Local Characteristics and Key Issues for Colchester

Showing comments and forms 1 to 8 of 8

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 253

Received: 19/08/2016

Respondent: Mr Simon Hall

Representation:

The lower growth rate in population for Colchester relative to Essex as a whole suggests Colchester has not got its offering right relative to other parts of Essex. Crossrail is likely to have a further differential effect. Transportation links on A12/120 remain problematical and will beyond 2020
3.6 Agreed
3.10/13 This is an ambitious statement of intent which will be a challenge to implement in practice as developers play the viability card
3.15 First bullet - wholly support this objective

Full text:

The lower growth rate in population for Colchester relative to Essex as a whole suggests Colchester has not got its offering right relative to other parts of Essex. Crossrail is likely to have a further differential effect. Transportation links on A12/120 remain problematical and will beyond 2020
3.6 Agreed
3.10/13 This is an ambitious statement of intent which will be a challenge to implement in practice as developers play the viability card
3.15 First bullet - wholly support this objective

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 1911

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Mr Andy Cartmell

Representation:

We note that the local plan aspires to attract more start-ups and small businesses to Colchester. Are there any such aspirations to encourage larger employers to come too? The future for Colchester will depend new employment in various forms being attracted to the district. We would like to see more about how this will be achieved included in the plan. In our meeting with Howard Davies, we were advised that an inward investment plan is being developed and sight of this plan once available would be welcomed by the Society.

Full text:

From Colchester Civic Society:
It is good to see noted that Colchester has maintained good levels of employment (an increase of such higher than the rest of the UK) despite the decline in industrial employment. However, we are disappointed to see that Colchester's recorded employment growth was lower than across the rest of Essex as a whole (8.3% lower). We note that the local plan aspires to attract more start-ups and small businesses to Colchester. Are there any such aspirations to encourage larger employers to come to Colchester too (as these are likely to employ more people over a longer period)? The future for Colchester will depend new employment in various forms being attracted to the district. We would like to see more about how this will be achieved included in the plan. In our meeting with Howard Davies, we were advised that an inward investment plan is being developed and sight of this plan once available would be welcomed by the Society.

Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2051

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Cllr rosalind scott

Representation:

But homes must be built to lifetime living standards

Full text:

But homes must be built to lifetime living standards

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2273

Received: 21/09/2016

Respondent: Essex County Council

Representation:

Reference to ensuring a suitable housing mix to meet changing needs, including older people, could be made. Recommended that reference to non-car based alternatives be expanded to refer to active travel such as walking or cycling. Could add key issue covering health and well-being. Add recognition of need for sustainable options for waste management.

Full text:

APPENDIX 1 TO ECC CABINET MEMBER ACTION DATED 2 SEPTEMBER 2016 (FP/530/06/16)

ECC RESPONSE TO THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION OF THE COLCHESTER BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN - PREFERRED OPTIONS CONSULTATION, JULY 2016



1. INTRODUCTION

Essex County Council (ECC) supports the preparation of a new Local Plan for Colchester Borough Council (Colchester BC) and welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Colchester Borough Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Document (July 2016) (the Draft Plan).

A Local Plan, by setting out a vision and policies for the long-term planning and development of the borough, should provide a platform from which to secure a sustainable economic, social and environmental future to the benefit of its residents, businesses and visitors. A robust long-term strategy will provide a reliable basis on which ECC and its partners may plan future service provision and required infrastructure for which they are responsible. ECC will use its best endeavours to assist Colchester BC on strategic and cross-boundary matters under the duty to cooperate, including engagement and co-operation with other organisations for which those issues may have relevance.

The following is the response from ECC to the Draft Plan covering matters relevant to ECC's statutory service provision and its function as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority. The response does not cover ECC as a landowner and/or prospective developer. A separate response will be made on these matters (if relevant) and that response should be treated in the same way as a response from other developers and/or landholders.'

For ease the ECC response will work through each of the chapters set out in the Draft Plan, and indicate where acknowledgements, recommendations and alterations are sought. This is preceded by commentary on the duty to cooperate.

2. DUTY TO CO-OPERATE

ECC acknowledges the production of the Draft Plan consultation by Colchester BC. ECC supports the key issues that the 'Part 1' strategic plan chapter seeks to address, namely providing for homes and jobs in the area; provision of infrastructure for transport and telecommunications; provision of education, health, community and cultural infrastructure; and the conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment.

The PPG makes it clear that the duty to cooperate requires cooperation in two tier local planning authority areas and states 'Close cooperation between district local planning authorities and county councils in two tier local planning authority areas will be critical to ensure that both tiers are effective when planning for strategic matters such as minerals, waste, transport and education.' (Paragraph: 014, Reference ID: 9-014-20140306)

In preparing its Draft Local Plan ECC has assisted Colchester BC in the following:

* Commissioning joint evidence base documents as required

o Joint evidence base: Colchester Local Plan Traffic Modelling Technical Report (July 2016); Submission of SELEP (Round 1 - 3) Single Local Growth Fund Bids for highway schemes, Integrated Transport Packages, and Route Based Strategies. Joint commissioning of Garden Community evidence base documents.
o Evidence base by ECC: Minerals Safeguarding Assessment (2016).
o Statutory Plans: Essex Minerals Local Plan (July 2014) and Essex and Southend-on-Sea Replacement Waste Local Plan (submitted for examination June 2016).

* Joint meetings with relevant authorities as and when required

Joint meetings have been held with Highways England (HE); the Heart and Haven Transport Board; the ECC Community Infrastructure Group, and as part of the North Essex Garden Communities proposals, in addition to regular Local Plan meetings.

* Memoranda of understanding (MOU)

ECC is a signatory, along with North Essex districts (Colchester, Braintree, Tendring), and Chelmsford City Council, to the 'Memorandum of Co-operation: Collaboration on Strategic Priorities in North and Central Essex' (MOU), regarding the exploration of the potential for new garden communities across the area and other strategic cross boundary matters. ECC is an active member on member and officer working groups regarding the North Essex Garden Communities proposals.

A MOU has also been signed between ECC, Colchester BC, University of Essex, and Tendring DC, which sets a framework for collaboration between parties in order to promote the economic interests and prosperity of North East Essex (April 2014). The MOU was supplemented in March 2015 to clarify joint strategic objectives and justify investing further time and resources into developing proposals for a potential new garden village (i.e. Garden Community). It is recommended that this MOU is also mentioned in the Draft Plan. A copy is included at the end of this response and reference should be made in the Draft Plan.

* Pre-consultation during the production of the new Local Plan and other relevant local plan documents

ECC, as Highway Authority, Education Authority, Lead Local Flood Authority, and Minerals and Waste Planning Authority (MWPA) provides pre-application advice and response to planning applications, and potential Local Plan allocations. Interim advice on the capacity of education facilities, highway impacts and mineral issues is also provided. ECC acting as the MWPA are pleased to note the references to minerals and waste policy throughout the relevant sections of the Draft Plan that have resulted from ongoing engagement under the Duty to Co-operate.

ECC will provide information to inform a Colchester BC Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP). The IDP will need to support the Pre-Submission Plan, and identify infrastructure required arising from growth proposals. ECC will continue to assist the Colchester BC in the preparation of the IDP in our role as a provider of key services and subject to statutory responsibilities, for example minerals and waste; highways, education (primary, secondary, and early years and childcare), flood and water management, and adult social care.

COLCHETER BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN PREFERRED OPTIONS DOCUMENT

3. INTRODUCTION (P1)

The MWPA welcome the description of the wider Development Plan in the introductory section, and particularly the references to mineral and waste safeguarding.

Paragraph 1.10
The reference to the safeguarding policy in the Essex Minerals Local Plan is welcomed, although it should refer to the correct title i.e. Minerals Local Plan Policy S8 - Safeguarding mineral resources and mineral reserves.

The MWPA are satisfied that no such reference to a specific policy can be made with regard to Waste Consultation Zones in the Replacement Waste Local Plan, as this has yet to be adopted. Instead, it is anticipated that would be added once the Waste Plan is adopted; scheduled early 2017.

Paragraph 1.19
ECC as the Lead Local Flood Authority recommends the inclusion of the Colchester Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) as part of the Draft Local Plan's evidence base. The SWMP will also inform the Local Plan's IDP and the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Colchester

Paragraph 1.24
Reference is made to Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) under the fourth bullet point. It is recommended that reference to the Annual Monitoring Report and the Community Infrastructure Levy should be listed as separate points and not part of the SPD bullet point.

PART 1 NORTH ESSEX AUTHORITIES

4. NORTH ESSEX AUTHORITIES: STRATEGIC PART 1 FOR LOCAL PLANS (p9)

The 'Strategic Plan' chapter provides a strategic approach to the requirement for the three North Essex authorities (Colchester, Braintree and Tendring) to meet their objectively assessed need for development land, including the identification of three broad areas of search for new Garden Communities. This strategic planning chapter is common to all three Local Plans and provides a spatial portrait, vision, objectives and policies for key growth topics covering strategic cross boundary issues. ECC supports the 'Strategic Objectives' of the Part 1, which includes providing sufficient new homes; fostering economic development; providing new and improved infrastructure; addressing education and healthcare needs; and ensuring high quality outcomes. A new approach to the delivery of such development is proposed and includes land value capture, long term community stewardship and a new model for funding infrastructure, which is supported.

