Marks Tey Neighbourhood Plan

[estimated] Ended on the 5th April 2021
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6. Planning Policies

Getting Around

Core Objectives:

  • Existing severe congestion and traffic volumes are not made worse through new development in the parish
  • Create a more connected and cohesive community

6.1 Policy MT01 – A12, A120 and station infrastructure improvements

Policy context and rationale:

6.1.1 It is widely acknowledged by all stakeholders (county, parish council and residents) that traffic volumes, congestion and traffic-related noise can be severe in the parish and that this has significant adverse impacts on the environment, air quality and the ability to move around the parish as well as residential amenity for Marks Tey residents, visitors and employees. Both the Highways Agency and Essex County Council (ECC) fully recognise the existing capacity issues on the A120 and the A12[2]. Traffic volumes on both the A120 and the A12 are only expected to increase leading to further unacceptable congestion on the A120 through the middle of Marks Tey village and along the A12.

6.1.2 To a certain extent some of these issues could be addressed through transport infrastructure projects progressing at the more strategic level and which could be implemented during the plan period.

A12 

6.1.3 The A12 for instance was in the 2015 to 2020 Road Improvement Programme for widening to three lanes each way from Chelmsford (junction 19) to the A120 (junction 25). A public consultation was held by Highways England January to March 2017 where four route options were presented.

6.1.4 In October 2019, a further announcement was made to present the preferred route between junction 19 (Boreham Interchange) to 23 (Kelvedon South) and to clarify that further work was needed to determine their preferred route fr0m junction 23 to junction 25 (in Marks Tey parish) due to complexities created by the garden community proposals presented in the Joint Local Plan. Highways England then produced two alternative options for Marks Tey, one following the existing route past the shops, and an alternative route around the back of the shops. These have been formally consulted upon, and with the Planning Inspector's rejection of the Colchester/Braintree Borders Garden Community, Highways England in August 2020 announced their preferred route option to be on the existing route past the shops and leaving the existing road with a new Junction 25 between the Parish Hall and Anderson's employment site.

6.1.5 Until further information is made available, it is still uncertain how Highway's England preferred route will impact on current noise and air pollution and community severance issues created by the current A12 alignment (as described in Chapter 2 and illustrated in Figure 2.1 of this NP). The Parish Council will work with Highways England and other stakeholders to seek ways in which traffic burden in Marks Tey from the A12 is minimised and the linkages between different parts of the village could be improved and increased.

A120

6.1.6 ECC and partners continue to lobby for the dualling of the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey at the earliest opportunity. The Government's Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) announcement in March 2020 included commitments to progressing further development work on the A120 dualling including detailed design, land assembly and statutory processes that are required to prepare the scheme for delivery. The A120 dualling scheme is due to be considered for inclusion for construction in the RIS3 programme (2025 – 30).

6.1.7 The scheme is regarded by ECC as being 'shovel-ready' so as soon as the funding is secured, the scheme is expected to commence.

6.1.8 Due to the unacceptable volume of traffic, congestion and traffic-related noise through the parish which is only expected to get worse, the Marks Tey community feels very strongly that these strategic transport improvements and more should and need to be delivered ahead of any new development coming forward in the parish.

Marks Tey Station

6.1.9 There were aspirations with the proposed Local Plan for the Marks Tey Mainline Station to be relocated to the centre of the previously proposed Garden Community (between Marks Tey and Feering/Kelvedon). Since the withdrawal of the Garden Community from Part 1 of the Local Plan, it is now likely that it will stay in situ in Marks Tey. This is supported by the NP. The station with its accessibility, parking and activity will remain a prominent and growing feature of Marks Tey. The challenges that this creates pose issues for the Neighbourhood Plan.

6.1.10 The 3 platform Station is on the main line from London to Colchester and is the junction and only connection with the branch line to Sudbury. There are trains into London and to Colchester every 30 mins with an average journey time of 61 mins to London and 9 mins to Colchester, and every 50 mins with a 19 mins journey time to Sudbury every working day. The Station handles some 428,816 passenger movements per year (1,200 per day – 2013 figures) through the Station with approx. 90% of them coming from outside of Marks Tey (2017 Train Users Survey). A majority of these, approx. 70%, travel to the Station by car and approx. 55% of car users, park at or near the Station. The Station has 3 main surface car parks catering for 261 vehicles:

West car park – 102 spaces

North car park – 99 spaces

Informal rail sidings car park – 35

On-street long term parking – 25

6.1.11 The on-street parking opposite the Station entrance restricts Station Road and has been the scene of serious accidents. There is currently no disabled access across the railway through the Station and the adjacent North Lane bridge is narrow with a substandard footpath on one side. Also informal parking by rail users in surrounding areas causes nuisance to Marks Tey residents and those in Copford Parish.

6.1.12 There are aspirations to increase the capacity of the main line rail link into London but currently these are limited by the need to create additional rail lines and/or passing loops but with little capacity to create these within the current RailTrack land ownership.

6.1.13 It would be advantageous to Rail users (greater retail choice) and to the London Road shops (greater footfall) to see if more integration could be effected between the two. One way of doing this might be to integrate Station related parking with the desire to increase off road parking at the shops.

6.1.14 Currently there are no pleasant and easy pedestrian/cycling routes to the Station from the majority of Marks Tey or Little Tey or beyond.

Policy Intent

6.1.15 The transport impacts of every development proposals on the parish with respect to residential amenity, the street scene environment, air pollution and safety for all users including pedestrians and cyclists should be considered as part of the decision-making process. Traffic movements along the A120, the A12 and existing road junctions in the parish are currently exceeding capacity. Special care therefore needs to be taken to ensure that new development proposals do not exacerbate further the existing problems on these two roads.

6.1.16 Whilst it would not be reasonable to veto all minor development proposals (so long as they wouldn't generate unacceptable impacts on the community) ahead of these strategic transport infrastructure schemes it is appropriate to resist the major and significant proposals on this basis.

6.1.17 With regards to Marks Tey Station, the intention of Policy MT01, whilst encouraging growth in use of the station, is to ensure that proposals that will lead to increased passenger use of Marks Tey Station will only come forward where any potential negative impacts on road safety and residential amenity in Marks Tey parish are anticipated and where possible, avoided, planned for and appropriately mitigated against. No proposals should come forward which will lead to a poorer standard of road and pedestrian safety or residential amenity and all proposals should seek to improve both.

(1) Policy MT01 – A12, A120 and Station Infrastructure Improvements    

Any development proposals found to be generating significant transport movements1 will not be supported in advance of the A12 road widening scheme and a dualled A120 from Braintree to the A12 being delivered. Furthermore, any such scheme should be accompanied by:

  • evidence that road capacity is in place in Marks Tey, taking into account current and forecast traffic volumes along the A120 and A12; and
  • mitigation measures necessary to protect the residential and street-scene environment along Coggeshall Road from traffic-related environmental impacts including noise and vibration, and poor air quality. Proposals which are designed to lead to an overall reduction in traffic volume along the A120 are welcomed.

Other development proposals that will generate additional traffic movements in the parish will only be supported if it can be demonstrated through a transport assessment or, in the case of smaller schemes, in an accompanying Design and Access/Planning Statement, that the traffic impacts of the development on the A120 and the A12 will not lead to unacceptable adverse impacts on residential amenity in the parish, or the street scene environment along Coggeshall Road (through the generation of traffic-related noise, air pollution or disruption) or on road safety for all users including pedestrians and cyclists.

Development proposals involving expanded facilities (including passenger car parking) at Marks Tey train station should be assessed for their impact on road safety, pedestrian safety and residential amenity in Marks Tey parish. Where potential adverse impacts are identified, proposals will only be supported if accompanied by measures which monitor and, if applicable, appropriately mitigate impacts (for example through further strengthening and widening the North Lane/Station Road rail bridge, street scene enhancement measures along Station Road, screening of noise, pollution or visual impacts).

To be supported, proposals must maintain existing passenger accessibility at the station and seek, where applicable, improvements in passenger accessibility.

Proposals likely to have residual unacceptable impacts on road safety and residential amenity will not be supported.

1: Note: In the case of Marks Tey, because the road infrastructure is already well stretched the threshold where a development will trigger significant transport movements will be low. This is in accordance with planning practice guidance.

6.2 Policy MT02 - Creating walking and cycle friendly neighbourhoods

Policy context and rationale:

6.2.1 The parish is very much characterised by its road and rail links providing excellent connectivity to London by both rail and road. But the three transport corridors (one railway line, the A120 and the A12) also impose physical barriers across the parish creating considerable difficulties for residents and visitors to move around the parish, in particular by foot or by bicycle.

6.2.2 Primary road and rail links in the parish are predominantly used by non-parish residents who are using the roads to travel through the parish or who travel to the station in order to travel on further by train. This creates considerable road congestion including an unpleasant street environment along the A120 (known locally as Coggeshall Road) and a high demand for on street parking for commuters living outside the parish but using the train station to commute by train to London.

6.2.3 The urban design analysis undertaken for the plan area shows that the existing pedestrian and cycleway connections in the plan area are inadequate. The A12, the railway line and the A120 all create linear barriers throughout the plan area. The effects on the pedestrian/cyclist travelling within the parish is particularly severe at the A120 and A12 interchange and alongside the A120. These areas provide the focus of parish-based movement. Residents in Little Tey and Marks Tey Estate need to travel via this road in order to access the railway station, other residential areas and the shops but they feel unsafe walking along this road. Consequently, short potentially walkable trips to Marks Tey Station, the Parish Hall and local shops and services on London Parade are taken by a car.

6.2.4 The urban design analysis shows the following issues on Coggeshall Road/A120:

  • Generally characterised by poor pedestrian and cycling environment with traffic travelling at a high speed
  • Specific locations along Coggeshall Road where pedestrian movement is particularly compromised by barriers such as wide junctions, narrow pavements and poor access
  • Many opportunities for improving the street scene environment.

6.2.5 The Character Assessment supporting this Neighbourhood Plan provides further detail on the challenges and opportunities with regards to roads, streets and route across the parish (see Chapter Four 'Roads, Streets and Routes' in each of the five character areas.

6.2.6 This plan identifies the following priorities for improving the cyclist and pedestrian environment. These priorities are set out in Tables 6.1 and 6.2 below. The measures have been informed by the masterplanning support document which accompanies this neighbourhood plan and the Marks Tey Character Assessment, together with a stakeholder and community consultation exercise undertaken in summer 2018.

Table 6.1: Priorities for improving pedestrian and cyclist connectivity in the plan area

Provide a Green Bridge across the A12. Currently the A12/A120 interchange imposes a significant barrier to pedestrian and cycle connectivity to residents and visitors wishing to visit the Marks Tey retail parade. Enhanced access could be in the form of an attractive land bridge over the A12 which would connect Marks Tey station with Marks Tey shops. Key benefits:

  • Allow pedestrians and cyclists to avoid the A120 and A12 interchange
  • Provide a direct link between station and Marks Tey retail parade.
  • A direct link to Marks Tey retail parade will give the village back its heart.
  • Provide better access for disabled residents who currently have few options for getting around.

This measure is considered necessary in the event of substantial development coming forward in this part of the plan area including south of the Marks Tey row of shops

Upgrade or replace the North Lane railway bridge so that pedestrians and cyclists can move around more safely and quickly: Currently pedestrian and cyclist access over the North Lane bridge is poor. The bridge is narrow making two-way vehicular access difficult. There is a pavement on one side of the bridge but vehicular traffic on the bridge impacts adversely on pedestrian safety (e.g. in early 2018, a male pedestrian was struck on the shoulder by a wing mirror of a vehicle as he walked to his home over the bridge). Sightlines are restricted on the approach to the bridge by both the bend in the road and the hump over the bridge.

The bridge has a 3 tonne weight limit. Many heavy goods vehicles do however use the bridge whilst others turn around having realised they are over the 3 tonne weight limit (see figures 6.1 and 6.2). Use of the bridge by HGVs makes the bridge and an unsafe crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists.

Provide new pedestrian and cycleway connections.

