposal will be capable of meeting and adapting to the long term needs of the increasing number of older residents. In particular, proposals are encouraged to include the provision of bungalows.
  3. Housing developments should ensure that a minimum of 10% of any market housing and 95% of any affordable housing provision meets Building Regulations 2015 Part M4 (2) accessible and adaptable standards and 5% of any affordable housing meets Part M4 (3)(2)(b) wheelchair user standards.

Affordable Housing

In line with Colchester Borough Council policy, affordable housing will be required on housing developments for

10 or more dwellings. Currently 20% of new build homes will be affordable homes (Core Policy H4). The proportion will rise to 30% upon the adoption of the emerging plan (Policy DM8).

There is a strong desire (75% of 1042 respondents) for a proportion of affordable housing to be allocated to people with a link to Tiptree. According to the RCCE Housing Needs Survey for Tiptree published in December 2017 there is an assessed need locally of 19 units for housing association/council housing. This works out at six 1 bed units, ten 2 bed units and three 3 bed units.

It is important that local people (or those with a local connection) who wish to be considered for affordable housing in Tiptree should put their names down on the Colchester Borough Council Housing Register. This would mean that they may become eligible for any future affordable housing in Tiptree. Colchester Borough Council use Gateway to Home Choice and operates under its allocation policies. Applicants can register their need on the website (www.gatewaytohomechoice.org.uk). Alternatively you may access the site through the Colchester Borough Council website (www.colchester.gov.uk/housing).

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