The new Garden Communities are of interest to ECC in its role as an infrastructure and service provider. ECC, is a signatory to the 'Memorandum of Co-operation: Collaboration on Strategic Priorities in North and Central Essex', and is thereby committed to working closely with the three local planning authorities in identifying the infrastructure that is needed to support the growth set out in Local Plans and beyond. In this work ECC will continue to engage on an on-going basis to assess the infrastructure requirements for these new communities and how this can be delivered in a timely and cost effective way, having regard to the following statutory and non-statutory responsibilities held by ECC:

* Highways and Transportation. ECC is the Highway Authority and is also responsible for long-term strategic transport planning within, to and beyond Essex. ECC will undertake further modelling to inform the three Pre-Submission Local Plans of 'North Essex', along with progressing a number of ongoing strategic studies/projects (with Highways England), and to lobby Government for their inclusion in national strategies and plans.
* Minerals. ECC is the Minerals Planning Authority. ECC has prepared and adopted the Essex Minerals Local Plan (2014), which seeks to ensure a steady and adequate supply of mineral resources to facilitate development. Where known mineral reserves are identified, their extraction and any after use will be considered alongside the preparation of the Masterplan Frameworks (or site specific Local Plans) for the proposed new Garden Communities in order to prevent the sterilisation of known mineral reserves.
* Waste. ECC is the Waste Planning Authority. ECC submitted the Replacement Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan for examination in June 2016. It will cover the period from 2017 to 2032. The submitted Plan supports waste management facilities at specified sites within the District and identifies a number of Areas of Search where the Waste Planning Authority may support development outside of allocated waste sites. The submitted Plan seeks to focus any new proposals for waste management facilities, which support local housing and economic growth, within these Areas of Search before other locations are considered.
* Education (Primary and Secondary). ECC is the Education Authority and will assess the requirements for school place provision for any new housing developments; and be a signatory to any S106 agreement and receive the appropriate financial or land contributions. ECC would wish to see any site for new primary and secondary schools to be identified early and safeguarded. ECC will continue to work with the North Essex local authorities in the preparation of the Masterplan Frameworks to ensure delivery.
* Early Years and Childcare. ECC delivers early years and childcare (EYC) through a commissioning approach, with a responsibility for providing targeted support and Government funded Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) for vulnerable 2-year olds and FEEE for all 3 and 4 year olds, which are commissioned from the private, voluntary and independent sectors. ECC will advise on the requirement for new facilities based on the places generated by the new development.
* Flood and Water Management. ECC is the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and must develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management across the county consistent with national strategies. ECC has and will prepare Surface Water Management Plans (SWMP) in North Essex, which will help inform any necessary mitigation arising from development.
* Broadband. ECC is implementing the 'Superfast Essex Programme'. Phase 1 has been completed, with Phase 2a and 2b commenced and to be complete by 2019. ECC will seek to ensure high quality broadband is connected to all new homes and businesses at the point of construction in Essex.
* Independent Living. ECC seeks to develop a range of supported living options and to commission services to support people to remain living independently for as long as possible. A similar process is being considered to meet the needs of working age adults with disabilities. ECC in partnership with local authorities, developers and providers will seek to deliver a range of supported living options that provide integrated and supportive communities for all the citizens of Essex.
* Specialist Housing. In order for ECC to meet the statutory obligations as the provider of adult social care, control costs, and improve the lives of residents, ECC is committed to influencing the provision of a range of housing options for the older population. Such provision should be considered as part of the overall housing mix in Garden Communities to meet identified need. Suitable locations are those close to neighbourhood/local service centres and served by public transport.
* Community Services. ECC is the provider of a number of community services (eg libraries and youth service). ECC will seek to work with partners to ensure multi-purpose 'community hubs' offering several multi-local council/partner services (such as library and registrar services - births, deaths and marriages, and possibly GP and dental practices) are provided within neighbourhood/town centres within the new Garden Communities.

ECC acknowledge and support the commitment of the three authorities to meet their 'objectively assessed need' for housing (2,315 new homes per annum) up to 2033, as identified in Part 1 Policy SP2. Each authority is proposing a spatial strategy that includes at least one new Garden Community, which will provide new housing in sustainable mixed use communities during the emerging Local Plans, and beyond. For Colchester BC, the Draft Plan identifies 2,500 new homes are to be provided on the 'East of Colchester Garden Community' on the border of Colchester BC and Tendring DC, and 2,500 homes to be provided on the 'West of Colchester Garden Community' on the border of Colchester BC and Braintree DC, during the plan period. Across all three local authorities the Garden Communities may be capable of providing 7,500 new homes in the plan period, and between 32,000 to 42,000 new homes, as identified in Policy SP7 at East of Colchester; West of Colchester, and West of Braintree beyond the plan period. ECC acknowledges these are presently 'Areas of Search' and will be refined following further discussions with landowners, and future masterplanning work.

Given the statutory responsibilities of ECC identified above, the strategic priorities for infrastructure identified in Policy SP4 are supported.

In order to deliver the growth outlined in the Draft Plan, ECC in partnership with Highways England will seek to progress improvements to the strategic transport network common to all three local authorities through progression of specific schemes (particularly improvements to the A120 and A12) and through the lobbying of central Government and the Department of Transport for appropriate funding and inclusion in national programmes. The key strategic projects for North Essex include:
* A120 Braintree to A12 (dualling) - being led by ECC to determine options for a new A120 route between Braintree and the A12. Consultation on options will commence January 2017 and a preferred route submitted to Government in Summer 2017.
* A12 Widening between M25 and A12 J29 - being led by Highways England.
* In addition, ECC has and will continue to undertake highway modelling of the three Local Plans, and has produced a 'Rapid Transit Study' focused on the East Colchester/West Tendring locality.
* Route-based strategies are being prepared for delivery post 2018/19 onwards regarding the A133 - Colchester to Clacton, A131 - Chelmsford to Braintree; and A131 - Braintree to Sudbury. The A12/A120 route based strategy was published separately by Highways Agency (now Highways England) in March 2013.
* Lobbying for implementation of rail network projects identified in the Anglia Route Study.

Part 1 Policy SP6 identifies the proposed 'Spatial Strategy for North Essex', which seeks to focus growth on existing settlements prioritising the re-use of previously developed land, but with extensions to settlements where appropriate. Beyond these settlements rural diversification and the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment is supported. Three new Garden Communities are proposed supplying some 7,500 new homes in the plan period, accompanied by employment land, with significant further growth beyond the plan period. ECC supports the strategy and the ambition of maximising growth in existing urban areas on previously developed land. In addition, strategic growth at the edge of the main settlements is supported, where these provide the most sustainable location for growth. All local authorities are seeking to provide a mix of development sites, which will assist in maintaining a five year housing supply to enable plan led growth. The ambition of the three local authorities to promote a strategy that will extend beyond the proposed plan period is welcomed.

Comments and recommended amendments to Part 1

4.1 Introduction (p9)

Paragraph 2.2
It is recommended that the last sentence include reference to ECC's role as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority (MWPA), and is amended as follows,

...'Essex County Council is a key partner in its strategic role for infrastructure and service provision, and as the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority.'

Paragraph 2.3
The MWPA welcome reference to county planning in this section but would advise that the Minerals Local Plan and Waste Local Plan are two separate documents. The Essex Minerals Local Plan (MLP) was adopted in July 2014 and therefore forms part of the statutory development plan in Colchester Borough. The replacement Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan (WLP) has been submitted to the Secretary of State and is scheduled to be examined in September / October 2016 with a view to adopt in early 2017. The text in paragraph 1.2.3 should be amended as follows;

'The Local Plan together with the Essex Minerals Local Plan and Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan prepared by the County Council ....'.

4.2 Mineral Resource Assessment

ECC has assessed all sites proposed in the Draft Plan, which have not already gained planning permission for their impact on mineral resources. The assessment was carried out to ensure that finite mineral resources are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development, in line with national planning policy requirements.

The sites proposed in the Draft Plan were assessed against whether the whole site or a proportion lies within a mineral safeguarding area; whether that proportion was over the minimum site threshold identified in Policy S8 of the Essex Minerals Local Plan, and what proportion of this potentially workable area was outside of 250 metres of the defined settlement boundary. ECC's assessment concluded that a Minerals Resource Assessment (MRA) would be required in relation to the development proposed at the Garden Communities.

Part 1 Policy SP7 - Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in Essex, refers to a number of principles that each garden community will be required to conform with in regards to design, development and delivery. Principle xi) seeks to ensure that a sustainable approach to mineral management is undertaken, and is supported.

ECC recommends the following additional principle is necessary given the identified need of undertaking a MRA at the Garden Communities:

'Where development is proposed in a Mineral Safeguarding Area, it will be necessary to ensure that finite mineral deposits are not sterilised unnecessarily, which accords with the notion of sustainable development. A minerals resource assessment is required (see Essex Mineral Local Plan, Policy S8) to ascertain the viability of prior extraction of the mineral in advance of the non-mineral development proceeding. The Minerals Resource Assessment can also be used to assist in the phasing of the new communities.'

It is recommended that sites covered by Garden Communities (Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and S10) should contain a specific reference to minerals safeguarding. This will ensure that a MRA is undertaken, where necessary, to support a planning application or masterplanning in order to assess if mineral extraction is viable, and can be programmed with the development of the site. ECC recommend the following principle should be added to Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10:

'In accordance with national mineral policy (NPPF para 143) and the Essex Minerals Local Plan (Policy S8), a Minerals Resource Assessment must be submitted as part of any planning application. The Minerals Resource Assessment must assess the economic viability of prior extraction and be prepared using the latest PERC standard. Should the viability of extraction be proven, the mineral shall be worked in accordance with a scheme / masterplan as part of the phased delivery of the non-mineral development. Consultation with the Minerals Planning Authority and Local Planning Authority will be required to determine whether a separate minerals planning application would be required.'