The following connections and improvements are prioritised:

  1. A120 improvements to pedestrian access, environmental enhancements and junction improvements as shown on the emerging framework plan and listed as Coggeshall Road Environmental Enhancement Measures in the supporting text to Policy MT03: A120 Coggeshall Road: A Quality Street for All
  2. Creation of new or improved pedestrian routes at the following locations:
  • A new link from Dobbies Lane rail footbridge to the Parish Hall via the Anderson Employment site
  • A new link from Church Lane north of the A120 road bridge, to the west of Marks Tey Station. This would mean pedestrians and cyclists would not have to progress along the dangerous A120, on the narrow pavement. The link would provide a separate, pleasant access route to the main station from any future housing development, well away from road traffic, and access could be directly on to platform 2.
  • Investigate possibilities for a 'quietway' cycle route through Marks Tey estate along Godmans Lane/Ashbury Drive subject to other adverse impacts on this only through route of the village.
  1. Maintain existing cycling routes from Marks Tey parish to neighbouring parishes (including the route from Marks Tey to Feering) and utilise opportunities to improve the quality and safety of the network and provide additional routes.

A new station square around Marks Tey train station to:

  • Provide a sense of arrival
  • Reduce our dependence on the car and provide wider footways with direct pedestrian access

Greening the environment close to traffic corridors to help mitigate the impact of air and noise pollution

London Road Parade: Environmental Improvements

Continuous footpaths, street lighting, tree and shrub planting, cycle facilities (including cycle parking), public seating and furniture

Providing direct, safe and comfortable walking and cycling links between the parade and Marks Tey station for example through replacing the A12 footbridge with a land bridge (see above).

Table 6.2: Priorities for improving accessibility for those with restricted mobility

Improve platform access at Marks Tey train station. Wheelchairs currently have to travel a long way round over the narrow road bridge.

Environmental improvements at the London Road parade including continuous footpaths, street lighting, public seating

London Road Parade: Making the road safer to cross as some traffic tends to speed up as it approaches the A12 slip road.

Pedestrian crossings with a dropped kerb on the A120 at Church Lane, Little Tey, Poplar Nurseries; formal signalised pedestrian crossings adjacent to Godman's Lane roundabout and adjacent to Ashbury Drive roundabout.


Figure 6.1: Lorry attempting to turn around before the North Lane railway bridge


Figure 6.2 North Lane railway bridge looking north



Figure 6.3 A heavy goods vehicle using the Roman River Bridge




Map 6.1 - Marks Tey Emerging Framework Plan. Marks Tey Masterplanning support document 


key for map 6.1


Policy Intent

6.2.7 The intention of Policy MT02 is to ensure that the need and opportunities to improve pedestrian and cyclist connectivity in the parish are considered as part of every development proposal. Proposals which involve new development without providing adequate access will not be supported. The extent to which safe and attractive walking routes can be incorporated into a development site will depend on the size of the development. However, even for minor development such as house extensions and infill development it is essential that safe and easy access for pedestrians and cyclists is provided.

(2) Policy MT02 – Creating Walking and Cycle Friendly Neighbourhoods    

All development proposals will be expected to incorporate safe and attractive walking and cycling routes on site and where possible increase the attractiveness of walking and cycling in the parish as a whole.

As a minimum, development proposals involving new build should include walking and cycle routes as part of the layout and design (if these are not already provided as may be the case for smaller schemes), ensuring these are accessible for people less able including those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters or prams.

Development proposals involving additional dwellings or additional employment/retail floor space which result in poor access to shops and services and do not utilise opportunities to improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity in the parish will be resisted.

In determining this, the following will be key considerations:

Residential development proposals

  1. Walking distance of the proposed development to existing shops and services, taking into account delays caused by barriers such as the trainlines, the A12 and pedestrian bridges;
  2. The extent to which the safety and quality of the walking and cycling environment provides real choice in terms of travel mode to shops and services in the plan area;
  3. Specific ways in which the proposed development will assist in improving the walking and cycle connectivity of the parish;
  4. The extent to which the proposed development utilises opportunities to improve connectivity; and
  5. For larger schemes, the extent to which the proposed development improves overall connectivity and accessibility in the plan area, taking into account the list of priorities in Tables 6.1 and 6.2 that accompanies this policy.

New shops and services

  1. The accessibility of the proposed shop or service by plan area residents or potential customers traveling by public transport, on foot or by bike;
  2. Whether the quality of the street scene environment in the immediate vicinity provides a pleasant environment for customers and workers travelling to the site and whether the proposed development sufficiently utilise opportunities to improve this environment;
  3. Whether the street scene environment in the immediate vicinity provides an accessible environment for those with limited mobility or those with a push chair and whether the proposed development sufficiently utilises opportunities to improve this environment; and
  4. For larger schemes, whether the proposed development improves the accessibility of shops and services in the plan area, taking into account the list of priorities in Table 6.2 that accompanies this policy.

Employment

  1. The accessibility of the proposed employment use by plan area residents or potential employees traveling by public transport, on foot or by bike.


6.3 Policy MT03: A120 Coggeshall Road: A quality street for all

Context and Rationale

6.3.1 There is significant congestion experienced along the A120 through Marks Tey village and at the A120 interchange with the A12. As well as having negative environmental impacts on residents of the parish the congestion is also leading to delays on the wider strategic network. Enhancements to the A120 between the A12 and Braintree is a strategic priority for Essex County Council in the current Local Transport Plan (https://www.essexhighways.org/Transport-and-Roads/Highway-Schemes-and-Developments/Local-Transport-Plan.aspx)

6.3.2 ECC and partners continue to lobby for the dualling of the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey at the earliest opportunity. The Government's Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) announcement in March 2020 included commitment to progressing further development work on the A120 dualling and the scheme is due to be considered for inclusion in the RIS3 programme. The scheme is regarded by ECC as being 'shovel-ready' so as soon as funding is secured, the scheme is expected to commence.

6.3.3 The new A120 alignment planned by the County Council will alleviate congestion at the A120/A12 interchange and should also lead to some reductions in traffic along the A120 in the village. The County Council's favoured route (Route D) is only expected to deliver modest reductions (compared to other route options) in traffic volumes along the A120 in Marks Tey[3]. The NP recognises that the proposed A120 improvements alone will not alone provide an opportunity for the A120 to become a local access route or deliver a more pleasant environment for residents. The Plan therefore identifies other opportunities for improvements to take place along the A120 which would increase pedestrian safety and access at key junctions. Such measures include:

Little Tey Gateway

  1. Improvements at the A120/Church Lane junction to provide a welcoming gateway feature at the entrance to Little Tey to reduce traffic speeds, together with new pedestrian crossings and more accessible bus stops

Marks Tey Western Gateway

  1. Provide a welcoming gateway at the entrance to Marks Tey to provide a sense of arrival and reduce traffic speeds. Here is an opportunity to introduce continuous footpaths and pedestrian crossings

A120 Coggeshall Road: A Quality Street for All (Coggeshall Road runs the length of the A120 from the west at the parish boundary with Great Tey Parish to the roundabout prior to Junction 25 of the A12).

  1. Introducing a 20mph speed limit along the A120 in Marks Tey parish. Create more continuous footways, raised surfaces and pedestrian crossings, also segregated cycle facilities, tree and shrub planting
  2. Narrowing the carriageway (through physical measures such as kerb build outs or achieve through different materials or carriageway markings)
  3. List of potential environmental measures identified in the masterplanning support document and supported by the wider community during consultation which would help turn Coggeshall Road into a safe and attractive street for the parish. These are:

Coggeshall Road Environmental Enhancement Measures

  • Pedestrian crossing and environmental improvements across A120 at top of Jays Lane
  • Pedestrian crossing and bus stop access across A120 at top of Ashbury Drive
  • Pedestrian crossing and bus stop access across A120 at junction with Godmans Lane
  • Motts Lane Junction; improved pedestrian access to the Red Lion PH across A120
  • A separate cycle way along A120 (Coggeshall Road)
  • Pedestrian crossing and bus stop access across A120 at top of Wilson's Lane
  • Junction improvements, bus link and speed reduction measures along Great Tey Road/Coggeshall Road
  • Junction improvements and bus stop link along the A120 at junction of Church Lane Little Tey/Coggeshall Road
  • Speed reduction measures along A120 from Elm Lane to Church Lane Marks Tey

MTo3 Policy Intent

6.3.4 All proposals coming forward in the parish, which are likely to lead to additional traffic movements along the Coggeshall Road as defined on Map 6.2 should be assessed in terms of any adverse impacts on the Coggeshall Road street scene environment and residential amenity.

(2) Policy MT03 – A120 Coggeshall Road: A Quality street for all    

Development proposals coming forward in the parish which will lead to additional traffic movements along the Coggeshall Road, as marked on Map 6.2, shall be assessed in terms of their likely impact on residential amenity and on the Coggeshall Road street scene environments.

To be supported, development proposals must either:

  • mitigate their impact through on-site measures or contribute towards the implementation of Coggeshall Road street scene enhancements (including the creation of enhanced gateways into the village along the A120) (see paragraph 6.3.4); or
  • demonstrate that there will be no adverse impacts on the Coggeshall Road street scene environment as a result of the proposed scheme or that mitigation measures are otherwise not necessary as a result of the proposed development.

Map 6.2 – A120 Coggeshall Road


6.4 Increasing parking provision at the London Road parade

6.4.1 An important item under the theme of Getting Around is the need to improve car parking provision at the London Parade shops as well as improving the street scene environment at the London Road Parade as set out in Table 6.2 above. This is addressed in a planning policy later on in this chapter under Policy MT14 – London Road Centre.


Sense of Place    

Core Objectives:

  • Maintain a Sense of Place
  • Preserving and enhancing our designated and non-designated heritage assets.

6.5.1 Marks Tey is defined as a rural community in the adopted Local Plan. Policy ENV2 – Rural Communities in the adopted Core Strategy for Colchester Borough states that:

  • Appropriate development of infill sites and previously developed land within the settlement development boundaries of villages will be supported
  • Design of new village development must be high quality in all respects, including design, sustainability and compatibility with the distinctive character of the locality.
  • Outside village boundaries, the Borough Council will favourably consider sustainable rural business, leisure and tourism schemes that are of an appropriate scale and which help meet the local employment needs, minimise negative environmental impacts and harmonise with the local character and surrounding natural environment
  • Development outside but contiguous to village settlement boundaries may be supported especially where it constitutes an exception to meet identified local affordable housing needs
  • Villages are encouraged to plan for the specific needs of their communities by developing neighbourhood plans which provide locally determined policies on future development needs.

6.5.2 The approach taken in Policy ENV2 is supported by the Neighbourhood Plan. The policies in this chapter complement this policy by providing more detail on the approach to be taken in Marks Tey Parish

6.5.3 To maintain and strengthen sense of place in our parish we consider it important to:

  • Maintain a visual and physical separation between Marks Tey and Little Tey
  • Maintain the special rural character found in the hamlet of Little Tey
  • Maintain or enhance the semi-rural character in Marks Tey
  • As part of the above identify and protect other key characteristics unique to our parish

6.6 Policy MT04 – Village settlement boundaries

Policy Context and rationale

6.6.1 The adopted Local Plan for the parish defines five different village settlement boundaries which are listed below and illustrated on the map below:

  • Marks Tey estate (largely made up of Little Marks Estate and Colne Park Estate with adjacent pockets of housing e.g along and off the Old London Road)
  • Little Tey village
  • A12 small residential area
  • London Road Parade shops
  • North Lane residential area

6.6.2 Due to the existing rural character of Little Tey and the separation of this hamlet from the rest of the parish, it is not considered appropriate for any development to come forward outside the existing village settlement boundary in Little Tey. As noted at other points in this plan (e.g. supporting text to Policy MT03) it is not a straightforward matter to leave this hamlet and access shops and services in Marks Tey; this is due to the heavy congestion along the A120 and the poor street scene environment making it an unpleasant journey by foot or bicycle. Therefore, despite its proximity to Marks Tey, the hamlet of Little Tey is very much separate and cut-off from the village.

