Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan

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Countryside and Green Spaces

Objective 28: To protect existing greenspace, the landscape character and support biodiversity net gain and the enhancement of the natural environment.

Objective 29: To protect and enhance local wildlife sites and other valued habitats in the surrounding area.

Objective 30: To deliver additional green space with public access as part of new developments in Tiptree and space to roam in beautiful surroundings.

Objective 31: To establish a country park for Tiptree.

One of the benefits of living in a village like Tiptree is to be surrounded by countryside. As the wide-open spaces within the village become fewer the countryside around us is increasingly important. In our consultation survey it was considered very important that we protect our countryside, especially our wildlife areas and there was a strong call for more accessible open countryside. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) also recognises the importance of our natural countryside and requires planning authorities to contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by 'protecting and enhancing valued landscapes' and 'minimising impacts on biodiversity and providing net gains in biodiversity where possible, contributing to the Government's commitment to halt the overall decline in biodiversity' (NPPF paragraph 109).

Map 13.1 identifies the green spaces and designated wildlife sites in Tiptree Parish. The NPPF allows for the designation of valued green spaces as 'Local Green Space' and thus affording it Green-belt protection. However it is considered that these sites already have sufficient protection.

The following green spaces are owned or are managed by Tiptree Parish Council. Public Access is allowed:

Grove Road Playing Field

Grove Lake

Park Lane Nature Reserve and amenity land

Windmill Green

Warrior's Rest

The following are designated as Local Wildlife Sites by Colchester Borough Council. The CBC Local Plan includes 'zero loss of Local Wildlife Sites' as a stated target. It should be noted that many of these areas are privately owned and may not have public access.

Hill Wood (Co4)

Perry's Wood (Co5)

Tiptree Waterworks (Co7)

Inworth Grange Pits & Brook Meadows (Co10)

St. Luke's Churchyard (Co16)

Birch Wood (Co21)

Ransome's Grove (Co25)

Cadgers Wood & Park Lane Nature Reserve (Co32)

Warrior's Rest (Co169)

In addition Tiptree Heath is owned by Mr Peter Wilkin by virtue of the fact that he is Lord of the Manor. It is designated as Common Land and managed jointly by The Friends of Tiptree Heath and Essex Wildlife Trust under a farm Business Tenancy with support from Tiptree Parish Council. It is also a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

It is the intention of this Neighbourhood Plan to continue to afford protection to the above areas and wherever possible and desirable to negotiate public access to such areas whilst also retaining undisturbed areas capable of delivering measurable net gain in biodiversity. It is generally recognised that there is a lack of wide open space in the Tiptree area and there was a strong call from the community to establish some kind of country park in the Tiptree area and that is an objective of this plan subject to successful negotiations with land owners and funding.

(4) POLICY TIP15: COUNTRYSIDE AND GREEN SPACES

  1. Green spaces and access to the countryside should be protected and enhanced, particularly where this provides access for the enjoyment of the community of Tiptree and its visitors. This includes designated Local Wildlife Sites (as shown on Map 13.1) which shall be protected from development.
  2. Development proposals must protect and enhance biodiversity by:
    1. Protecting designated sites, protected species and ancient and species-rich hedgerows, grasslands and woodlands; and
    2. Preserving ecological networks, and the migration and transit of flora and fauna; and
    3. Protecting ancient trees or trees of arboricultural value, or ancient woodlands; and
    4. Promoting the mitigation, preservation, restoration and recreation of wildlife habitats, and the protection and recovery of priority species; and
    5. Providing a net gain in flora and fauna; and
    6. Adopting best practice in sustainable urban drainage with development proposals incorporating the provision of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) unless it can be demonstrated to be technically unfeasible, will be supported.
  3. Proposals must demonstrate that ecological considerations have been properly assessed in relation to likely impacts and where appropriate proportionate mitigation measures must be provided.
  4. To ensure the long term ownership and stewardship of new public green spaces created as a part of development, their ownership should be transferred either to Tiptree Parish Council or, if this is not possible, then to an appropriate alternative body.

Recreational Disturbance

Habitat Regulations Assessments have been completed for Colchester Borough Council's Section 1 Local Plan and Section 2 Local Plan. Both of these assessments identified that the in-combination effects of the Section 1 and Section 2 Local Plans (including the cumulative effects of the Section 2 allocations), together with neighbouring local planning authorities Local Plans and neighbourhood plans are likely to adversely affect the integrity of European designated nature conservation sites, in particular the Colne Estuary Special Protection Area and the Blackwater Estuary Special Protection Area (both are protected under the Ramsar international treaty) and also the Essex Estuaries Special Area of Conservation.

In view of that, Colchester Borough Council is working with eleven other Greater Essex local planning authorities, and Natural England, on the Essex Coast Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS). The Essex Coast RAMS is a strategic solution to protect the Essex coast from the recreational pressures of a growing population. A RAMS is usually driven by challenges and opportunities arising from planning issues. RAMS generally applies more broadly than at a single designated Habitat site, provides strategic scale mitigation and enables the development of a generic approach to evidence collection and use.

Financial contributions will be sought for all residential development, which falls within the zones of influence, towards a package of measures to avoid and mitigate likely significant adverse effects in accordance with Policy SP1b of the Shared Strategic Section 1 Plan and Policy ENV1 (Environment) of the Section 2 Colchester Borough Local Plan. This includes development allocated in Neighbourhood Plans within Colchester Borough. The whole of Colchester Borough is located within the zone of influence. Details of the zones of influence and the necessary measures are included in the Essex Coast RAMS Strategy Document and Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

In addition to payment of the RAMS tariff, all development sites over 100 dwellings should include provision of well-designed open space/green infrastructure, proportionate to its scale, to avoid likely significant effects from recreational disturbance alone. Such provisions can help minimise any predicted increase in recreational pressure to Habitats sites by containing the majority of recreation within and around the development site, away from Habitats sites. New Suitable Accessible Natural Greenspace (SANG) should include: high-quality, informal, semi-natural areas; a circular dog walking route of 2.7 km; dedicated 'dogs-off-lead' areas; signage/information leaflets to householders to promote these areas for recreation; dog waste bins; and a commitment to the long term maintenance and management of these provisions.

Should a suitable site become available and, as an alternative to SANG provision onsite, there is an opportunity for new development in Tiptree to contribute to the creation of a strategic new area of open space, akin to a country park for Tiptree , for informal recreation.

(1) POLICY TIP16: ESSEX COAST RECREATIONAL DISTURBANCE AVOIDANCE AND MITIGATION STRATEGY

All residential development within the zones of influence of Habitat sites will be required to make a financial contribution towards mitigation measures, as detailed in the Essex Coast RAMS, to avoid adverse in- combination recreational disturbance effects on Habitat sites.

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