4.3 Policy SP3: Providing for Employment (p23)

ECC supports Policy SP3 and the associated strategic objective 'Fostering Economic Development'. ECC will use its endeavours to implement the strategic economic vision and objectives contained in Part 1 of the Draft Plan and those outlined in the Economic Plan for Essex (2014) and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan. ECC will seek investment to improve the east-west connectivity along the A120 to support growth opportunities, particularly those focusing on the proposed new Garden Communities. ECC would seek for the 'employment ask' for the new Garden Communities to be explored in further detail through the Masterplan Frameworks and other specific employment related studies.

4.4 Policy SP4: Infrastructure and Connectivity (p29)

Paragraph 2.59
The paragraph should be amended to read as follows:

'Highways England and Essex County Council will work together to study options for dualling the A120 between Braintree and the A12 junction with the County Council taking the lead.'

Paragraph 2.61
The paragraph should be amended to read as follows:

Route based strategies are prepared and delivered by the County Council for strategic road corridors, in consultation with local authorities. The following strategies are currently being prepared for delivery post 2018/19: A130 A131 - Chelmsford to Braintree; A131 Braintree to Sudbury; and A133 - Colchester to Clacton; A131 and A120 Colchester to Harwich.

Policy CP4, fourth bullet point
ECC welcomes reference to a dualled A120 but the fourth bullet needs to be amended to read as follows:

'A dualled A120 between the A12 junction and Braintree'

Policy CP4, eighth bullet point
ECC welcomes reference to superfast broadband within Part 1 Policy CP4. It is recommended that it is made clear this applies to both residential and non-residential development.

Policy CP4, ninth bullet point
ECC welcomes the policy requirement that in terms of the infrastructure necessary to support development there will be a need to 'Provide sufficient school places in the form of expanded or new primary and secondary schools.'

To ensure all statutory responsibilities are covered, the following should be included at the end of the above criterion '...together with early years and childcare places'.

It should also be made clear that ECC will require the proposed new developments to meet the cost of expanding existing and building new schools as a consequence of the new housing growth proposed.

4.5 Policy SP5: Place Shaping Principles (p30)

ECC would recommend the inclusion of an additional principle as follows:

* 'promotes the benefits of multi-functional land use for services such as habitat creation, carbon storage and flood risk mitigation.'

4.6 Policy SP7: Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in Essex (p36)

ECC welcomes the principles outlined for the design, development and delivery of each of the three Garden Communities proposed in north Essex and particularly those which relate to the successful provision of the additional school places (and early years and childcare) that will be required to serve these developments, as contained below.

* ii) ii) ensuring the timely delivery of both on-site and off-site infrastructure required to address the impact of these new communities;
* viii) structure the new communities to create sociable, vibrant and walkable neighbourhood with equality of access to all to arrange of community facilities, including ....education....

ECC recommend an additional principle is added, which seeks the new Garden Communities to implement sustainable drainage measures as part of their development, as below:

* 'Plan and deliver a range of appropriate sustainable drainage measures.'

4.7 Policy SP8: East Colchester/West Tendring New Garden Community (p38)

4.7.1 Surface water management

Parts of the Garden Community 'area of search' are at risk of surface water flooding in both 1 in 30 and 1 in 100 year events. In masterplanning the new community the provision of improved drainage infrastructure to future-proof and accommodate the needs of the new development will need to be considered. In so doing opportunities should be explored to promote and encourage multiple beneficial infrastructures such as the use of green space for wildlife, recreation, carbon storage and flood risk mitigation. ECC supports reference to sustainable surface water drainage under Part F (no. 17).

4.7.2 Primary and Secondary Education

ECC's Schools Service supports this policy since it identifies the need to provide "A secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities.......to serve the new development". It also welcomes the recognition of the need for a "phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of necessary social and physical to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured". Such a strategy should ensure that sufficient school places are made available, at the appropriate time, within reasonable travelling distance for children moving onto this development.

The package of measures envisaged "to encourage smarter transport choices to meet the needs of the new community and maximise the opportunities for sustainable travel including the provision of a network of footpaths, cycle ways and bridleways to enhance permeability within the site" should ensure that all children of school age have the opportunity to walk or cycle to school. This would support the delivery of 'garden city' principles.

Developments totalling 2,500 homes in the East Colchester/ West Tendring new Garden Community during the plan period (1,250 in Colchester BC's administrative area) would generate up to 750 primary and 500 secondary aged pupils.

Primary pupil forecasts indicate that there will be little surplus capacity in primary schools located in east Colchester to accommodate pupils from this new Garden Community. As a consequence a new 2 forms of entry (420 place) primary school would be required in the early phases of the development and a second new 2 forms of entry (420 place) primary school would be required later in the plan period. (This would also provide capacity to accommodate pupils from the later phases of the development which would take place beyond the period covered by the Draft Plan. It should be noted that the allowance of 930 dwellings for sites east of Colchester (as stated on page 65) is likely to require the expansion of an existing primary school in this broad locality which would limit the scope for pupils from the new Garden Community to be accommodated at surrounding schools.

Secondary pupil forecasts indicate that there will be little surplus capacity in secondary schools located in Colchester to accommodate pupils from this new Garden Community. There are also significant barriers to pupils travelling from the new Garden Community to secondary schools in Colchester town: the A133 and the Colchester to Clacton railway line to the south and south-west, and the A137 and the Colchester to Ipswich railway line to the north-west. As a consequence, a new 4 forms of entry (600-place) secondary school is likely to be required in the early phases of the development followed by an expansion to accommodate 9 to 12 forms of entry during the next plan period. The establishment of a new secondary school to serve the new Garden Community would also reduce the need for pupils to travel significant distances between home and school.

There would also be a need to transport secondary aged pupils produced by the early phases of this development to existing school until such time as the development reached sufficient critical mass to support the new secondary school.

School sites for both primary and secondary education should be secured in the early phases of the development to allow appropriately timed provision.


4.7.3 Early Years and Childcare

East Colchester / West Tendring New Garden Community seeks to provide a minimum of 2,500 new homes in the plan period by 2033 (as part of an overall total of between 7,000 - 9,000 homes), which would generate 225 additional early years and childcare places by 2033. As a minimum, two new facilities would be required, each offering between 30 and 56 places, and co-located with new primary school development.

Comments applicable to Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10
Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10 under Section E - Community Infrastructure, point 14, refer to the need to provide 'at least one secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities', and is supported. The number of new facilities will be further evidenced through the masterplanning process.

However, ECC notes there is inconsistent reference to the need to provide new early years and childcare facilities in the new Garden Communities. ECC recommend additional reference is made to early years and childcare in the opening paragraph of Policies SP8 (iv) SP9 (v), SP10 (v), and should be amended to read:

'Primary schools, a secondary school, early years and childcare facilities and other community facilities as appropriate'

As indicated in Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10 these new garden communities will be progressed through the preparation of a Masterplan Framework, which will consider their design, development, and delivery with regards to place-making and design quality, housing, employment, transportation, community infrastructure and other requirements. This process will be required to consider the holistic approach to the provision of early years and childcare, alongside schools, and other social infrastructure (libraries, adult social services and youth services, public health, community and sports facilities, parks and recreation). Consequently, the new facilities requirement should be considered as indicative only, and based on the delivery of new homes in the plan period, as identified in the housing trajectory.

4.7.4 Transportation

ECC provides in-principle support for the transportation initiatives outlined in Part 1 Policy SP8. The full package of requirements will be developed through the Masterplan Framework and ECC as Highway Authority will work collaboratively with the North Essex authorities and Highways England to confirm appropriate Local Plan policy requirements.

Policy SP8 states that 'primary vehicular access to the site will be provided off the A120 and A133'. ECC would seek a strategic link road between the A120 and A133. This option will be modelled as part of the next stage of transport modelling to support the Pre-Submission Local Plan. An amendment to Policy SP8 may be required once modelling has been complete.


4.8 Policy SP9: West of Colchester/East of Braintree New Garden Community (p41)

4.8.1 Surface water management

Parts of the Garden Community 'area of search' are at risk of surface water flooding in both 1 in 30 and 1 in 100 year events. In masterplanning the new community the provision of improved drainage infrastructure to future-proof and accommodate the needs of the new development will need to be considered. In so doing opportunities should be explored to promote and encourage multiple beneficial infrastructures such as the use of green space for wildlife, recreation, carbon storage and flood risk mitigation. ECC supports reference to sustainable surface water drainage under Part F (no. 18).

4.8.2 Primary and Secondary Education

ECC's Schools Service supports this policy since it identifies the need to provide "A secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities.......to serve the new development". It also welcomes the recognition of the need for a "phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of necessary social and physical to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured". Such a strategy should ensure that sufficient school places are made available, at the appropriate time, within reasonable travelling distance for children moving onto this development.

At primary level a development of 2,500 dwellings during the Plan period (1,350 within CDC's administrative area) would generate up to 750 primary aged children. The primary schools located closest to this area: Great Tey Primary, St Andrew's Primary - Marks Tey, Marks Tey Primary and Copford Primary all have limited scope to expand and a new primary school would be required close to the start of this development, together with a requirement for a second new primary school prior to the end of the plan period.