6.6.3 Also of relevance here and noted in other places in the plan (see supporting text to Policy MT06), is the importance of keeping the countryside surrounding Little Tey protected from development. The Colchester Landscape Character Assessment published in 2005 and updated through the West Colchester Growth Area Option Environmental Audit (produced in 2015 by Chris Blandford Associates) concludes that most of the land between Marks Tey and Little Tey is considered to provide a high contribution to the physical and visual separation between the two settlements and it is considered desirable to safeguard this from inappropriate development.

6.6.4 Some development may be considered appropriate on the edge of the other settlement boundaries where development could bring specific benefits to the village such as improving pedestrian connectivity of the wider parish or meeting parish specific housing needs.

6.6.5 Chapter 4 of the Marks Tey Character Assessment supporting this plan provides further information on the character of the residential areas and how they relate to their wider countryside setting.

Policy Intent

6.6.6 We support appropriate development within the village settlement boundaries subject to the proposals meeting policies in this plan. Beyond these boundaries only development appropriate to countryside locations will be supported.

6.6.7 The term 'minor development' used in Policy MT04 means residential proposals for 9 or less homes or the site has an area less than 0.5 hectares. For non-residential development this means proposals less than 1,000 m2 floor space or a site of less than 1 hectare.

6.6.8 Part 2 of the emerging Local Plan proposes to remove the settlement boundary around Little Tey. It is anticipated that Part 2 of the emerging Local Plan will be adopted during 2021. However, until this is implemented there is a need for the Marks Tey neighbourhood plan to fully recognise the status of the current settlement boundaries as shown in the current Local Plan. That is why the policy refers to Little Tey to ensure that the exemptions to edge of settlement development apply.

(2) Policy MT04 – Village settlement boundaries

Development proposals will, in principle, be supported within the existing village settlement boundaries as defined in the Local Plan.

Proposals outside the village settlement boundaries will not be supported other than for:

  • sensitively designed employment uses on the edge of the settlement boundaries (not including the Little Tey settlement boundary) where these will meet local business needs;
  • recreational uses that will meet identified community need;
  • appropriate countryside uses including essential utilities infrastructure; and
  • in exceptional circumstances such as:
    • Sensitively designed small-scale minor development on the edge of the defined settlement boundary (not including Little Tey settlement boundary) where proposals will deliver high quality urban design and raise the standard of architecture, green infrastructure and design in the surroundings and meet other planning policies in this NP; or
    • Larger development schemes on the edge or well-related to the defined settlement boundary around Marks Tey village only (does not include the Little Tey settlement boundary) where proposals will deliver significant community benefits to the existing Marks Tey parish and which adopt innovative approaches to the construction of low carbon homes which demonstrate sustainable use of resources and high energy efficiency levels (for example construction to Passivhaus or similar standards).

Due to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside surrounding the hamlet of Little Tey development outside the settlement will be resisted.

Development proposals in Marks Tey Parish coming forward as part of strategic development allocated in the Local Plan, or under the exceptional circumstances stated above, will only be supported subject to the following conditions:

  • retaining or enhancing the visual and physical separation between Marks Tey and Little Tey;
  • preserving or enhancing the special rural character of Little Tey;
  • preserving or enhancing the semi-rural character of Marks Tey, having particular regard to the sensitive interface between the existing settlement edges and network of public footpaths into the wider countryside; and
  • utilising opportunities to protect or enhance distinguishing features of the parish as described in the Marks Tey Character Assessment and illustrated on Figures 4.3 to 4.7 of this plan.

Significant community benefits mean:

  • delivering the priorities for pedestrian and cycle connectivity and for improving accessibility for those with restricted mobility (see Tables 6.1 and 6.2) where these will facilitate a significant improvement for Marks Tey residents and where these are planned in consultation with the applicable highways agency (Highways England and/or Essex County Council);
  • delivering Coggeshall Road environmental enhancement measures (see paragraph 6.3.4 of the NP) where these will facilitate a significant improvement for Marks Tey residents and where these are planned in consultation with the applicable highways agency (Highways England and/or Essex County Council); and
  • relieving vehicular pressure on residential areas in the plan area and aiding vehicular and pedestrian connectivity.


Policy MT05 - Local character and design

6.7.1 National policy asserts that neighbourhood plans can play an important role in identifying the special qualities of each area and explaining how this should be reflected in development.

6.7.2 The character assessment we have prepared has been submitted alongside this NP. It is also available to view at https://www.marksteyparish.org.uk/. The character assessment identifies qualities in the parish which we value. This includes our connection to the countryside, special views, the natural environment and some of our buildings which are of local historical importance. We wish to retain these positive aspects.

6.7.3 We also wish to strengthen our sense of place through providing a more welcoming sense of arrival at key places in the parish.

6.7.4 The character assessment resulted in the identification of 5 different character areas within the parish.

  • Character Area 1 – Little Tey
  • Character Area 2a – Long Green
  • Character Area 2b – Potts Green
  • Character Area 3a – Roman River
  • Character Area 3b – The Village

6.7.5 The characteristics of each area is described for each of these areas covering layout, topography, spaces, roads/streets/routes, green and natural features, landmarks, buildings and details, streetscape features, land uses and views. The output from the work is summarised neatly in the 5 character area maps shown on Figures 4.2 to 4.7.

6.7.6 The Marks Tey Character Assessments was produced by parish residents working on behalf of the neighbourhood plan steering group. The work was extremely useful in helping the community identify what it is they value about their local area.

Out Design Urban Analysis

6.7.7 The approach taken on design in the NP as a whole, has also been informed by the Out Design Masterplanning document which provided its own urban design analysis of the plan area. In this process, Out Design used eight commonly recognised characteristics that successful places have in common (irrespective of architectural styles) set out in the Design Companion for Planning and Place Making (RIBA 2017). This document resulted in the following analysis.

  1. A distinctive sense of place

    (A place with a distinct character and pattern of development, streets and spaces, roofscapes and building materials.)

    Outcome: New development should strengthen Marks Tey's sense of identity, recognise its special qualities, and help to create a walkable, characterful village. Little Tey should remain as a distinct hamlet separate from Marks Tey.

  1. A place that is easy to get around

    (A place with convenient access where access to public transport is best; roads, footpaths and public spaces that are connected into well-used direct routes that lead to where people want to go.)

    Outcome: New development should be served by high quality frequent public transport and walking and cycling facilities to provide an easy alternative to private car. New streets should be designed to balance place and movement function and connect to existing streets providing direct and continuous links between homes, public transport and local amenities.

  1. Being fit for purpose, accommodate uses well

    Outcome: New homes and workplaces should be well built, fit for purpose and designed to be adaptable to different uses.

  1. A place with successful public space

    (A place where public and private spaces are clearly distinguished. With lively public spaces and routes that that feel safe. Spaces should be well designed easy to maintain and suited to the everyone's needs.)

    Outcome: New development should retain historic landscapes and views and respect historic settlement boundaries. Open agricultural fields that provide clear separation between the Marks Tey and the neighbouring settlement of Copford to the east and between Marks Tey and the hamlet of Little Tey to the west should be retained and strengthened through hedgerow protection and renewal. A variety of public spaces and play spaces should be integrated with new development. Large open spaces such as sport pitches may be located on the periphery of the settlement to help connect it to the wider countryside

  1. A place that adapts to change

    (Successful places have to adapt to social, economic and technological change. A place that can change easily is likely to have flexible uses, buildings and spaces that are capable of being adapted to a variety of uses.)

    Outcome: Any new development should come forward in a manner which benefits existing residents and businesses. For Marks Tey a key challenge will be how new growth can help overcome existing severance. New infrastructure should come forward in advance of any new development.

  1. An appealing place that is easy to understand

    Outcome: New development should not just provide new homes but a balanced mix of homes, jobs and local retail and community infrastructure such as new health and education facilities. All new development should provide clear, easily navigable, safe and welcoming streets for all.

  1. A place with a mix of uses & activities

    Outcome: Existing local businesses and skills should be retained and development brought forward in a manner that enables people to live and work in Marks Tey.

    Outcome: New development should provide a complementary mix of uses including local shops, employment space and community amenities such as health, education and public open space.

  1. Being efficient in how land and other resources are used

    Outcome: New development should facilitate public realm improvements within the neighbourhood centre. This would strengthen its role at the heart of the community, where people of all ages are able to come together, and enjoy the area.

    Outcome: New development should provide a complementary mix of uses (including local shops, employment space, community amenities such as health, education and public open space) in a manner which reduces, rather than exacerbates, existing fragmentation of shops and services.

Policy MT05 – Local character and design

Context and rationale

6.7.8 The special qualities of the parish is illustrated partly by the character area maps shown in Figures 4.3 to 4.7 but the Character Assessment report describes in detail key defining characteristics. Appendix A to the Character Assessment provides information on existing buildings (and their features) which residents responded positively to as part of a consultation exercise in 2017.

6.7.9 A summary of the five character areas is provided below:

Little Tey

6.7.10 This area is one of a rural landscape with a very small and well established community. The settlement at Little Tey is distinctly separate from the rest of Marks Tey.

6.7.11 The very busy A120 bisects the character area with the southern part comprising open countryside with the exception of industrial land uses at the corner of Elm Lane/A120 and Godbolt's Nursery on the A120. Residential development is focused in the linear hamlet of Little Tey to the north of the A120 but there is also residential development fronting the A120 between Church Lane and Great Tey Road and, more sparsely, along Great Tey Road itself.

6.7.12 An important landmark in this area is St. James the Less Church, a Grade I listed building, together with its tranquil surroundings comprising the churchyard, Church Lane itself, the pond by the church and a tree and hedgerow lined ancient lane which leads from this point northwards to the village of Great Tey. Listed buildings here comprise four further Grade II listed buildings at the Old Rectory and the Knave's Farm. Further north where the road becomes Brook Road there is the Grade II* listed building called the Barn to South West of Little Tey House and the Grade II listed building Little Tey House itself.

6.7.13 Further detail is provided in the Character Assessment (see Chapter 4 Little Tey and see Appendix H for details on listed and non-listed buildings) and a summary of different element is provided in the table below:

Table 6.4 – Summary characteristics for character area 1 – Little Tey

Characteristics

Character area details

Layout

Linear roads with ribbon residential development that is occasionally interrupted by expansive industrial and business sites.

Land uses

Farming, residential. Along the A120, small and large industrial sites and business centres.

Building scale appearance

Low level detached and semi-detached houses and bungalows built with many different materials.

Green features

A village pond by the church, grass verges, trees and hedgerows are all important to the rural character of the village.

Open space

No parks or children's play areas, but the churchyard is managed for the benefit of flora and fauna.

A well established network of public footpaths north of the A120.

Landmarks

Grade 1 listed church of St. James the Less

One Grade II* listed Barn to the south west of Little Tey

Six Grade 2 listed houses

Three Grade 2 listed barns

Long Green 2a

6.7.14 This character area provides the focus and heart of the Marks Tey community. A large proportion of the parish's dwellings are located here in the two housing estates Little Marks' estate and Colne Park estate. Older properties are located along Coggeshall Road. The character area also includes the St. Andrew's C of E School (opened in 1966) and Poplar Nurseries on the Coggeshall Road, a long-established business founded in 1938. The busy and often congested Coggeshall Road (part of the A120) runs east west through the middle of the character area. Open countryside lies to the north of Coggeshall Road and beyond the residential estates in the south. Single track lanes made up of Jay's Lane, Long Green and Wilson's Lane provide a rural setting to the southern edge of the housing estates. The open countryside to the north of Coggeshall Road provides a rural setting to the north and a view towards the Grade 1 listed St Andrews Church located north east is a key contributor to sense of place.

6.7.15 Further detail is provided in the Character Assessment (see Chapter 4 Long Green) and a summary of different element is provided in the table below:

Table 6.5 – Summary characteristics for character area 2a – Long Green

Characteristics

Character area details

Layout

One linear through road (A120) with ribbon residential development and some retail outlets. The estates have winding main roads with cul-de-sacs running off, typical of a 1970s building layout. The country lanes have grass verges and field hedges and ditches.

Land uses

Farming, residential, educational, retail and restaurant businesses.

