Active Travel SPD

Ended on the 4 October 2023
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

1. Introduction

Climate change is a global issue affecting everyone. Co-ordinated action from all sectors, national and local governments, and individuals is needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The science tells us that to avoid catastrophic effects we need to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5oC. Mitigation measures are required to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rise. However, even with efforts to limit the cause of global warming, further climatic changes are inevitable in the future and the UK will need to adapt to the growing risks from climate change.

July 2019: Climate Emergency Declared > September 2019: 57% less chewing gum on town centre streets > October 2019: Joint top climate friendly area in East of England > January 2020: 40% reduction in carbon emissions > January 2020: Climate Emergency Action Plan published > February 2020: 10,000+ trees given out. February 2020: Phasing out of plastics in Council operations > March 2020: 4486 trees planted in 19/20 for the Woodland Project > May 2020: Received funding for 25 electric cargo bikes. > June 2020: Colchester Orbital maps produced.

July 2020: Boreholes tested for Northern Gateway Heat Network > August 2020: LED lighting installed in St Mary's and St John's Car Parks > September 2020: Greening Colchester Policy launched > October 2019: CAReless Pollution Campaign launched > November 2020 eCargo bikes for businesses distributed > December 2020: Fleet decarbonisation strategy produced £4.5m agreed for increasing energy efficiency of Council Homes > January 2021: £528,250 grant to transform Rowan House to a low carbon office > February 2021: No idling signage trial began > April 2021 Green tariff secured for Council's electricity usage > May 2021: Climate Challenge and Sustainability Strategy - consultation > June 2021: Updated Climate Emergency Action Plan (2021 - 2023) > July 2021: Supported Essex Schools 'Green Day'

Colchester City Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and since then have carried out numerous pieces of work across the organisation and city to respond to the climate emergency. The infographics, below, highlight the key areas of work in 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.

August 2021: Launch of the social media A-Z waste reduction campaign > September 2021 9% increase in engine switch offs through CAReless pollution campaign > October 2021: Castle Park, Highwoods Country Park and Colchester Cemetery and Crematorium all get green flag awards! > November 2021: Electric refuse collection vehicle trialled > December 2021: Home Burning campaign launch to raise awareness of air pollution from stoves/fire > January 2022: Council's Climate Emergency Action Plan rated as 2nd best in Essex | 3 EV chargers installed in Priory Street Car Park - First CBC owned car parks > February 2022: Oer 50 people in Colchester received free bike training from Essex County Council > March 2022 7170 trees planted over planting season with over 400 volunteers | Launch of first litter picking hubs in Colchester for 'on the go' litter picking | 4 Smart waste bins announced for Dedham as pilot > April 2022: Careless pollutions campaign 'highly commended' in Edie Sustainability Leader Awards | Signage produced by schools to explain no mow areas > May 2022: Community Cycle project to repair and rehome old bikes restart > June 2022: Six electric vans purchased - The start of the Council's fleet transition > July 2022 Council supports 11 schools as part of Essex Schools Green Day!

The Council is drafting 3 Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) to communicate Colchester City Council's ambitions in respect of the climate emergency for all development within the city. SPDs are material considerations in planning decisions. They build on adopted planning policy and provide guidance on how policy requirements should be implemented. The 3 climate emergency SPDs build on the adopted Local Plan and explain how development proposals should respond to the climate and ecological emergency. The SPDs are: Active Travel, Biodiversity, and Climate Change. All development proposals should strive to achieve ambitious carbon reductions, biodiversity enhancement and promotion of active travel to contribute towards Colchester becoming a greener city that is resilient to the climate and ecological emergency.

We are in a climate and ecological emergency – the time to act is now.

The 3 climate emergency SPDs will bring multiple benefits including benefits to health and wellbeing. A healthy environment plays a role in improving health and wellbeing. Many of the actions proposed in the 3 SPD's will also achieve health benefits for our communities. An increase in active travel will lead to more walking and cycling. More energy efficient homes will be good for people's wellbeing and reduce heating costs. An increase in biodiversity and green infrastructure is good for people's mental wellbeing.

This is the Active Travel SPD. It aims to clearly set out the principles the Council expects to ensure that development proposals respond to the climate emergency by contributing towards a high quality cohesive network of active travel routes and support sustainable growth in line with the adopted Local Plan.

Although this SPD applies primarily to major planning applications, some of the guidance may also be relevant to many minor applications (as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework, NPPF). The Active Travel section of the Climate Emergency Checklist provides further information on what is relevant to your application.

The Council is consulting on this document in accordance with regulations and the Council's Statement of Community Involvement. All responses received will be considered in preparing the final adopted version of this SPD. This SPD will form a material consideration in the determination of all planning applications for development including applications for renewal of consents.

Chapter 2 of the SPD sets out the background, a definition of active travel and reasons why an active travel SPD has been drafted. Chapter 3 sets out the national context and provides links to relevant reports. Chapter 4 sets out the Colchester and Essex context. It includes relevant Local Plan policies and relevant local strategies and documents. Chapter 5 provides details of the active travel infrastructure in Colchester. Chapter 6 sets out the elements that should be considered as part of new development proposals to encourage and support journeys by active modes. This chapter includes information on providing good quality infrastructure; improvements to existing infrastructure; provision of sufficient and good quality cycle and wheel parking; and information about other sustainable travel measures, promotion and community projects that will all help to encourage active travel. Chapter 7 sets out planning application expectations in relation to active travel modes.

There is a wealth of information, guidance and best practice available. This SPD does not attempt to distil all this information and guidance into one document. Links are provided throughout the SPD to more detailed guidance for those who want to find out more.

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top