At secondary level a development of 2,500 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 500 secondary aged pupils. Housing developments on other sites located close to Marks Tey within Colchester BC such as 600 new homes at Tiptree and those located within Braintree DC (1,000 new homes proposed on land south of Feering, and 300 new homes at Monks Farm) would fully utilise any surplus capacity available at The Honywood School and Thurstable School and Sixth Form Centre. Some expansion of The Honywood School and Thurstable School might be possible but there is no scope for the further expansion of The Stanway School, Colchester. A new secondary school would be required to serve this new garden community well before the end of the plan period.

School sites for both primary and secondary education should be secured in the early phases of the development to allow appropriately timed provision.

4.8.3 Early Years and Childcare

West of Colchester/East of Braintree New Garden Community seeks to provide a minimum of 2,500 new homes in the plan period by 2033 (as part of an overall total of between 15,000 to 20,000 homes), which would generate 225 additional early years and childcare places by 2033. As a minimum, two new facilities would be required, each offering between 30 and 56 places, and co-located with new primary school development.

4.9 Community Facilities

Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10 regarding the new Garden Communities seeks to provide accessible neighbourhood centres of an appropriate scale, which will provide health facilities and community meeting places. The policies acknowledge the need to deploy new models of delivery in terms of housing and associated infrastructure in these communities. ECC welcomes reference to the need for timely delivery of both on-site and off-site infrastructure required to address the impact of these new communities, and the provision of a mechanism for future stewardship, management, maintenance and renewal of community infrastructure and assets.

PART 2 LOCAL PLAN FOR COLCHESTER

5. VISION AND OBJECTIVES FOR PART 2 (p50)

5.1 Local characteristics and key issues for Colchester (p50)

ECC acknowledges the 'local characteristics and key issues for Colchester' which provides a clear and coherent link to the Draft Plan's vision and objectives.

Paragraph 3.5 - Building houses fit for the 21st Century
As well as 'high quality and sustainable construction,' reference could also be made to ensuring a suitable housing mix to meet the needs of a changing and new population over the plan period, such as older people.

Paragraph 3.6 - Improving accessibility
It is noted that 69% of residents live and work within the Borough. It is recommended that reference to 'non-car based alternatives' is expanded to explicitly refer to 'active travel such as walking or cycling'. A useful reference is provided below.

* Local Government Association (2016) Working Together to Promote Active Travel; A Briefing for Local Government
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/523460/Working_Together_to_Promote_Active_Travel_A_briefing_for_local_authorities.pdf)

Additional key issues
Colchester BC may wish to consider including an additional key issue that covers health and well-being.

ECC is responsible for the health of the public it serves following the shift in responsibility for public health from the NHS to ECC in April 2013. Much of the key responsibilities of ECC impact on public health whether it is a direct use of the public health grant to commission a specific service or the impact of our broader policies around social care, education, transport, the economy and the environment and communities. This role is outlined in the ECC Commissioning Strategy titled 'People in Essex enjoy good health and wellbeing'.

* http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/Strategies-Policies/Documents/Enjoy_good_health_wellbeing.pdf

ECC Public Health would like to highlight that no reference has been made within the Draft Plan to the published health priorities for the residents of Colchester Borough. This includes levels of obesity, levels of residents participating in physical activity or wider health inequalities faced by residents. Your attention is drawn to the PHE APHO Health Profiles of 2015 and the Essex Insights Local Authority Portrait for Colchester 2016. See weblink below.

https://www.essexinsight.org.uk/Resource.aspx?ResourceID=379&cookieCheck=true

The Draft Plan could also benefit from recognition of the need for sustainable options to manage the waste material produced by a growing community. This is currently omitted from the Draft Plan; this would include an increase in household waste created by a growing population, construction waste resulting from built development, and commercial and industrial waste created by a growing economy. It is considered that development cannot be sustainable if appropriate provision is not made for the waste that will be produced.

5.2 Vision: Colchester in 2033 (p51)

The vision would benefit from referring to the health and well-being of residents, which would provide a link with the objective under paragraph 3.13.

5.3 Objectives (p52)

The fifth bullet point mentions accessible walking and cycling but it could mention the need to ensure these are connected across the Borough to already existing developments. ECC strongly supports accessibility through active travel to support healthy lifestyles.

6. SUSTAINABLE GROWTH POLICIES (p54)

6.1 Comments on Strategic Transport Issues arising from the Draft Plan's Spatial Strategy and Sustainable Growth Policies

Colchester is a historic town with a severely constrained highway network. All of the key radial routes accessing the centre of Colchester (A133, A134, A1124, A1232, A137, B1025) currently experience significant congestion in the peak periods.

Colchester is one of the fastest growing towns in the country. Over the period 2001-2023 (as contained in the adopted Core Strategy), Colchester BC has allocated land for 19,000 new houses and is on course to deliver this target. The Draft Plan seeks to deliver at least 14,720 new homes between 2017 and 2033 (Part 2 Policy SG2). This consists of existing commitments (7,481 new homes) and new allocations (7,570). The focus will be on the Colchester Urban Area, Stanway, and the two new proposed Garden Communities to the east and west of Colchester. The larger 'Sustainable Settlements' of Tiptree, West Mersea and Wivenhoe will see smaller housing growth.

Through monitoring of the highway network, data clearly illustrates that the Colchester road network is largely at capacity, particularly at peak periods, on the key radial routes into the town. It has been observed that congestion is occurring for longer time periods, year on year, demonstrating a tendency towards 'peak spreading'.

ECC has recently completed the following transport projects in Colchester to address network issues.
* Construction of a 1,000 space Park and Ride, located off A12 J28.
* Opening Northern Approach Road (NAR3).
* The provision of bus priority measures through the Station area towards the town centre.
* A133 Colne Bank Avenue widening between Colne Bank roundabout and Albert roundabout (construction currently taking place).
* Bus priority measures in the town centre giving priority to public transport including Park and Ride.
* Improved junction layout and capacity at Brook Street/ East Hill.
* The provision of improved cycle facilities on key links to the town centre, Mile End Road, Ipswich Road, Winstree Road.

To inform the Draft Plan and the growth options considered by Colchester BC, traffic modelling was undertaken by Jacobs and results outlined in the 'Colchester Traffic Modelling Technical Report' (July 2016). The model used was based on the existing Colchester Area SATURN (CAS) model, and a variable demand model developed specifically for the task.

The report shows a list of junctions and links for which demand exceeded capacity. In each case, the volume to capacity ratio has been identified, along with the resulting delays which occur. The network wide summary statistic results, show that, following changes to highway trip generation in response to congestion, the Draft Plan development scenarios experience a reduction in average network speed with a corresponding increase in congestion and delay when compared against the 'current Local Plan allocated development' scenario.

Within the 2032 scenarios, the development proposed as part of scenario 2a indicated the greatest reduction in highway trip generation predicted by the variable demand model; however this is in part due to the provision of new highway infrastructure as part of development within scenarios 1a and 3a in the form of the A133/A120 link road (associated with the proposed new Garden Community).

Key localised impacts identified as part of the model runs are as follows:
* Scenarios 1a, 2a, and 3a show additional overcapacity links along the A12 between the A134 and Ipswich Rd in the AM peak compared to the current Local Plan allocated scenario
* Scenarios 1a and 3a, extra overcapacity links are indicated at the A133/B1028 because of traffic associated with development to the East of Colchester and the attractiveness of the new A133/A120 link road in the PM peak for scenarios.
* Scenarios 1a and 3a, the junction analysis shows more delays at the A12 junction 28 in the AM peak but no notable change in PM in scenarios
* Scenario 2a, junction analysis shows Ipswich Rd/St John's Rd is operating at overcapacity in PM

Longer term potential issues
* Both scenarios 1b and 3b have overcapacity links at the two ends of the new A133/A120 link road in the AM peak
* In the PM peak, both scenarios have extra overcapacity links along the A133/A120 link road as well as on the A12 West of Colchester.
* In addition, for scenario 3b, links on the A12 north of Colchester operate in excess of capacity. In the PM peak, scenario 3b also has overcapacity conditions on Dedham Rd connecting to the A12.

Clearly 'doing nothing' would lead to a situation where none of the growth options in the town could be undertaken without additional significant congestion. This is not an option and the new Local Plan will need to be predicated on the introduction of a range of measures to allow growth to take place while facilitating improvements to the road and highway network.

Key pinch points along the A12, A120 and A133 which are key links and already experience congestion will need to be addressed in the Draft Plan. To this end a number of studies are underway to look at the A133 corridor through central Colchester, A12 Junctions 26 and 28 in addition to the A120 Braintree to A12 study being led by ECC in partnership with Highways England. Access from the east and west of Colchester has been highlighted as crucial and ECC will explore opportunities to improve the access to southern Colchester from the A12/ Stanway area. ECC would also seek a strategic link road between the A120 and A133 as part of the proposed new Garden Community. There is also the potential to further investigate Rapid Transit proposals as part of the new Garden Communities, additional Park and Ride, dedicated bus lanes in the town and proposals that further promote walking and cycling. Accordingly, ECC supports initiatives and policy requirements in the Draft Plan that seek to promote sustainable transport and change travel behaviour (Policies DM20 and DM21).