Building scale appearance

All buildings are low level and houses do not exceed two floors in height. They are built with a variety of materials.

Green features

Ancient lanes, ponds, grass verges, hedges and mature trees are all important to the historic rural landscape.

Open space

A children's play area and seating enhance the open space next to the school, and an avenue of mature trees help improve the environment on Colne Park Estate. Within the estates, some grassed areas traversed by tarmac footpaths have potential for improvement. Where they remain colourful front gardens enrich the whole area.

Landmarks

Six Grade II listed residential houses; One Grade II listed public house.

The site of the former village green (at Long Green) is recorded as a monument (as a historic landscape feature: Monument number MCC9117 ) on the Historic Environment Record (HER) database and can be viewed here: https://colchesterheritage.co.uk/Monument/MCC9117

Potts Green 2b

6.7.16 This character area is located to the south of character area 2a – Long Green and to the south of the railway line. It is also in the most south easterly part of the NP area. It is sparsely populated with the majority of the land still being used for farming. The A12 bisects this character area and there are no crossing points across it for either vehicles or pedestrians.

6.7.17 Residential and employment land uses are located in the north east part of the character area between the railway line and the A12. Here, and running parallel with the A12 is the Old London Road, a service road for an industrial area to the north of the A12 and houses. The service road was the original A12 before the dual carriageway was built and opened in the late 1930s. There are houses located in linear format along one side of the service road (the A12 is on the other side). There is also a small crescent of houses located off the Old London Road, originally built to relocate residents who lost their homes when the A12 was built. Behind this residential area, there is the vacant Anderson's employment site and to the west, an industrial site on Dobbies Lane owned by By-Pass Nurseries with a number of glass houses, now redundant, but once the homes to extensive seed production. Dobbies Lane itself is a rural lane providing an important pedestrian link to the pedestrian footbridge across the railway line and to the residential areas in character area 2.

6.7.18 This character area takes its name, Pott's Green from the former village green located on the southern side of the A12 at the end of Doggett's Lane.

6.7.19 Further detail is provided in the Character Assessment (see Chapter 4 Potts Green) and a summary of different element is provided in the table below:

Table 6.6 – Summary characteristics for character area 2b – Potts Green

Characteristics

Character area details

Layout

One linear road (A12) bisects this area. There is a small amount of residential ribbon development on the north side of the A12 and scattered residential development to the south. There is one cul-de-sac with houses surrounding a small green area, and two country lanes.

Land uses

Predominantly agricultural, one industrial site, residential housing, and retail at Shell garage only

Building scale appearance

No residential building exceeds two storeys in height, and they are built with a variety of materials.

Green features

Ancient lanes, ponds, grass verges, hedges and mature trees are all important to the historic rural landscape and enhance the quality of life for the residents.

Open space

To the east, south and west the area has views of open countryside.

Landmarks

2 Grade II listed buildings

The site of the former village green (at Potts Green) is recorded as a monument (as a historic landscape feature: Monument number MCC9116 ) on the Historic Environment Record (HER) database and can be viewed here: https://colchesterheritage.co.uk/Monument/MCC9116

Roman River

6.7.20 This character area is in the north eastern part of the plan area. It is located north of the east west London to Norwich Railway Line and the area is also bisected by the Marks Tey to Sudbury Railway Line. The latter creates a western part of the character area where Church Lane is and an eastern area where North Lane is.

6.7.21 As a whole the area is sparsely populated. There is linear residential development along North Lane and a few houses are scattered on Church Lane. In addition, there are four late 19th Century terraced cottages in the southern part of this Character Area on Coggeshall Road.

6.7.22 Church Lane itself is a tranquil place; the Grade I listed St Andrews Church is located halfway along it and at the end there is the Marks Tey Brick Pit SSSI beyond where the road comes to an end. Both the Church and the Brick Pit are important local landmarks. The church is visibly striking, views of which can be enjoyed from the site of the Brick Pit, from the A120 in the south and from Little Tey.

6.7.23 North Lane provides access from the Coggeshall Road to Aldham and beyond. It is not a route without difficulties. It includes two important bridges; one over the Roman River at the northern extent of the character area (which is also an area susceptible to flooding) and one over the railway lines at the southern part of the character area. The Roman River bridge was replaced in May 2019 and the bridge over the railway line is very narrow making it difficult for two-way traffic to cross and presenting pedestrian safety issues as a result of this (see Figure 6.2).

6.7.24 Further detail is provided in the Character Assessment (see Chapter 4 Roman River) and a summary of different element is provided in the table below:

Table 6.7 – Summary characteristics for character area 3a – Roman River

Characteristics

Character area details

Layout

A very small section of the A120 and two country lanes, with some residential development, are the only roads. A main line and branch line railway cross the area, 2 industrial areas

Land uses

Farming, worship, residential, small and large industrial areas.

Building scale appearance

Low level detached and semi-detached houses and bungalows built with many different materials.

Green features

The river area and SSSI. The fields, ancient hedgerows and trees.

Open space

No parks or play areas. Churchyard.

Landmarks

Grade I listed church of St. Andrews

Grade II listed house

Grade II listed scheduled monument at Marks Tey Brick Kilns

War memorial


The Village

6.7.25 This character area is where you will find the shops, the railway station, hotel and over 50% of all businesses in Marks Tey Parish. The Village Character Area (see Map 4.7) is located south of the railway line and today, it is separated by the A12 from most of the dwellings in the parish.

6.7.26 The mainline railway first separated Marks Tey Village from other communities found at Long Green and Little Tey in 1843. Then, in the 1930s a number of houses and businesses were demolished to widen the main road to London. Later, in the 1960s, the Rectory Meadow (where the Marks Tey Cricket Club held their matches and school children played each day) and Station Road were lost completely to the construction of the dumbbell style Junction 25 to the A12 and the Stanway bypass.

6.7.27 Residential development is constructed in a linear layout along London Road, Mill Road and Old London Road. In addition, there are separate apartment complexes at the Old Rectory, north of the dumbbell style Junction 25, the Rookeries east of Junction 25 and Point Chase along the Old London Road, also east of Junction 25. As a whole, the residential areas are dispersed among other land uses, segregated by transport infrastructure and, taken as a whole, incoherent in style.

6.7.28 Despite the radical changes that has taken place to the transport infrastructure in this character area, London Road is still a hub of activity, and referred to by residents as the "The Village". Among the facilities found on London Road are a hotel with swimming pool and gym, a variety of shops, restaurants, fish and chips, Chinese take-away, post office, pharmacy, hairdressers and beautician, vehicle repair garage and a field used regularly for a car boot sale. A key challenge facing this area is:

  • Addressing street scene amenity issues so as to increase accessibility to the shops and services for pedestrians, the mobility impaired as well as those accessing the area by vehicles and wishing to find an off-road parking space;
  • Future change resulting from a planned relocation of Junction 25 - addressing the impact this may have on passing trade but also realising any opportunities created by this to create a better environment for residents and shoppers alike;
  • Attracting visitors using Marks Tey railway station and residents north of the railway line who currently have to take a convoluted route to first cross the A120 and then use a pedestrian bridge which spans the A12.

6.7.29 Even as the busiest of Marks Tey character areas, the countryside is not far out of reach, and from the footpath beside the former Methodist Church along the Old London Road, a walk through the only wooded area in the parish will bring the walker to open farmland to enjoy the views.

6.7.30 Important landmarks in this area include the Marks Tey Hall, together with its associated buildings with moat and medieval fishpond, accessed south off Old London Road and formerly the hub of the community and formerly home to Marks Tey Lord of the Manor.

6.7.31 Further detail is provided in the Character Assessment (see Chapter 4 The Village) and a summary of different element is provided in the table below:

Table 6.8 – Summary characteristics for character area 3b – The Village.

Characteristics

Character area details

Layout

An area dominated by a major trunk road and dumbbell junction. Residential areas are dispersed in amongst other land uses. Houses are built in ribbon development or in small cul-de-sacs off the main roads. Three apartment complex sites.

Land uses

Residential, educational, retail, post office, motoring service centre, railway station, hotel and leisure, community services, light industrial, restaurants, pharmacy and farming.

Building scale appearance

Features which are common to the majority of buildings is low level and built along consistent building lines placed at the front of plots, but with buildings spanning several centuries there is not one style which characterises this character area.

Green features

Large mature trees, footpaths out to the open countryside in the south. Vegetated islands in amongst the road infrastructure.

Open space

Large recreation area with play area and sports fields.

Landmarks

Cemetery, moat, medieval fishpond, wooded area, ancient hedges and field boundaries.

3 Grade II listed buildings:

- Marks Tey Hall

- 16th Century Barn at Marks Tey Hall

- The Villa

1 Grade II* listed building

- 14th Century Barn at Marks Tey Hall

Site of historic farmstead at No. 1 London Road (formerly Butcher's Farm)

- Listed as Monument Record MCC9208 on the Historic Environment Record and can be viewed here: https://colchesterheritage.co.uk/Monument/MCC9208

Policy Intent

6.7.32 The purpose of Policy MT05 is to ensure that all development proposals that come forward in the parish are of high quality and contribute positively to the existing character of the built-up and rural environment. The policy has been directly informed by the Marks Tey Character Assessment. With respect to its approach on design, the NP as a whole, has also been informed by the Out Design Masterplanning document which provided its own urban design analysis of the plan area (as described above). The policy will apply to all proposals involving new build including extensions to existing residential or buildings in other uses. Expectations will be proportionate to the size of a proposed scheme.

6.7.33 Policy MT05 will apply against the context of national and strategic policy applicable to design. Applicable Local Plan policies are:

  • Core Strategy Policy SD1: Sustainable Development Locations,
  • Core Strategy Policy UR2: Built Design and Character,
  • Development Policies Plan Policy DP1: Design and Amenity, and
  • Emerging Local Plan Policy DM15: Design and Amenity.

6.7.34 Both the emerging and adopted Local Plan signposts the Essex Design Guide published by Essex County Council as being a useful source for detail on achieving appropriate design in new development and avoiding undesirable impacts. The value in Policy MT05 in this NP is its direct relevance to the plan area and the way in which it highlights existing characteristics of value and challenges in the plan area.



(2) Policy MT05 – Local character and design     

All development proposals should contribute in a positive way to the quality of the built environment and settings in the parish.

Development proposals must be the result of a design-led process with regards to a scheme's location, layout, design, choice of building materials and density.

To be supported, development proposals must also be sympathetic to the existing character and history of Marks Tey including its built environment (whereby nearly all buildings in the parish are low in height, built either to ribbon or estate style development on good sized plots, using mainly brick and timber with some plaster work all building) and landscape setting; details of which are provided in the Marks Tey Character Assessment (available to view alongside this Neighbourhood Plan).

Innovative approaches to design will be welcomed where this will add to the overall quality of the neighbourhood and parish for example via self build or custom build development.

Key considerations and recommendations for all schemes include:

For proposals in the Little Tey Character Area:

  • A tranquil and rural environment along Church Lane to be protected
  • All development to be in keeping with existing pattern of low density linear development
  • Protection of open landscape between Little Tey and Marks Tey
  • The busy and congested A120 providing the only means of access for residents into Marks Tey and beyond to Colchester

For proposals in the Long Green Character Area:

  • Low density residential development, away from busy through wide roads connected through network of green spaces and pedestrian friendly routes
  • Retention or enhancement of rural lanes providing a wider rural setting to residential areas and connectivity to the public rights of way
  • Open views looking northwards from the A120 towards the Grade 1 listed St. Andrews Church (located in Roman River Character area).
  • Residential amenity issues and poor street scene environment created through the busyness on the A120.

For proposals in the Potts Green Character Area:

  • Retain or enhance the pedestrian links from Old London Road, up Dobbies Lane over the railway line to the Marks Tey estates.
  • Residential amenity issues created through the busyness of the A12
  • Retain or enhance connectivity to historic village green at Potts Green.