These studies, together with the findings of the traffic modelling from July 2016, will be reviewed and inform the next stage of transport modelling for the Pre-Submission Plan. A focus will be on identifying appropriate and necessary mitigation, costs, sources of funding and phasing to ensure delivery. Links can then be made to local plan policy and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

ECC together with Highways England will ensure regular and on-going meetings take place with Colchester BC as it prepares its Pre-Submission Plan. As noted above ECC through Jacobs will undertake additional transport modelling focusing on mitigation, and ensure Highways England projects are considered (A120, A12).

6.2 Policy SG2: Housing Delivery (p62)

Paragraphs 4.26 to 4.31
ECC is supportive of a strategy and policies that seek to meet the identified objectively assessed need for housing.

Clarity is sought on the relationship between Part 1 Policy SP2 and Part 2 Policy SG2, including Table SG2, where each provides a different housing number and plan period. This may require an appropriate explanation and/or one or both of the policies and the table to be amended in the Pre-Submission Plan.

ECC recommends the Pre-Submission Plan is supported by a housing trajectory clearly setting out the sites contributing to housing supply, site capacity and phasing. The Draft Plan did not include a housing trajectory therefore ECC is only able to provide information on the need for additional services and facilities on the basis of total housing growth and has not considered phasing. The housing trajectory and site specific requirements will also be necessary to inform the IDP, along with informing the assessment of the viability of the Draft Plan.

Minerals and Waste
It is recommended that Policy SG2: Housing Delivery should make reference to the requirements of MLP Policy S8. The policy could conclude with a re-iteration of the thresholds expressed in paragraph 1.10 of the Draft Plan. This ensures a policy link between the emerging Colchester Local Plan and the MLP.

6.3 Economic Delivery Policies (p65)

ECC welcomes Colchester BC's strategic and local economic allocations that support the NPPF and reflect the need for economic growth to be targeted at the most accessible and sustainable locations. The ability to deliver and bring forward employment land is particularly important for the Strategic Economic Areas and Garden Communities. ECC will use its endeavours to implement the strategic economic vision and objectives contained in Part 1 of the Draft Plan and those outlined in the Economic Plan for Essex (2014) and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan. ECC will seek investment to improve the east-west connectivity along the A120 to support growth opportunities, particularly those focusing on the two new Garden Communities. ECC is providing support for the Innovation Centre (part of the Knowledge Gateway) and has contributed to the Creative Business Centre.

ECC has commissioned consultants to undertake a feasibility study to explore the need for employment 'Grow-On Space' within the County. The purpose is to explore, firstly, whether a lack of 'Grow-On Space' is a substantial problem in the county and if so, what are the classes and sizes of commercial property that are lacking. The study will also seek to make recommendations on what can be done to address this issue including public sector interventions. Whilst there is provision of incubation / start-up space in various forms across Essex, there is anecdotal evidence to say that once established businesses have struggled to find suitable properties to move onto from their incubation / enterprise centres / start-up spaces which also prevents businesses from freeing up the units for other potential start-ups. The study and its recommendations are expected to be available late September 2016 and will be shared with Colchester BC to inform whether an appropriate policy response can be included in the Pre-Submission Plan.

The MWPA welcomes the safeguarding of employment land and the flexibility within Policies SG3 and SG4 to permit those sui generis uses that are akin to employment type uses and which accord with the caveats set out in the policies. This is consistent with the Pre-Submission Waste Local Plan and the identification of 'Areas of Search' (Policy 4, Table 4). The 'Areas of Search' seek to meet the need for additional small scale waste management facilities. It identifies the following areas located on existing industrial estates in Colchester Borough at Land off Axial Way, Myland; Severalls Industrial Park; Tollgate, Stanway; and Whitehall Road Industrial Estate. The Replacement Waste Local Plan would seek to focus any new proposals for waste management facilities, which support the local housing and economic growth, within these Areas of Search, before other locations are considered.

6.4 Policy SG6: Strategic Infrastructure (p75) and Part 2 Policy SG8: Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy (p77)

ECC supports the inclusion of policies covering strategic infrastructure, and developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy.

As a provider of key services and subject to statutory responsibilities, for example minerals and waste; highways, education (primary, secondary and EYC), and flood and water management, ECC will assist Colchester BC in the preparation of its IDP. ECC also recommend specific reference is made to ECC's Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions 2016, which sets ECC's standards for the receipt of relevant infrastructure funding.

Paragraph 162 of the NPPF states that LPAs should work with other authorities and providers to assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure for transport, water supply, wastewater and its treatment, energy (including heat), telecommunications, utilities, waste, health, social care, education, flood risk, and its ability to meet forecast demands. An IDP will need to be prepared to support the next iteration of the emerging Colchester Local Plan, and identify infrastructure required. The Local Plan should make clear, for at least the first five years, what infrastructure is required, who is going to fund and provide it, and how it relates to the anticipated rate and phasing of development. For the later stages of the plan period less detail may be provided as the position regarding the provision of infrastructure is likely to be less certain. If it is known that a development is unlikely to come forward until after the plan period due, for example, to uncertainty over deliverability of key infrastructure, then this should be clearly stated in the Local Plan.

ECC supports reference in Policy SG6 to:
* All new developments should be supported by, and have good access to, all necessary infrastructure, and
* development may need to be phased either spatially or in time to ensure the provision of infrastructure in a timely manner.

Any policy should ensure that sufficient school and EYC places are made available, at the appropriate time, within reasonable travelling distance for children moving onto new housing developments.

ECC supports reference in Policy SG8 that housing developers should contribute proportionally to the cost of providing the additional primary and secondary school places that will be required to accommodate the additional pupils moving onto their new housing developments.

It is recommended that Colchester BC consider a combined policy which encapsulates the main elements from Policy SG6 and Policy SG8 so that there is one coherent policy covering strategic infrastructure, and developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy. A new combined policy should consider covering the following:
* Specify when developers are required to either make direct provision or to contribute towards development for the provision of local and strategic infrastructure required by the development (including land for new schools);
* Requirements for all new development to be supported by, and have good access to all necessary infrastructure;
* Requirement to demonstrate that there is or will be sufficient infrastructure capacity to support and meet all the necessary requirements arising from the proposed implications of a scheme (i.e. not just those on the site or its immediate vicinity) and regardless of whether the proposal is a local plan allocation or a windfall site;
* When conditions or planning obligations will be appropriate - as part of a package or combination of infrastructure delivery measures - likely to be required to ensure new developments meets this principle; and
* Consideration of likely timing of infrastructure provision - phased spatially or to ensure provision of infrastructure in a timely manner.

Recommended wording for such an 'Infrastructure delivery and impact mitigation' policy is provided below:

Policy X: Infrastructure delivery and impact mitigation

Permission will only be granted if it can be demonstrated that there is sufficient appropriate infrastructure capacity to support the development or that such capacity will be delivered by the proposal. It must further be demonstrated that such capacity as is required will prove sustainable over time both in physical and financial terms.

Where a development proposal requires additional infrastructure capacity, to be deemed acceptable, mitigation measures must be agreed with the Council and the appropriate infrastructure provider. Such measures may include (not exclusively):
* financial contributions towards new or expanded facilities and the maintenance thereof;
* on-site construction of new provision;
* off-site capacity improvement works; and/or
* the provision of land.

Developers and land owners must work positively with the Council, neighbouring authorities and other infrastructure providers throughout the planning process to ensure that the cumulative impact of development is considered and then mitigated, at the appropriate time, in line with their published policies and guidance.

The Council will consider introducing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and will implement such for areas and/or development types where a viable charging schedule would best mitigate the impacts of growth. Section 106 will remain the appropriate mechanism for securing land and works along with financial contributions where a sum for the necessary infrastructure is not secured via CIL.

For the purposes of this policy the widest reasonable definition of infrastructure and infrastructure providers will be applied. Exemplar types of infrastructure are provided in the glossary appended to this plan.

Exceptions to this policy will only be considered whereby:
* it is proven that the benefit of the development proceeding without full mitigation outweighs the collective harm;
* a fully transparent open book viability assessment has proven that full mitigation cannot be afforded, allowing only for the minimum level of developer profit and land owner receipt necessary for the development to proceed;
* full and thorough investigation has been undertaken to find innovative solutions to issues and all possible steps have been taken to minimise the residual level of unmitigated impacts; and
* obligations are entered into by the developer that provide for appropriate additional mitigation in the event that viability improves prior to completion of the development.

7. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESTS POLICIS (p79)

7.1 National Environment Policy (p79)

The preamble to Policy ENV1: Natural Environment, currently addresses international sites, protected species, species of principal importance and priority habitat, but not the other suite of sites, except in the policy itself. European legislation is mentioned and strong protection given to European sites. However, it is recommended that reference is made to national sites. In addition to the international sites, the text should also explicitly state after paragraph 5.3 that the borough contains a range of other sites designated for wildlife including Sites of Specials Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and Special Roadside Verges and it should set out its proportionate approach for each, depending on their status. It should also highlight that brownfield sites can be important for biodiversity. The PPG provides further information.

* http://planningguidance.communities.gov.uk/blog/guidance/natural-environment/brownfield-land-soils-and-agricultural-land/

Paragraph 5.3
To set out the legal requirements, an additional sentence is required at the end of this paragraph:

"Proposals will only be acceptable if the appropriate assessment can demonstrate that it will not adversely affect the integrity of an international site".

Paragraph 5.7
It should be made clear that the review and amendment to the Coastal Protection Belt only applies to that part of the designation falling within Colchester Borough. Colchester BC is responsible for this designation and how this is progressed in its Local Plan. This is no longer a County Council responsibility.

Paragraph 5.9
The correct title is the 'Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan'.


7.2 Policy ENV1: Natural Environment (p80)

It is recommended that Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are included within the policy as follows:

"In particular, developments that have an adverse effect on Natura 2000 sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest or the Dedham Vale AONB....."

It is also recommended that in order to comply with the terminology within the legislation, the wording should be amended to read as follows:

'Proposals likely to have an adverse a significant effect on Special Protection Areas (SPAs)...'

Constraints maps
It is recommended that the Local Plan evidence base includes a constraints maps. This would ensure the identification of the statutory wildlife sites as well as Local Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and Special Verges.

7.3 Coastal Areas Policy (p81)

Paragraph 5.12
Reference should be made to the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone, which is designated under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. See weblink below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marine-conservation-zone-2013-designation-blackwater-crouch-roach-and-colne-estuaries

ECC draws Colchester BC's attention to proposals to extend the Dedham Vale Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (ANOB). This extension should be considered as part of the Draft Local Plan's evidence base and potential reference made in the Plan itself. Details of the ANOB extension are provided in the weblink below.

http://www.dedhamvalestourvalley.org/assets/2014-2-14-Dedham-Vale-AONB-boundary-extension-press-release.pdf

Paragraph 5.14
It should be made clear that the review and amendment to the Coastal Protection Belt only applies to that part of the designation falling within Colchester Borough. Colchester BC is responsible for this designation and how this is progressed in its Local Plan. This is no longer a County Council responsibility.

Additional issue
It is recommended that reference is made to the new national Coast Path and that Colchester BC work with Natural England, ECC and other partners to improve access to the coast. It is intended that this will be jointly branded as the 'Essex Coast Path' and partners are seeking to secure external funding for its delivery. The provisions outlined in Policy ENV2: Coastal Areas, should ensure the delivery of the path can be facilitated.


7.4 Climate Change Policy (p86)

ECC is supportive of a section dedicated to climate change and that in 2015 Colchester BC published an Environmental Sustainability Strategy which covers the key themes relating to climate change as stated in paragraph 5.46.

Colchester BC should be aware that updated climate change figures were released in February 2016 and should be accounted for in Local Plan preparation and the evidence base.

7.5 Policy CC1: Climate Change (p89)

ECC is supportive of Policy CC1: Climate Change, however the policy omits the need for development proposals to consider water efficiency, and the risks from flooding. It is acknowledged that these matters are covered under Policy DM23: Flood Risk and Water Management, but consideration should be given to Policy CC1 including the following:

* All new developments to consider:
o the impact of and promoting design responses to flood risk for the lifetime of the development, and
o availability of water and water infrastructure for the lifetime of the development and design responses to promote water efficiency and protect water quality.
* Directing development to locations with the least impact on flooding or water resources. Where development is proposed in flood risk areas, mitigation measures must be put in place to reduce the effects of flood water.
* Green infrastructure to be used as a way of adapting and mitigating for climate change through the management and enhancement of existing habitats and the creation of new ones to assist with species migration, to provide shade during higher temperatures and for flood mitigation

The NPPF requires Local Plans to deliver sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the framework and to set out the strategic priorities and polices for their area, this includes strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change in line with the Climate Change Act 2008. This involves taking account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as flood risk, coastal change, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change.

8. PLACES (p92)

Comments are provided for each place specific policy. The following is provided as a context for the assessment of primary and secondary education requirements and EYC.

8.1 Assessment of Primary and Secondary Education Requirements

Comments with regards to primary and secondary education requirements are provided below on the basis of the housing numbers in Part 2 Policies NC3, EC3, WC4, SS1 to SS16 and SS18. ECC will provide more detailed information on school provision once Colchester BC has an agreed housing trajectory. In preparing the ECC response to the Draft Plan the requirements have been formed using the School Commissioning for Places 2015 - 2020. Consideration has been given to existing spare capacity of facilities, their scope to expand, and utilising the ECC 'Developers Guide to Infrastructure Contributions' child yield rates to identify future demand for places. These requirements will need to be reviewed in the light of more detailed information, including a housing trajectory, the proposed housing mix and the capacity of nearby schools. In addition, it may be necessary to seek contributions from other sites where appropriate.

Where growth is to be located it will be essential to ensure the delivery of education facilities is undertaken in a timely and phased manner. Additional school places can be provided either by the expansion of existing schools/ academies or the opening of new "free schools" or academies. Existing schools and academies can only be expanded if they have sufficient site area to do so. In many cases existing school/ academy sites are restricted and cannot, therefore, be expanded easily without the provision of additional land. This is often impracticable in urban areas as schools are located within the existing built up area. In many rural areas schools are on restricted sites but there may be land adjacent to the existing school/ academy site that could be utilised to enable expansion.

Whilst faith schools and academies may have sufficient site area to expand this would need the agreement of the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford/Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood/ the academy trusts responsible for these schools/ academies. This is particularly relevant as a significant proportion of schools/ academies located within the borough are faith schools.

As indicated, ECC can identify those locations, particularly in rural areas, where scope exists to expand existing schools/ academies without the provision of additional land. In those areas where expansion opportunities are limited, sites for new schools should be identified within or close to the proposed developments. If existing schools cannot be expanded or growth is insufficient to provide a new school, it will be necessary for ECC to seek contributions from developers towards meeting the cost of providing transport between homes and schools.

Each year ECC publishes the Commissioning School Places in Essex document, and the current issue covers the period 2015-2020. This document sets out the number of places available at each school and the number of pupils that currently attend each. Using historic births data, current GP registrations, historic admissions patterns and current numbers on roll the demand for places five years hence is forecast. Longer range forecasts are produced but are less reliable as data on future birth rates is projected rather than based on actual births.
It will be important that in considering the housing allocations, and subsequent planning applications, the interests of schools should be taken fully on board. This is likely to involve allocating land for new school sites on new development sites, especially in and around Colchester and the new Garden Community. School site requirements are provided in the ECC Developer's Guide to Infrastructure Contributions 2015. ECC would wish to see any site for a new primary and secondary school identified early, safeguarded, and allocated as a D1 land use. ECC will continue to work with TDC to ensure delivery.

The scale of expansion of existing schools/academies is also important. The majority of primary schools are organised in classes of 30 pupils to comply with infant class size limits. It is easier, more cost effective and better from an organisational perspective to expand primary schools by a full form of entry (30 pupils per year group) or half a form of entry (15 pupils per year group) than it is to accommodate a smaller number of pupils. On this basis it is often easier and more cost effective to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of school places for larger scale housing developments than it is for relatively small scale developments, particularly in rural areas.

8.2 Assessment of Early Years and Childcare Requirements

Comments with regards to early years and childcare requirements are provided on the basis of the housing numbers in Part 2 Policies NC3, EC2, EC3, WC2, WC4, SS1 to SS16, and SS18. ECC will provide more detailed information on EYC provision as part of the Colchester BC's IDP and once there is a final housing trajectory. In preparing the ECC response to the Draft Plan the requirements have been formed using the 'Early Years Sufficiency Report, Spring 2016'. Consideration has been given to existing spare capacity of facilities, their scope to expand, and utilising the ECC 'Developers Guide to Infrastructure Contributions' child yield rates to identify future demand for places. These requirements will need to be reviewed in the light of more detailed information, including a housing trajectory, the proposed housing mix and the capacity of nearby schools. In addition, it may be necessary to seek contributions from other sites where appropriate.

ECC delivers EYC through a commissioning approach, with responsibility for providing certain elements of Early Years, particularly with regard to identifying gaps in childcare provision, targeted support and Government funded Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) for vulnerable 2-year olds and FEEE for all 3 and 4 year olds, which are commissioned from the private, voluntary and independent sectors.

Sufficient EYC provision also needs to be considered alongside other essential services and infrastructure. Exactly what the provision could look like depends on the nature of the development proposed. There is also the possibility that new EYC facilities could be located near employment areas, with adequate provision of land/buildings in employment centres. Consequently, ECC seeks amendment to Part 2 Policies SG3 and SG4 so that reference is made to the provision of EYC facilities.

The 'Early Years Sufficiency Report, Spring 2016' identifies there is presently 271 vacancies in existing facilities within the district. The Draft Plan is expected to generate the need for 682 additional places (calculated using new allocations of 7,579 in Table SG2 multiplied by 0.09 - the child yield). Provision will need to be at new facilities funded by individual developments or the expansion of existing facilities through developer contributions. Current vacancies are split into:
* 15hr vacancies for 2 year olds (80 vacancies); and
* 15hr vacancies for 3-4 year olds (191 vacancies).

Wards under pressure for both 2 year olds, and 3-4 year olds are as follows:
* St Johns
* East Donyland
* Wivenhoe Cross
* Pyefleet

Additional wards under pressure specifically for 2 year old provision are as follows:
* Castle
* Copford and West Stanway
* Great Tey
* Highwoods
* New Town
* Old Heath
* West Mersea

8.3 Policy NC1: North Colchester and Severalls Strategic Economic Area (p97)

Any new development should incorporate SuDS, which should include elements that address water quantity as well as biodiversity and amenity.

8.4 Policy NC2: North Station Special Policy Area (p100)

This area encompasses a Critical Drainage Area (CDA007) identified in the Colchester SWMP. Any development within this area should take a conservative approach to drainage design to ensure that flood risk is not increased and where possible address existing flood risk issues.