For proposals in the Roman River:

  • The importance of conserving or enhancing the Grade 1 listed St Andrews Church and its setting
  • Retaining the strong sense of tranquillity along Church Lane
  • Constraints imposed by narrow bridge on North Lane and areas of flood risk along the Roman River

For Proposals in The Village:

  • The importance of conserving or enhancing the Grade II listed Marks Tey Hall and its setting
  • The importance of improving the street scene environment around the London Parade shops
  • The importance of improving the connectivity between the areas currently segregated by the road infrastructure through measures which improve the attractiveness of pedestrian routes and create more direct routes.
  • Retaining existing and creating new green infrastructure
  • Prioritising design and layout that increases coherence and strengthens sense of place.

Development proposals which adopt innovative approaches to the construction of low carbon homes and buildings which demonstrate sustainable use of resources and high energy efficiency levels (for example construction to Passivhaus or similar standards) will be welcomed.

6.8 Policy MT06 - Landscape character, views and setting

Context and rationale

6.8.1 There is a range of sources that provide information on the character of Marks Tey Landscape Character:

  • Colchester Landscape Character Assessment published in 2005
  • West Colchester Growth Area Option Environmental Audit. This was produced by Chris Blandford Associates in November 2015 to help inform the emerging Borough Plan.
  • The Marks Tey Character Assessment produced by the NP steering group to inform this plan.

6.8.2 The West Colchester Growth Area Option Environmental Audit draws from previous landscape characterisation work in the proceeding Chris Blandford reports. Key conclusions from this work are:

  • The landscape capacity of Marks Tey parish has limited ability to be able to accommodate development without degradation of landscape characteristics that are of local value. Mitigation and enhancement measures would be required where change does take place.
  • Care should be taken to avoid loss of the woodlands and hedgerows/field boundaries that form screening elements in views from the edge of Marks Tey area.
  • The arable fields between Copford and Marks Tey along the B1408 are considered to provide a high contribution to the physical and visual separation between the settlements.
  • Most of the land between Marks Tey and Little Tey is considered to provide a high contribution to the physical and visual separation between the settlements. It is considered desirable to safeguard this from inappropriate development
  • Most of the land between Marks Tey and Easthorpe is considered to provide a high contribution to the physical and visual separation between the settlements
  • Existing landscape structure across the site should be retained and strengthened.
  • Opportunities for development without impacting significantly on landscape character exist at:
    • The western end of Marks Tey, arable fields on either side of Dobbies Lane and their associated greenhouses are considered to have no more than a medium contribution to the sense of separation between Marks Tey and Easthorpe
    • The area of hardstanding south of the intersection of the A12 and A120 has a predominantly urban fringe character and makes a low contribution to sense of separation between the settlements. This also applies to the adjacent field which is enclosed by built development on three sides

6.8.3 As part of the Marks Tey Character Assessment work, the NP group has identified a range of locally important views looking out to the countryside from public spaces in the village, views looking out towards locally important heritage assets.

6.8.4 As illustrated in the table below, many of these views have also been assessed as part of the West Colchester Growth Area Option Environmental Audit undertaken to support the Borough's emerging spatial strategy in 2015.

Table 6.9 - Viewpoints identified in Marks Tey Character Assessment and West Colchester Growth Option Environment Audit, 2015

Locally Important Views

Viewpoint in the West Colchester Growth Area Option Environmental Audit 2015

View 1a) – Long Green

(View from the railway line pedestrian bridge looking out towards Long Green (a historic site of the village green)

View 1b) – looking south of railway line

Viewpoints 16a and 16b

View 2 – Wilsons Lane - footpath to Elm Lane

(View from Wilsons Lane looking out over the footpath towards Elm Lane)

Viewpoint 15

View 3a)– Little Tey

A wide landscape view looking north, east and west from the northern point of Little Tey

View 3b) – Little Tey towards St. James the Less Church

A view taken on Church Lane looking towards the Grade 1 listed church

View 10 is view from Little Tey looking east towards open countryside

View 4 – Motts Lane bridleway

A wide landscape view looking north, east and west from Mott's Lane Bridleway

Not assessed

View 5 – St. Andrews Church from the A120 Coggeshall Road

From Ashbury Drive roundabout on A120 looking north towards Aldham and towards the Grade 1 listed church

Views 12, 13 and 14 look at views northwards from Coggeshall Road where view 14 matches as the view towards St Andrews Church

View 6a –St. Andrews Church from road bridge

This view is enjoyed from the road bridge that crosses over the railway line looking north towards the Grade 2 listed church. It is also enjoyed from trains pulling out of the station, just before going under the A120 road bridge.

Not assessed

View 7 – Aldham

This view is enjoyed from the railway station footbridge looking north towards Aldham

Viewpoint 9

View 8 -Roman River Valley

This is a view looking east and west from the little bridge over the Roman River on North Lane.

Viewpoint 7

View 9 – Wooded area south of Methodist church

This is view on Point Chase to the south of the Methodist Church looking south over wooded

Outside scope of the West Colchester Growth Area Option Environmental Audit

View 10 – Marks Tey Hall

This is a view from the public footpath looking west towards the Grade II listed building.

Not assessed

View 11 - Potts Green - site of village green

This is a wide landscape view taken from the public footpath on Doggetts Lane towards the south overlooking the historic village green

Not assessed

6.8.5 Due to their contribution to establishing sense of place in the parish it is important that new development proposals coming forward do not adversely impact landscape character, views and setting. This does not necessarily mean disallowing anything within the view cones shown on Maps 4.3 to 4.7 but it means that special attention will need to be had to design and layout of developments which fall within those view cones. If a development proposal adversely impacts a view it will be resisted where harm to a view is determined to outweigh the public benefits.

Policy Intent

6.8.6 We wish to support proposals which maintain or enhance existing landscape character and visual in Marks Tey parish.

(1) Policy MT06 – landscape character, views and setting     

Development proposals will be supported where they recognise, maintain and where possible enhance landscape character in Marks Tey parish.

Areas of open land which make a high contribution towards physical and visual separation between Marks Tey and Copford, between Marks Tey and Little Tey and between Marks Tey and Easthorpe shall be safeguarded from inappropriate development.

To be supported development proposals must

  • retain open corridors which connect the built environment to the surrounding countryside; and
  • maintain or enhance the setting of the following locally identified important views which contribute to sense of place in the parish (shown also on Maps 4.3 to 4.7).

View 1a) – Long Green (See Map 4.4)

(view from the railway line pedestrian bridge looking out towards Long Green (a historic site of the village green)

View 1b) – Looking south of railway line. (See Map 4.5)

View 2 – Wilsons Lane - footpath to Elm Lane (See Map 4.4)

(view from Wilsons Lane looking out over the footpath towards Elm Lane)

View 3a)– Little Tey (See Map 4.3)

A wide landscape view looking north, east and west from the northern point of Little Tey

View 3b) – Little Tey Towards St. James the Less Church (See Map 4.3)

A view taken on Church Lane looking towards the Grade 1 listed church

View 4 – Motts Lane bridleway (see Map 4.4)

A wide landscape view looking north, east and west from Mott's Lane Bridleway

View 5 – St. Andrews Church from the A120 Coggeshall Road (see Map 4.4)

From Ashbury Drive roundabout on A120 looking north towards Aldham and towards the Grade 1 listed church

View 6a –St. Andrews Church from road bridge (See Map 4.6)

This view is enjoyed from the road bridge that crosses over the railway line looking north towards the Grade 2 listed church. It is also enjoyed from trains pulling out of the station, just before going under the A120 road bridge.

View 7 – Aldham (See Map 4.6)

This view is enjoyed from the railway station footbridge looking north towards Aldham

View 8 -Roman River Valley (See Map 4.6)

This is a view looking east and west from the little bridge over the Roman River on North Lane.

View 9 – Wooded area south of Methodist church (see Map 4.7)

This is view on Point Chase to the south of the Methodist Church looking south over wooded area

View 10 – Marks Tey Hall (See Map 4.7)

This is a view from the public footpath looking west towards the Grade II listed building.

View 11 - Potts Green - site of village green (See Map 4.5)

This is a wide landscape view taken from the public footpath on Doggetts Lane towards the south overlooking the historic village green

6.9 Policy MT07 – Non-designated heritage assets

Policy context and rationale

6.9.1 There are 27 statutorily listed buildings within the parish. These are highly valued by the community of Marks Tey and are already protected under local plan and national planning policies. In addition to these there are other buildings which are of local historic importance and their preservation or enhancement is important to maintaining a sense of place in Marks Tey.

6.9.2 Information on buildings of local historic importance was collected as part of the Marks Tey character assessment work. The community were consulted on this during consultation undertaken in summer and autumn 2018. Please see Chapter 4 for further detail on these locally important buildings.

6.9.3 The Colchester Local List seeks to safeguard selected undesignated heritage assets that, although not suitable for designation nationally are valued by the local community and make a significant contribution to the heritage of Colchester and the surrounding villages. The selection criteria for the Local List was adopted in October 2019 and is available to view: https://colchesterheritage.co.uk/documents/2019-10-21_adopted.local.list.selection.criteria.pdf . The list currently does not include any assets in Marks Tey Parish but it is envisaged that it will do so in the future following work between the borough and the community.

Policy Intent

6.9.4 The Marks Tey community values its local heritage and we want to ensure that our locally interesting buildings and other heritage assets are not lost or re-developed in a way that would negatively impact on their architectural significance. We want to protect these non-designated heritage assets[4].

6.9.5 The Marks Tey Parish Council will work with Colchester Borough Council to seek the inclusion of the locally identified heritage assets on the borough-wide local list. As work progresses on the local list, it is possible it will include further assets in the parish not identified in policy MT07 below. Policy MT07 is intended to apply to all buildings and structures listed in the policy as well as any additional assets in the parish that are included as part of a future Colchester Borough Council local list.

Policy MT07 Non -designated heritage assets 

The following buildings and assets have been identified as non-designated heritage assets.

Proposals should seek to conserve or enhance the significance of the heritage assets listed in this policy as well as any additional non-designated heritage assets which are located in the plan area and included in the most up to date Colchester Borough Local List.

Where proposals have any effect on a non-designated heritage asset, a balanced judgement will be applied having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset.

Character Area 2a – Long Green:

  1. White Essex weather boarded old farm cottages 91 and 93 Coggeshall Road
  2. The Old Thatched Cottage 85 Coggeshall Road
  3. 25 Coggeshall Road

Character Area 2b – Potts Green:

  1. Hammer Farm House, Doggetts Lane
  2. Site of former Potts Green

Character Area 3a – Roman River:

  1. Church Farm House and outbuildings
  2. Railway station (original building waiting room and section of original canopy)

Character Area 3b – the Village:

  1. Old Rectory Court, Station Road
  2. The Old Cottages, Old London Road
  3. Former Methodist Church, London Road
  4. Wynscroft, Number 1 London Road (previously known as Butcher's Cottage)


6.10 Policy MT08 – Rural lanes

Context and rationale

6.10.1 There are a number of rural lanes in the parish which are highly valued by local people. In a parish otherwise dominated by transport infrastructure corridors disrupting connectivity, these rural lanes provide vital access to the countryside in which the village is set. As well as having amenity value in themselves they also provide rural walking routes helping to connect different parts of the parish.

6.10.2 Policy MT08 complements the landscape management guidelines (set out in the Colchester Borough Landscape Character Assessment published in 2005) for the character area in which Marks Tey falls (B2: Easthorpe Farmland Plateau) which includes the guideline to "conserve historic lanes and unimproved roadside verges"

6.10.3 The rural lanes are:

  • Doggett's Lane. An ancient lane along which Potts Green is reached.
  • Dobbies Lane allows residents to cross the railway bridge and walk from Marks Tey Estate to Marks Tey Village Hall
  • Mott's Lane. This is a rural lane to the north of the A120. There is a public right of way which runs from the A120 junction along the length of Mott's Lane and a further public footpath which joins Mott's Lane from the west. There is no through route for motorised vehicles along Mott's Lane.
  • An ancient green lane in Little Tey leading from the church to the old rectory situated on the Great Tey Road. The lane is classified as a Byway.
  • Granger's Lane leading from Long Green to Broom's Farm. Appendix B to the Character Assessment provides a detailed description of this lane. The lane once formed part of a link road between two roads known to be Roman, Stane Street, (now A120) and the road to London (A12) although both these roads could have earlier origins and were up-graded by the Romans. This lane has as at 21 October 2020 become recognised as a formal public right of way through the Essex County Council Definitive Map Modification No. 677, Footpath 13, Marks Tey.