8.5 North Colchester (Zone 3 - Northern Gateway area north of the A12) (p98)

Paragraph 6.19
Reference is made to a growing population and the provision of 2,500 new dwellings over the plan period. Clarification is sought on where the 2,500 dwellings will be located within 'North Colchester' and how this figure correlates to Table SG2: Colchester's Housing Provision, on page 64.

8.6 North Colchester - Land at St. Botolph's Farm, Braiswick (p101)

Transport comments
Reference should be made in paragraph 6.34 to 'safe access' to ensure consistency with paragraph 6.36.

Surface water management comments
The area shows significant surface water flood risk to the east of St Botolph's Brook.

8.7 North Colchester - Land north of Achnacone Drive, Braiswick (p102)

Transport comments
Reference should be made in paragraph 6.35 to 'safe access' to ensure consistency with paragraph 6.36.

8.8 Policy NC3: North Colchester (p102)

Transport comments
Land at St Botolph's Farm Braiswick - an additional bullet point needs to be added to ensure consistency with paragraph 6.34 as follows:

* Access to be directly off the B1508


Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 88 dwellings during the plan period would generate up to 26 primary and up to 18 secondary aged pupils. Additional capacity has been provided in the Colchester north and rural north-east primary forecast planning group in the form of two new schools: Braiswick Primary - 2 forms of entry (420-place) primary school, opened in September 2015, and Camulos Academy - 2 forms of entry (420-place) primary school to open in September 2016. It is anticipated that the relatively small number of pupils from these developments could be accommodated at these schools.

At secondary level The Gilberd School has been expanded by one form of entry (150-places) from September 2015. However, this school remains the only secondary school located in the north of Colchester until new provision can be opened on the North Colchester Growth Area Urban Extension (NCGAUE). The Gilberd School will be under increasing pressure as housing is completed in the early part of the plan period. Until capacity is available in the NCGAUE it is possible that students may need to travel large distances to access secondary education.

Early years and childcare comments
New provision on the Braiswick school site and surplus places in surrounding settings will meet additional demand.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.9 East Colchester (Knowledge Gateway and University Strategic Economic Area) (p103)

Paragraphs 6.41 to 6.47
A MOU (April 2014) has also been signed between Colchester BC, University of Essex, ECC, and Tendring DC, which sets a framework for collaboration between parties in order to promote the economic interests and prosperity of North East Essex. The MOU was supplement in March 2015 to clarify joint strategic objectives and justify investing further time and resources into developing proposals for a potential new garden village (i.e. Garden Community). It is recommended that this MOU is mentioned in the Draft Plan.

8.10 Policy EC2: East Colchester - The Hythe Special Policy Area (p108)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 600 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 180 primary and up to 120 secondary aged pupils. (If much of this development took the form of flats/ apartments, then the pupil yield would be reduced.) At primary level this level of planned growth, taken together with other sites already granted planning permission, could not be accommodated without the expansion of one or more of the schools serving this area. (See also comments for Policy EC3.)

Secondary school places are currently under pressure in school's located within Colchester's urban area. Whilst there is currently some surplus capacity this will be fully utilised as higher pupil numbers feed through from primary schools and pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission. The expansion of an existing secondary school is likely to be required to accommodate the growth in pupil numbers from these housing developments.

Early years and childcare comments
The number of new dwellings would generate 54 additional childcare places. The requirement could be met by a new 26-30 place facility as there is some limited availability at existing facilities in the surrounding area.

Surface water management comments
The development area intersects with CDA001 and CDA002 (as identified in the Colchester SWMP) and has significant surface water flow paths passing through it as well as a number of key areas of historic flooding. Great care should be taken to ensure that SuDS are included as part of all developments in the area, this should include restriction of discharge rates into existing sewer networks wherever possible limiting back to the greenfield 1 in 1 year rate. If it is demonstrated that this is not achievable then a minimum of 50% reduction in rates should be applied to all developments

The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.11 Policy EC3: East Colchester (p111)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 430 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 129 primary and up to 86 secondary aged pupils. (If much of this development took the form of flats/ apartments, then the pupil yield would be reduced.) (See also comments for Policy EC2)

Secondary school places are currently under pressure in school's located within Colchester's urban area. Whilst there is currently some surplus capacity this will be fully utilised as higher pupil numbers feed through from primary schools and pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission. The expansion of an existing secondary school is likely to be required to accommodate the growth in pupil numbers from these housing developments.

Early years and childcare comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 37 childcare places and wards within East Colchester are generally pressure points for childcare sufficiency. An additional 26 place facility would be required.

Surface water management comments
Land at Port Lane, Easy Bay Mill, and the Magdalene Street sites are located in a Critical Drainage Area (CDA003) as defined in the Colchester Surface Water Management Plan, with Barrington Road/Bourne Road vacant site located in CDA002. Appropriate measures should be taken to accommodate the drainage needs of the proposed developments and re-developments in order to avoid exacerbating the current surface water flood risk in the catchment area. These measures could include the provision of onsite SuDS in accordance with National Guidance or the provision of flood alleviation measures in line with the Colchester SWMP. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.12 Policy WC1: Stanway Strategic Economic Area (p113)

Surface water management comments
Any new development should incorporate SuDS which should include elements that address water quantity as well as biodiversity and amenity. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.13 Policy WC2: Stanway (p116)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 778 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 233 primary and up to 156 secondary aged pupils. Existing pressure on primary school places in the Stanway area due to significant amounts of new housing has already resulted in the development of plans to expand both Stanway Primary and Stanway Fiveways Primary Schools. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the shortfall of places. A site for a new 1 form of entry primary school on the Lakelands development can be developed, when it becomes available, to ease the pressure on primary school places in the Stanway area.

At secondary level the significant amounts of new housing in the area has already resulted in the development of plans to expand The Stanway School and The Philip Morant School by 2 forms of entry each. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the current shortfall of places. However, the availability of the former Alderman Blaxill School site would allow the provision of additional secondary school places to serve this area.

Early years and childcare comments
Stanway is a pressure point for childcare. The area is currently served primarily by childminders and sessional provision. The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 70 childcare places. A new facility providing a minimum of 56 places, ideally co-located as part of the school project, would be required.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.14 Policy WC3: Colchester Zoo (p118)

The MWPA is pleased to note that the policy refers to the need to submit a MRA.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.15 Land at Gosbecks Phase 2 (p119)

Paragraph 6.86
ECC questions the statement that the site '...is well supported by infrastructure including public transport to the town centre...'. The existing Gosbecks Farm estate is (and any extension would be) poorly served by public transport and so it should be made clear improved public transport services and infrastructure would be required.

8.16 South of Berechurch Hall Road (p120)

Paragraph 6.87
Depending on the location of this site, there are no public transport services along Berechurch Hall Road. This paragraph refers to access onto Berechurch Road. It is suggested that this should be Berechurch Hall Road.

8.17 Land at Itvine Road (p120)

Paragraph 6.88
Reference is made to the site being 'accessed via a private track however there is no public access to this plot of land'. ECC seeks clarification on access arrangements and the how the land can be allocated for development if there is a question mark over whether an access to the required highway design standards can be provided.

8.18 Policy WC4: West Colchester (p121)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 308 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 92 primary and up to 62 secondary aged pupils. Existing pressure on primary school places serving west Colchester has already resulted in the development of plans to expand primary provision in this area. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the shortfall of places. Further expansion of primary provision is likely to be required to accommodate this level of growth.

At secondary level the significant amounts of new housing in the area has already resulted in the development of plans to expand The Stanway School and The Philip Morant School by 2 forms of entry each. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the current shortfall of places. However, the availability of the former Alderman Blaxill School site would allow the provision of additional secondary school places to serve this area.

Early years and childcare comments
West Colchester is reasonably well served and could absorb additional demand for childcare places.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.18 Policy SS1: Abberton and Langhorne (p125)

Transport comments
In paragraph 100 replace the word 'footpaths' with 'footways'.
Housing sites located within Abberton and Langenhoe need to refer to the visibility issue at the Peldon Road/Layer Road junction.

Education comments
Developments totalling 30 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 9 primary aged pupils and up to 6 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Langenhoe Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. An expansion of this school would be required to accommodate the growth from the planned housing. (See also policy SS14 - Rowhedge. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Langenhoe sits within the Pyefleet ward which has a current shortage of childcare places across the age range. Demand could be met by expansion of local settings.

8.19 Policy SS2: Land east of Birch Street (p126)

Education comments
Developments totalling 15 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 5 primary aged pupils and up to 3 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Birch Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.20 Policy SS3: Boxted Housing sites (p128)

Education comments
Developments totalling 36 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 11 primary aged pupils and up to 7 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Boxted VA CE Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.21 Policy SS4: Chappel Housing Sites (p130)

Education comments
Developments totalling 30 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 9 primary aged pupils and up to 6 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Chappel CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.22 Policy SS5: Copford Housing sites (p131)

Education comments
Developments totalling 120 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 36 primary aged pupils and up to 24 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Copford VC CE Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This school also has a significant amount of temporary accommodation that will need to be replaced to meet ongoing demand in this area. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

8.23 Policy SS6: Dedham and Dedham Heath (p134)

Transport comments
In paragraphs 6.139 and 6.140 replace the word 'footpaths' with 'footways'.