6.10.4 The green lane in Little Tey and Granger's Lane are particularly valued as having landscape and biodiversity value. They have been found through the character assessment work to be in a similar condition to what they have been in for several centuries with earth surfaces and a natural hedge of either side. They are mostly free from motorised vehicles with the exception of occasional farm vehicles in Little Tey.

6.10.5 Further information on these rural lanes can be found in Chapter 4 of the Character Assessment as well as Appendix B – Granger's Lane.

(1) Policy MT08 - Rural Lanes

The following rural lanes (as identified on Maps 4.3 to 4.7) are identified as Marks Tey Important Features of Local Value.

Their amenity value and biodiversity value shall be protected or enhanced.

  • Dogget's Lane.
  • Dobbies Lane
  • Ancient Green Lane in Little Tey
  • Granger's Lane leading from Long Green to Broom's Farm
  • Motts Lane

Where applicable, opportunities will be sought to seek increase their amenity, landscape and biodiversity value (for example through providing additional pedestrian access to Dobbies Lane through Anderson's employment site).

A Stronger Community     

Objective 4: Existing community facilities including open space will be protected and opportunities to improve existing provision will be realised

Context

6.11.1 As described in Chapter 2, the parish has a wide range of community facilities and a generous amount of formal amenity space. Due to its position on the A120 and the A12 junction 25, the parish has become a hub serving the communities beyond its boundaries. The village hall, for instance, is often hired out to community groups from outside the parish. The hall has been established since 1994 and, due to its size, variety of rooms, plentiful parking and a location close to the A12, has become a major venue on the west side of Colchester for a very wide range of voluntary groups and activities. Over recent years the hall has become a resource both for local people and others who live in Colchester and the surrounding villages and the playing field is popular with dog walkers, young families, skate boarders and local football teams.

6.11.2 Formal open space in the parish is limited to the recreation ground on the parish hall grounds and the open space at the heart of the Estate (which comprises Colne Park Estate to the west of Jay's Lane and Little Marks Estate to the east of Jay's Lane). The parish hall recreation ground is valued, due to its openness and accessibility, by many local families. During consultation work (see section 3) it was often identified as a positive attribute by the wider community (see section 3).

6.11.3 Notwithstanding this, the Out Design masterplanning support document notes its location and access as a shortcoming:

"… given its location, lack of prominence and indirect access, particularly for pedestrians, it can feel disconnected from other parts of the village."

6.11.4 Within the village settlement boundary of Marks Tey village, green infrastructure comprises the Parish Hall recreation grounds as well informal areas of green open space within Marks Tey housing estate and road side landscaping (e.g. near the A120/12 interchange). The five character area maps identify all area of locally valued green space and these are described in the character assessment itself. Outside Marks Tey village, there is a richer and more varied source of green infrastructure that is enjoyed by parish residents. These includes local views of the countryside as illustrated on the Character Area maps, enjoyed from key points within the village but also from points on the rural footpath network (e.g. Long Green beyond the built-up areas, areas providing wildlife habitat including mature trees, hedgerows and the Brick Pit SSSI).

6.11.5 It is clear from the ongoing community engagement work from 2015 through to 2018 that access to green infrastructure (comprising the open countryside, features of wildlife value and open space) is a top priority for residents.

6.12 Policy MT09 – Local green spaces

Context and rationale

6.12.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows communities to designate areas as Local Green Space. Once designated, a Local Green Space is safeguarded as an open space and protected from development. A Local Green Space must meet the criteria set out in paragraph 100 of the NPPF. This states:

"The Local Green Space designation should only be used where the green space is:

  • In reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
  • Demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife; and
  • Local in character and is not an extensive tract of land."

6.12.2 An assessment has been undertaken of the green spaces within the parish. This work has resulted in the identification of the following spaces as suitable Local Green Spaces.

  • Colne Park Estate Play Area
  • Colne Park Estate Recreation Area
  • Pond and Seating Area by Little Tey Church
  • Parish Hall Recreation Ground

Policy Intent

6.12.3 Because of their special value to the Marks Tey community, we wish to identify the following as Local Green Spaces

Policy MT09 - local green spaces

The following green spaces, which are also shown on the maps below, are designated Local Green Spaces as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework.

  • Colne Park Estate Play Area
  • Colne Park Estate Recreation Area
  • Pond and Seating Area by Little Tey Church
  • Parish Hall Recreation Ground

Proposals for any development on Local Green Spaces will be resisted other than in very special circumstances. In the case of the Parish Hall Recreation Ground, very special circumstances would apply if better provision in a location which is more accessible by foot for parish residents (to be informed through community consultation) is secured during the plan period.


Map 6.3 Colne Park local green spaces


Map 6.4 Pond and seating area by Little Tey Church



Map 6.5 Marks Tey Parish hall recreation ground local green space

Policy MT10 – Protecting and enhancing the quality and quantity of our green infrastructure

Context and rationale

6.13.1 The existing green infrastructure in the parish is highly valued but provision of green infrastructure within the built-up area is of limited quality and there is scope to improve this. The character assessment identifies opportunities to enhance existing green space in the parish including the rural lanes listed in Policy MT08 and the reinstatement of the historic green at Potts Green into a public open space. A number of opportunities have also been identified in the masterplanning support document on this:

Green Corridors:

  • The Greens:the creation of a continuous, accessible green corridor to the west of Marks Tey incorporating Long Green and Potts Green. This aspiration is illustrated on the emerging framework plan in the Masterplanning support document (see Map 6.1 in this plan), an extract from which is provided below in Map 6.6, and would increase the amenity value considerably of the pedestrian route from the Parish Hall recreation ground through to Long Green (via the railway bridge). This route could also be accessed by commuters travelling by train.

Map 6.6: the creation of a continuous, accessible green corridor to the West of Marks Tey. Extract from Figure 5.3 Out Design Masterplanning Support document.


  • Roman River: the creation of a continue accessible green corridor to the north of Marks Tey broadly following Roman River Corridor and the surrounding countryside to encourage active lifestyles. A potential new walking connection under the railway line north of Marks Tey station could be explored. The corridor would also function as a visual and physical separation from Copford. See Map 6.7 below.

Map 6.7:  the creation of a continuous accessible green corridor to the east of Marks Tey broadly following the Roman River Corridor and the surrounding countryside to encourage active lifestyles. Extract from Figure 5.3 Out Design Masterplanning support document.


The Parish Hall recreation grounds

  • a landscaping strategy to better integrate play and sports facilities within the grounds
  • the provision of better pedestrian access to the Parish Hall and improved cycle facilities
  • the provision of habitat-rich tree and shrub planting.

Marks Estate public open space:

  • introduce more habitat rich tree and shrub planting
  • improve play provision

6.13.2 The Colchester Local Plan includes policy DP15 Retention of Open Space and Indoor Sports Facilities which protects existing open spaces as identified on the Borough proposals map, unless exceptional circumstances exist and alternative provision can be made.

Policy Intent

6.13.3 The purpose of the policy is to highlight the existing priorities and aspirations regarding future green infrastructure provision in the parish. All development proposals will be expected to contribute towards green infrastructure provision and this provision should accord with the priorities identified in this plan.

(2) Policy MT10 Protecting and Enhancing the Quality and Quantity of our Green Infrastructure  

New development proposals will be expected to contribute to the provision of green infrastructure in the parish in terms of both quality and/or quantity having regard to the following priorities and aspirations:

Priorities and aspirations regarding the creation of new open space:

  1. Connecting and interlinking existing green infrastructure;
  2. The creation of new public footpaths which link in with existing public rights of way network and offer enhanced access to the countryside;
  3. An aspiration to create a continuous, accessible green corridor to the West of Marks Tey;
  4. An aspiration to create a continue accessible green corridor to the east of Marks Tey broadly following Roman River Corridor and the surrounding countryside; and
  5. Reinstating the historic Potts Green as a public open space.

Priorities and aspirations regarding improvements to the quality of green infrastructure:

  1. Improved landscaping scheme that benefits wildlife in the recreation ground;
  2. Improved pedestrian and cycle friendly access from residential areas to the recreation ground;
  3. Improved planting on the Marks Tey residential estates;
  4. Improved play facilities on the Marks Tey residential estates; and
  5. Enhancements to the rural lanes identified in Policy MT08.

A Healthier Environment    

Objective: We wish to protect and foster the natural environment for the benefit of people, flora and wildlife

6.14 Policy MT11 – Protecting and enhancing our natural environment

Context and rationale

6.14.1 The parish is home to a variety of wildlife and habitats both in the countryside and within the village including in peoples' gardens. A search using the mapping tool at www.magic.gov.uk identifies nine areas of broadleaved deciduous woodland (a priority habitat for England), three additional areas of woodland and a range of bird life and mammals in the parish.

6.14.2 The first non-statutory wildlife sites in Colchester Borough were identified in 1991 by Essex Wildlife Trust following a county wide Phase 1 habitat survey. At the time they were known as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and they were selected on the basis of being the most important wildlife habitats in the District, with the already nationally designated and legally protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) included within the network. They were reviewed again in 2008. In 2015, a further review was undertaken by Colchester focussing only on areas that are likely to come under pressure for development, and this included the Marks Tey NP area. The 2015 review did not result in any changes to the Marks Tey designated local wildlife sites which are still:

  1. Little Tey Churchyard (reference Co14).
  2. Marks Tey Brick Pit (reference Co31)

6.14.3 Additional information on local wildlife has been collected by the NP steering group. A hedgerow survey of Granger's Lane was undertaken in 2016 and 2017, the results of which are reported in Appendix B to the Marks Tey Character Assessment. Further information on wildlife in the parish is reported in Appendix C to the Marks Tey Character Assessment. This includes information collected as part of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in January 2016 and Neighbourhood Plan consultation work undertaken in January 2017. The surveys revealed the presence of a wide variety of birdlife throughout the year and many small mammals including bats and amphibians.

6.14.4 The deciduous woodland behind the Methodist Church along the Old London Road is also identified as a locally important parish wildlife site since it is one of very few areas of deciduous woodland in the parish.

6.14.5 The existing flora and fauna in the parish is precious and highly valued by the community. The hedgerows running alongside the rural lanes, mature trees around the Brick Pit SSSI area and even tree planting at the A120 and A12 interchange are all highly precious environmental assets in a parish which continually is subjected to the noise, air, light and dust pollution generated by the three strategic transport corridors running through the parish.

6.14.6 A priority for the community is to protect the natural environment but also to improve the ways in which the natural environment can help to mitigate the negative impacts of urbanisation on the Marks Tey community.

6.14.7 Parts of the designated NP area for Marks Tey lie over source protection zones. Policy MT11 therefore requires development proposals on land that may be affected by contamination to be accompanied by a preliminary risk assessment so that any risk to water quality can be understood and addressed accordingly.

Policy Intent

6.14.8 We wish to protect our existing natural environment assets and we seek opportunities to increase these as part of any new development.

Policy MT11- Protecting and Enhancing our Natural Environment     

The sites identified on Maps 6.8 (a, b, c and d) and listed below have been identified by the local community as parish wildlife sites and as being important for purposes of maintaining and enhancing biodiversity in the parish. To be supported, development proposals must protect or enhance the biodiversity value of these sites.

  • Little Tey Churchyard Local Wildlife Site
  • Granger's Lane
  • Marks Tey Brick Pit SSSI Local Wildlife Site
  • Area of deciduous woodland behind the Methodist Church on Old London Road

Other assets of biodiversity value in our parish are also precious including the Roman River, our ponds, hedgerows and trees including those indicated on the Character Assessment Character Area maps.

Development proposals will be expected to retain existing features of biodiversity value and provide a measurable net gain in biodiversity through for example:

  • The creation of new natural habitats;
  • The planting of additional trees and hedgerows; and
  • Creating new wildlife corridors linking up existing ones.

In the case of development proposals coming forward on land that may have been affected by contamination (for example, as a result of its previous use and that of the surrounding land or development that potentially may cause contamination), sufficient information should be provided with the planning application to satisfy the requirements of the NPPF for dealing with land contamination. This should take the form of a Preliminary Risk Assessment (including a desk top study, conceptual model and initial assessment of risk) and provide assurance that the risk to the water environment is fully understood and can be addressed through appropriate measures.

Map 6.8 a Parish Wildlife Site at Little Tey (also a Colchester Borough Local Wildlife Site)


Map 6.8 b Parish Wildlife Site at Granger’s Lane


Map 6.8 c Parish Wildlife Site at Marks Tey Brick Pit (part of Colchester Borough Local Wildlife Site) 



Map 6.8 d Parish Wildlife Site. Woodland off Old London Road


6.15 Policy MT12- Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS)

6.15.1 Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (commonly referred to as the Habitat Regulations) a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) is required for land use plans and for planning applications, which are likely to have significant effects on a Habitat Site.

6.15.2 The Essex Coast is rich and diverse and has many European protected habitat sites (the Colne Estuary, the Blackwater Estuary, the Abberton Reservoir Estuary, the Essex Estuaries, and Stour and Orwell Estuaries) . There are a number of Local Plans in preparation in Essex which seek to deliver a significant number of homes over the coming 15-20 years. These new homes have a potential to bring new visitors to sensitive coast areas, resulting in potential impacts on protected sites both individually and in combination through recreational disturbance. As a consequence, Natural England in September 2017 advised that 11 districts/boroughs Councils across Essex should jointly prepare an Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS). The strategy sets a strategic approach to identifying the scale of recreational disturbance to Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Ramsar sites along the Essex Coast and proposes measures to mitigate impacts.

6.15.3 The area covered by the RAMS includes the entirety of Marks Tey parish. Once the Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance and Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy has been adopted, all proposals in Marks Tey parish will be subject to a financial contribution in line with that strategy. At the time of writing the RAMs was not yet adopted but once it is adopted, it will comprise a package of strategic mitigation measures to address the effects of residential development to be funded through developer contributions. In the meantime, until the RAMs is in place, Natural England's advice is that recreational impacts of the residential schemes are assessed through a project-level Habitats Regulation Assessment.

Policy Intent

6.15.4 The intent of Policy MT12 is to ensure that any additional dwellings coming forward in Marks Tey parish are accompanied by a project level HRA (that demonstrates through mitigation measures that there will be no additional recreational disturbance on the Essex Coastal European sites through new dwellings coming forward in the parish) in order to avoid and mitigate adverse effects from increased recreational disturbance to ensure that Habitat Sites are not adversely affected and the proposal complies with the Habitat Regulations.

Policy MT12- Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS)

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. In the interim period, before the Essex Coast RAMS is completed, all residential development within the zones of influence will need to deliver all measures identified (including strategic measures) through project level HRAs, or otherwise, to mitigate any recreational disturbance impacts in compliance with the Habitat Regulations and Habitats Directive

6.16 Objective: Noise, air and light pollution will be effectively managed.

6.16.1 The transport infrastructure corridors that run through the parish have noise, air and light pollution impacts. These impacts are primarily experienced by residents when they are outside of the residential areas and at the shops or walking along the roads such as the A120 Coggeshall Road.

6.16.2 There are a number of Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs[5]) within Colchester but none in the Marks Tey NP area. However, there are three air quality monitoring points located on London Road (the A12) in the parish along the roadside and there are three air quality monitoring points located on the A120 in the parish. They are used to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels. Colchester Borough Council publishes air quality annual status reports and the most recent one published at the time of writing was in June 2019. This reports that in 2018, the borough recorded exceedances of the NO2 annual mean objective within three existing AQMAs at twelve sites in the borough. The nitrogen dioxide levels in Marks Tey parish did not exceed the annual mean air quality objective of 40µg/m3. Importantly however, Highways England readings taken in 2017/18 show that one of their monitoring sites at London Road in Marks Tey does record levels of air pollution around 40 µg/m3 and are the highest levels of air pollution compared to other monitoring stations on the A12 between Marks Tey and Chelmsford.

6.16.3 Should the A120 (and A12) realignments take place as planned by the County Council and Highways England, it is possible that the environment along the A120 will improve as a result of traffic movement reduction (particularly a reduction in HGV movements) in the section that runs through Marks Tey Village. However, it may increase along the A12 depending on which improvement route is chosen. For the benefits of this to be fully realised it is essential that environmental enhancement measures are implemented along the A120 including those listed in the supporting text to MT03

6.16.4 Whilst there are no specific planning policies proposed here, this objective is met through Policy MT03 and Policy MT12 above.

Housing

Objective: New housing will include variety and choice and will meet existing local needs (in terms of type and tenure)

6.17 Policy MT13 – Housing Mix and Housing Choice

Context and rationale:

Rural Community Profile for Marks Tey

6.17.1 The Rural Community Profile[6] for Marks Tey Parish brings together quantitative data for the plan area. The data is collected around the themes of social and cultural, equity and prosperity, economy, housing and the built environment, transport and connectivity, services, environmental and governance

6.17.2 Data relevant to housing needs is:

  • There is a high proportion of married households
  • There has been a decrease in population between the period 2008 and 2011
  • There is higher than average proportion of economically active residents (those working or unemployed)
  • There is a higher than average proportion of people in employment between ages 16 to 74
  • 51% of dwellings are detached compared to national average of 22.3% (and Essex average of 30.4%) where as only 2.9% of the dwellings are terraced compared to 24.5% nationally and 21.3% in Essex
  • The vast majority of housing (80.6%) is owner occupied
Marks Tey Estate Agent Survey 2017

6.17.3 A survey of estate agents undertaken in July 2017 by the Marks Tey NP steering group which involved face to face interviews with Boydens, Elms Price and Haart found that

In terms of:

  • the demand for housing in Marks Tey and Colchester as a whole

There is significant demand for housing of all types, whether it is for 1 bed flats, 3 bed detached or bigger.

  • what type of housing was being sought in both areas…

The type of home sold is determined by price and mortgage availability.

People are willing to purchase 1 bed home with the view of trading up to a bigger property when their circumstances allow. Flats and smaller 2 or 3 bed houses were popular in Colchester town with 3 or 4 bed houses popular outside the town centre

  • where the demand was coming from…

Housing demand was split between those who lived in the area already and those who were coming into the Borough from outside. Boyden's put the split as 60% local and 40% outside for purchases whereas Elms Price and Haart put the split at 50% each. The eastern side of London such as Romford was mentioned as a place that many of the outside people coming into the borough were coming from. Schooling, travel links to London and house prices.

  • why people were coming to Colchester or Marks Tey…

The estate agents felt that there was demand in Marks Tey just as much as Colchester although the most desired areas were Lexden and Stanway due to the catchment area of the local schools.

People were "forced/drawn" out of London to Colchester as there are new homes being built within budget of London workers or those selling London homes.

  • were people wishing to buy or rent…

Most of the demand for housing involved people wishing to purchase but there were areas around the university and the hospital where renting was popular due to the nature of the local employment, short term or fixed term contracts. The further away from these areas the renting demand was less although it was mentioned by all 3 estate agents that people would consider renting around some of the local schools so that their children could attend the school with the view of purchasing in the near term in that area or near that area. These rentals were not envisaged to be long term.

  • time on the Market…

Haart and Elms Price put a few weeks on the time needed to sell a home, provided people were "realistic" on the value.

Marks Tey NP questionnaire 2017

6.17.4 In January 2017, a 16 page householder questionnaire was sent out to all homes in the parish. Questions 12 to 17 of the questionnaire covered housing:

6.17.5 The survey received over 300 responses and proportionally there was a higher response rate from the over 55 age group (see survey). Key results from the survey were:

  • There was agreement for a need for a range of property types (1 and 2 bedroom properties, 2 and 3 bedroom properties, 3 and 4 bedroom properties, bungalows, terraced properties, semi-detached properties, detached and retirement properties) but not for flats and apartments or 4 + bedroom properties.
  • There was overall agreement that new properties should have a minimum garden size and that flats and apartments should have access to a shared garden space in addition to parking.
  • The majority of respondents lived in 3 to 4 bedroom houses and 20% lived in bungalows
  • Just under 20% said they would be looking to move in the next 5 years and 15% in the years following this.
  • Of those looking to move, over 50% were looking for 1-2 bedroom properties, 30% for a 3-4 bedroom property. Over 40% were looking for a bungalow and just under 40% would look for a house.
  • Ten per cent of respondents said they had family who had moved away from the parish because they were unable to find suitable accommodation

6.17.6 Existing dwelling stock mix, January 2017 survey results and the July 2017 estate agent survey provide a clear indication that there is a need to increase the number of houses in the plan area and that these should meet a variety of needs.

Borough-wide housing needs

6.17.7 Information on housing needs at a borough level is reported in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment published in December 2015 by consultants Planning and Development on the behalf of four local authority areas: Colchester Borough Council, Chelmsford City Council, Tendring District Council and Braintree District Council. This report works on the premise of a housing market area covering the geographical extent of all four local authority areas. The work concludes that there is an overall annual housing requirement of 920 in Colchester Borough during the period 2013 to 2037 and that 30% of these are needed as affordable homes. In terms of size, Table S.17 in the Executive Summary sets out the following annual housing requirements for new housing in Colchester borough during the period 2013 to 2037.

Table 6.10: Annual requirement for all new housing in Colchester, Source: Executive Summary of the Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchestr and Tendring Council's Housing Market Area, Planning and Development December 2015

No of bedrooms

1

2

3

4

Market Housing

28

166

294

154

Shared Ownership

9

3

0

0

Affordable rent/social rent

81

86

62

37

Total

118

255

356

191

6.17.8 A logical conclusion from the various sources of evidence on housing needs in Marks Tey is that there is need for additional housing across all tenures. In terms of size, the predominant need is for 3 and 4 bedroom homes but within the affordable housing sector the predominant need is for additional 1 and 2 bedroom homes.

Innovative housing

6.17.9 There are examples of innovative housing in Marks Tey, for example Stanefield, built according to the Radburn approach (separation of pedestrian and vehicular movement) and Roxborough Close (see below under self-build). Innovative examples of housing design should be encouraged and expanded to include flexible and adaptable housing to meet future needs.

6.17.10 This includes homes that can be expanded or subdivided to suit changing needs but also homes that are built from the outset to be accessible and adaptable. Part M of the Building Regulations addresses access to and the use of buildings. The M4 (2) standard ensures that new dwellings are accessible and adaptable. To satisfy this standard, reasonable provision must be made for people to gain access to the dwelling and use the dwelling and its facilities. This provision must be sufficient to meet the needs of occupants with differing needs, including some older people and disabled people. The dwelling should allow adaptation to meet changing needs of the occupants over time. The M4(2) standard is not compulsory part of building regulations but can be required via a Local Plan policy where the evidence is in place to support such a need.

Meeting the demand for self and custom build homes

6.17.11 Paragraph 61 of the 2019 NPPF states that the needs of people wishing to commission or build their own homes should be assessed and considered in planning policies. As noted in the NPPF, under section 1 of the Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, local authorities are required to keep a register of those seeking to acquire serviced plots in the area for their own self-build and custom house building. They are also subject to duties under sections 2 and 2A of the Act to have regard to this and to give enough suitable development permissions to meet the identified demand. Self and custom-build properties could provide market or affordable housing.

6.17.12 Colchester Borough maintain a self-build register. As at October 2019, borough officers report there were 188 individuals on the register and one group. In the submitted Local Plan, Policies SP7 -Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in North Essex and SP9 – Colchester/Braintree Borders Garden Community establishes the principle of development including self and custom build homes. In part 2 of the submitted Local Plan, Policy DM10 Housing Density states the local planning authority will support proposals for self build or custom built homes.

6.17.13 Self and custom build housing is about people bringing forward homes they want to live in, having an input in the design and layout so that it is suitable for their needs. Custom build housing is A more consumer-friendly form of self-build where the developer provides serviced plots. Marks Tey parish already has a tradition of custom and self-build properties. In 1997, five bungalows were completed in Roxborough Close in Marks Tey parish which had been designed and built for by people with disabilities. The Walter Segal construction[7] method was used.

Policy Intent:

6.17.14 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all residential development proposals are designed to meet identified local needs. Schemes of more than 3 units should include mix of sizes. Schemes larger than this should include an element of smaller homes so as to ensure the provision of a wider choice and mix of homes in the parish.

6.17.15 The policy requires larger schemes to include service plots providing opportunities for self build or custom build. For the purpose of this policy a larger scheme includes schemes of 30 dwellings or more.


Policy MT13 Housing Mix and Housing Choice

New residential development proposals will be expected to provide a choice in terms of housing mix and tenure and the overall mix should reflect latest evidence on existing local needs. Special regard should be had for those looking for smaller properties which would be suitable for first time buyers as well as the growing older generation.

In order to achieve thriving and safe neighbourhoods, there should not be an overconcentration of any one type of housing in any one scheme and affordable housing should be designed as integral to the development as a whole.

Unless evidence is presented demonstrating no demand in the parish for self-build or custom build plots, larger schemes will be expected to include serviced plots providing opportunities for self-build or custom build. Where plots are made available and marketed at a reasonable price but not sold after one year, this requirement will lapse.

Innovative ways of providing housing solutions will be welcomed, particularly housing which allows for expansion and subdivision as needs change as well as housing which is built to the accessible and adaptable dwellings (M4(2) standard).

Business and Employment

Objective: Businesses will continue to thrive in the parish

6.18.1 Marks Tey offers excellent road and rail connections (present and proposed schemes) for new business development and could easily be developed as hub location for new university, hospital, retail distribution centre, civil administration or emergency services facilities. This is supported by the high speed internet infrastructure on the A12. The NP is supportive of all existing businesses across the parish. As reflected in policies MT13 and MT14 below, the NP is, in principle, supportive of new business development along the A12 corridor. Business facilities alongside major trunk roads reduces noise, light and air pollution from roads affecting housing areas. New businesses would benefit from any new housing development nearby, offering local working and less commuting traffic.

6.19 Policy MT14 – London Road Centre

Context and rationale

6.19.1 The London Road parade of shops is identified in the adopted Local Plan as a Neighbourhood Centre. Policy DP7 – Local Centres and Individual Shops safeguards the retail function of neighbourhood centres. This means that proposals leading to the loss of retail units in the London Road Parade will be resisted under existing policies. The shops here are much valued by Marks Tey residents as well as residents of neighbouring areas such as Aldham. The shop footfall benefits from passing A12 traffic, in particular because of the split junction (southbound traffic can conveniently leave the A12, stop at the shops, and re-join the A12 further down). This also means that traffic congestion around the shops can present a real health and safety hazard and it is important that vehicle dominance is reduced overall whilst parking provision improved in a way which also improves pedestrian safety and accessibility. The re-routing of the A12 and/or the A120 may well have impact on the viability of the shops and the community would therefore support proposals that retain convenient access to Marks Tey shops from any new junction.

6.19.2 The area of London Road in front of and adjacent to the shops is generally of poor environmental quality and in need of improvement in terms of streetscape, landscape quality, parking, and access to the shops themselves. It is a significantly important area as it is one of the two main approaches to the village. Anybody approaching the village from the North will to do so from the A12 or the London Road from Copford, both via the Prince of Wales roundabout. By either route, one is met by a blank brick wall with advertising and the noise and roar from the A12. This is offset to some extent by the cul-de-sac of housing created by a truncated piece of the London Road when the roundabout was created.

6.19.3 Once in front of the shops, there is a straight linear road that also serves as an acceleration lane to join the A12 south, with limited curb parking on the shop side. This parking is augmented with 12 public parking spaces on the car park to the former Food Store premises. The other side on the road has waiting restrictions which are largely ignored by HGVs visiting the food outlets and shops, and the ever present A12 in a cutting to the side. The side of the A12 is well landscaped although much of this may be lost with any expansion of the A12 as is currently planned. It is also littered with rubbish from passing motorists and the HGVs.

6.19.4 Access to this area is mainly vehicular, with pedestrian access from the bulk of the village by the small footbridge over the wide A12. The viability of the area comes largely via vehicles and its immediate access to junction 25 of the A12.

6.19.5 The Parish Council would very much like to see imaginative proposals that seek to:

  • increase cross A12 pedestrian and cycling communications;
  • increased contact between the shops, the station and the village;
  • increased parking provision for the shops preferably in a discrete form;
  • increase in the viability of the area possibly with housing associated with more retail; and
  • improvements to the streetscape with quality physical improvements and softening with landscaping and trees.

6.19.6 In the above context, there has been some discussion of the idea of a 'green bridge', a widened, landscaped platform crossing the A12 from the shops. We will seek to secure this green bridge when the detail of the A12 strategic road improvements come forward. See Community Action 8 in Chapter 7 of this plan.

6.19.7 The NP group have looked at all the different land uses in and around the London Road centre. Appendix 1 to this NP shows the results of this assessment. This work has resulted in the drawing up of an extent encompassing the variety of different land uses that are considered to make up the village centre uses in this part of Marks Tey parish. To reflect more accurately the variety of different village centre uses that Marks Tey residents may use when visiting this area, this boundary extends beyond the boundary defined in the Local Plan as the London Road Parade. This boundary is appropriate considering the changes made to the Use Classes Order[8] that introduced the new Use Class E which now provides one use class for shop use, financial and professional services, café/restaurants, office use and other commercial uses often associated with town centres.

Policy Intent

6.19.8 London Road parade is already protected by the adopted Local Plan. The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. encourage new uses at the London Road Centre where these uses will help strengthen the commercial viability of the London Road Centre, thereby securing the provision of essential services (such as the post office) to parish residents.
  2. Encourage improvements to the accessibility of the London Road Centre shops particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. The pedestrian environment should be made safer and more welcoming. In addition, we wish to increase the amount of off-street car parking that is available for customers to use.

Policy MT14 – London Road Centre

To be supported, development proposals coming forward in the London Road Centre (as shown on Map 6.9) must:

  1. maintain or enhance the range of local shops, services and community facilities;
  2. utilise opportunities to enhance the street scene environment;
  3. provide for customer car parking where this is needed by the proposed scheme; and
  4. maintain or enhance residential amenity for existing and future residents (particularly in relation to car parking, noise and hours of operation)

Proposals which enhance the street scene environment for pedestrians for example through continuous footpaths, tree & shrub planting, new cycle facilities and street lighting area will be particularly welcomed.

Map 6.9 London Road Centre


6.20 Policy MT15 Anderson Employment Site and Former By-Pass Nurseries Site

Context and rationale

6.20.1 The Anderson Employment site is identified as an employment zone in the adopted Local Plan (see Site Allocations DPD). The site allocations document comments that the following is required as part of any further development or extension of the site:

  • Contributions to assist with any junction improvements required by Highways Agency and Essex County Council.
  • Improvements / contributions towards public transport, cycling and walking links
  • A Travel Plan
  • Contributions to increase capacity of Copford Sewerage Treatment Works.
  • Retention of hedgerows
  • Incorporation of SuDS scheme

6.20.2 Policy DP5 in the Development Policies DPD also applies to the Anderson's Employment site. Policy DP5 safeguards the land use on the site as an employment site. Emerging Policy SS11: Marks Tey in Section 2 of the Local Plan allocates the Anderson Employment site as a Local Economic Area. Emerging Policy SG4: Local Economic Areas safeguards the Anderson Employment site primarily for B class uses to provide, protect and enhance employment provision.

6.20.3 The Neighbourhood Plan supports the approach taken in the adopted and emerging Local Plan. We note however that the extent of the employment areas is larger in the adopted Local Plan when compared to the emerging Local Plan (see Maps 3.1 and 3.2 in this NP) As identified in the masterplanning emerging framework plan, there are specific benefits which new development at the Anderson Employment Site could bring for the parish; it provides the opportunity to deliver a much-needed pedestrian connection between the Parish Hall, Marks Tey station and the west of Marks Tey via the Dobbies Lane railway footbridge. If this site is redeveloped, it should allow the provision of a footway from the railway bridge at Dobbies Lane to the Parish Hall as detailed in Neighbourhood Plan Policy MT01.

6.20.4 The new footway connection is consistent with proposals set out in the Out Design masterplanning support document. This connection:

  • would encourage active travel for residents and potential employees;
  • should include a wide footpath and ideally a segregated cycle facility;
  • should incorporate generous tree and shrub planting to connect the site into the surrounding landscape; and
  • any new development should front onto and overlook the route to provide active surveillance.

6.20.5 The Parish Council will work with adjacent landowners to secure the remaining section needed to deliver the route to Dobbies Lane.

6.20.6 The existing site is being used by two or three companies including SIG Insulations. At the time of writing, a number of the buildings are in need of demolition or major refurbishment.

6.20.7 The NP group is concerned with respect to the current substandard access to the A12 from the Old London Road. Highways England shared these concerns. The NP would not support any development proposals which would lead to increases in the use of the access from Old London Road to the A120. The NP therefore supports the allocation of additional employment uses at Anderson's employment site once the improvements to the A12 have taken place. The A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening schemes is a current project identified by Highways England and planned for commencement in 2023 – 24 and completion by 2027 – 28.

Policy Intent

6.20.8 The purpose of this policy is to highlight the development potential at the Anderson Employment site and to encourage new employment uses to come forward.

6.20.9 To reflect the capacity and deliverability of employment development at this site, the NP brings forward the Local Plan allocation to cover the existing Anderson Employment site as defined on Map 6.10.

6.20.10 Where required to make development viable, the NP allows a limited amount of residential development to come forward but only where this does not prejudice the primary function of the employment site. Any scheme must incorporate a wide footpath and ideally a segregated cycle facility providing access through the site from Marks Tey Parish Hall to west of Marks Tey

Former By-Pass Nurseries site:

6.20.11 The NP also safeguards the former By-Pass Nurseries site as a valued employment site. The site of the former By-Pass Nurseries is set within open countryside. In contrast to the adjacent Anderson employment site, it has an agricultural feel to it. The current lawful use on most of the site is as a sui generis nursery site. A smaller section of the it has permission for B8 storage. Due to highways constraints and residential amenity issues, this is not considered an appropriate location for increased HGV transport movements. However, the NP supports the principle of employment uses here.



Policy MT15 – Anderson Employment Site and Former By-Pass Nurseries Site    

The Anderson Employment site shown on Map 6.10 is allocated for employment uses. Development is anticipated to come forward in 2028.

The following site-specific requirements apply:

  • all schemes must maintain or enhance residential amenity for neighbouring houses or for future occupiers of any new residential development;
  • all schemes must incorporate a new pedestrian and cycle way connection providing a safe and attractive route from Marks Tey Parish Hall through to Dobbies Lane;
  • access to and from the site is via an improved direct access on to the A12 and once the planned improvements to the A12 by Highways England have been implemented and the adjacent existing road has been detrunked; and
  • provision of a work-place travel plan in line with Essex County Council guidance

Subject to any scheme not prejudicing the primary function of the site as employment sites, limited residential development will be allowed where this is needed to make redevelopment of this site viable.

The adjacent former By-Pass Nurseries site shown on Map 6.10 is safeguarded for employment use subject to those uses being consistent with the existing edge of settlement rural location. All schemes must maintain or enhance residential amenity and landscape character.

Map 6.10 - Policy MT15 – Anderson employment site and former by-pass nurseries site



[2] See their representations made on the Regulation 14 version of this plan

[3] See Figure 6 in the 2017 consultation document the A120 Braintree to A12 Consultation on Route Options 17 January to 14 March 2017

[4] Old Rectory Court, Station Road is referred to as the Old Rectory in the Character Assessment and Church Farm House as Church Farm.

[5] Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) are declared when there is an exceedance or likely exceedance of an air quality objective.

[6] Published by Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE), OCSI and ACRE in 2013.

[7] The Walter Segal self build approach to construction is uniquely organised so that anyone who can use basic tools such as a saw, hammer, drill/driver, tape measure, etc. can build a house

[8] Through the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020

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