Education comments
Developments totalling 17 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 5 primary aged pupils and up to 3 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Dedham CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.24 Policy SS7: Eight Ash Green (p136)

Education comments
Developments totalling 150 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 45 primary aged pupils and up to 30 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Holy Trinity CE VC Primary School is operating at close to capacity but has the site capacity to allow expansion to accommodate the growth from the planned housing. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for this policy to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.25 Policy SS8: Fordham (138)

Transport comments
The third bullet point refers to 'the development incorporating a new footway along the frontage/behind the existing hedgerow to provide safe pedestrian access from the site to existing footways and the rest of the village'. For personal safety (perceived and/or real) ECC would prefer the footway to be immediately adjacent the carriageway.

Education comments
Developments totalling 20 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 6 primary aged pupils and up to 4 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Fordham CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.26 Policy SS9: Great Horkesley (p139)

Education comments
Developments totalling 93 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 28 primary aged pupils and up to 19 secondary aged pupils. At primary level The Bishop William Ward CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at close to capacity. However, forecasts indicate a decline in pupil numbers in future years which would allow the school to accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

8.27 Policy SS10: Brook Road, Great Tey (p141)

Education comments
Developments totalling 17 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 5 primary aged pupils and up to 3 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Gt. Tey CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.


8.28 Policy SS11: Langham (p142)

Transport comments
In paragraphs 6.171 and 6.172 replace the word 'footpaths' with 'footways'.

Education comments
Developments totalling 125 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 38 primary aged pupils and up to 25 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Langham Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. However, as a consequence some pupils from Colchester town who can currently access places at this school would no longer be able to do so. This would put more pressure on primary school places in Colchester town. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

8.29 Policy SS12: Layer de la Haye (p144)

Transport comments
The following amendments need to be made to the second and third bullet points.
* Access shall be via Old Forge Road and/or Great House Farm Road. A single access point via Hawthorn Road/Great House Farm Road. There shall be no vehicular access onto The Folley;
* A safe pedestrian access agreed with the Highway Authority to existing footpaths footways and Layer village to improve connectivity;

Education comments
Developments totalling 50 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 15 primary aged pupils and up to 10 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Layer-De-La Haye CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The school could accommodate this level of growth. However, as a consequence some pupils from Colchester town who can currently access places at this school would no longer be able to do so. This would put more pressure on primary school places in Colchester town. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

Public Health comments
It is noted that the GP surgery is at capacity. Discussions will need to take place with the surgery and NHS to determine if additional capacity is possible or in nearby GP surgeries.

8.30 Policy SS13: Marks Tey (p145)

Education comments
Whilst no specific allocation of housing has been made in respect of Marks Tey it is noted that the proposed new Garden Community in the area (Part 1 Policy SP9) will have a significant impact on schools in the area. Education comments have been provided under 'Part 1' of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.31 Policy SS14: Land to the south of Battleswick Farm, Rowhedge Road (p147)

Transport comments
The following amendment needs to be made to the second bullet points.
* Vehicular and pedestrian access from Rowhedge Road, utilising the existing approach from Battleswick Farm. Additionally the development should improve pedestrian connectivity to the rest of the village by linking the site to Hill View Close;

Education comments
Developments totalling 60 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 18 primary aged pupils and up to 12 secondary aged pupils. The Rowhedge Port development at Rowhedge Wharf, which has recently been granted conditional planning permission, will produce an additional 46 primary aged and 30 secondary aged pupils. At primary level St Lawrence CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at close to capacity and, due to its restricted site area could not be expanded further to accommodate this level of growth. Another primary school in the area, Langenhoe Primary School or Cherry Tree Primary School would need to be expanded to accommodate this level of growth. (See also Policy SS1 - Abberton and Langenhoe.)
For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.32 Policy SS15: Tiptree (p148)

Transport comments
The additional growth of 600 homes (Table SG2) will be considered as part of the transport modelling for the Pre-Submission Plan. There will need to be a link to the Braintree DC modelling as additional housing growth is planned at Feering.

Education comments
Developments totalling 600 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 180 primary aged pupils and up to 120 secondary aged pupils. The three sites in Tiptree granted conditional planning permission will produce an additional 76 primary aged and 51 secondary aged pupils. There is currently a significant number of surplus places in the primary schools serving Tiptree. However, with this level of growth it is likely that there would be a need to expand one of these schools by 1/2 form of entry (105-places).

At secondary level Thurstable School and 6th Form currently has some surplus capacity, however, most of this will be utilised as pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission in the area. It is, therefore, likely that the school will need to be expanded to accommodate the additional pupils that will be produced from the planned housing growth. (See also comments under Part 1 Policy SP9.)

Early Years and Childcare Comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 54 childcare places. As a minimum a new facility offering 26 places would be required. It would make sense if this was developed as part of any primary school expansion. Additional capacity could be provided by existing providers.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for any potential Neighbourhood plan to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual development areas as well as the provision of improved surface water alleviation scheme where appropriate.

8.33 Policy SS16: West Bergholt (p150)

Education comments
Developments totalling 120 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 36 primary aged pupils and up to 24 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Heathlands CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at close to capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The school could accommodate this level of growth. However, as a consequence some pupils from the surrounding area who can currently access places at this school would no longer be able to do so. This would put more pressure on school places in neighbouring schools. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for any potential Neighbourhood plan to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual development areas.

8.34 Policy SS17a: Mersea Housing and Employment

Transport comments
In connection with 'Development of land at Dawes Lane, West Mersea', the third bullet point refers to 'A single site access off East Road.' The site does not appear to have any frontage onto East Road and it is suggested this should instead read 'Dawes Lane'.

Education comments
Developments totalling 350 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 105 primary aged pupils and up to 70 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Mersea Island School, which serves this area, is unusual insofar as almost all of the primary aged children on the island attend the school. The school would require further expansion to enable it to accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Whilst primary aged pupils attend the primary school serving the island all of the secondary school pupils living on the island require transport to reach the nearest secondary school in Colchester town. The provision of home to school transport falls to ECC and the scale of development proposed will influence the on-going transport costs.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 31 childcare places. As a minimum, a new facility offering 26 places would be required. It would make sense if this was developed as part of any primary school expansion. Additional capacity could be provided by existing providers.

8.36 Policy SS18: Wivenhoe

Education comments
Developments totalling 250 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 75 primary aged pupils and up to 50 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Broomgrove Infant and Junior Schools and Millfields Primary School, which serve this area, are all operating at, or close to, capacity and are forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. With this level of housing growth, coupled with natural growth in the area, it is likely that there would be a need to expand either Broomgrove Infant and Junior Schools or Millfields Primary School by 1/2 form of entry (105-places).

Early Years and Childcare Comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 22 childcare places. These places could be created by either extending existing local provision or by building a new facility. It would make sense if this was incorporated into any primary school expansion.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for any potential Neighbourhood plan to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual development areas.

8.37 Education comments: secondary school provision Policies SS1 to SS16, SS18

The vast majority of secondary aged pupils can be expected to attend one of the nine secondary schools located within Colchester's urban area. The cumulative impact of the new housing proposed for these villages would be the production of up to an additional 2 forms of entry (300 pupils).

Secondary school places are currently under pressure in school's located within Colchester's urban area. Whilst there is currently some surplus capacity this will be fully utilised as higher pupil numbers feed through from primary schools and pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission. Future school place planning will need to take into account the increased student quantum as a result of additional housing and depending on the location of the housing expansion of existing schools may need to be considered.

8.38 OV1: Development in Other Villages and Countryside (p158)

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in areas such as Aldham, Messing, Salcott-cum-Virley and Great Wigborough and it would be appropriate for this policy to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of any proposed developments in these areas. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

9. DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES (p160)

9.1 Health and Wellbeing (p160)

Public Health comments
ECC supports the inclusion of a specific policy within the Local Plan covering health and wellbeing. ECC's responsibilities for public health were outlined in paragraph 5.1 of this response.

It is suggested that paragraph 7.2 is reworded as follows:
'There is a strong evidence base that shows the impact that the built environment has on the health and wellbeing of residents. This evidence base is growing and consideration must be given to how new developments will support and integrate health, wellbeing and lifestyle choices throughout the lifecourse of residents, workers and visitors to these new developments.'

Paragraph 7.3 refers to health impact assessments (HIA). It should be noted that the scope of a HIA is wider than assessing the impact on health services and facilities. ECC in its Public Health role support liaison with NHS England and the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group when looking at developments but would strongly encourage interaction with ECC Public Health colleagues for more specific advice on health improvement and ill-health prevention that impacts on a population level. In addition, the policies, guidance and information listed at the end of this response can further inform the preparation of the next version of the Draft Plan.

ECC seeks clarification as to who will advise and review the Health Impact Assessment once submitted. The need to assess the impact of development on people's health and wellbeing is supported. ECC considers such assessments are a good evaluation to access the impact of a development on the health of a community, to help develop potential ways to improve the quality of air and environment (including building resilience to climate change) and to make the local greenspace, and leisure facilities more accessible.

ECC Public Health would like to draw to the attention of Colchester BC that 'Green Space HIA' exist and provides the following link for information purposes.

* http://greenspacescotland.org.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=133&mid=129&fileid=41

Given ECC's role in public health (outlined earlier in this response) ECC would seek clarification regarding the process being considered to determine the health impact of new development proposals, and in particular:
* How is the impact of health by new development to be undertaken?
* Who is to be consulted on the health impact assessments provided by developers?
* Is the impact of individual and/or cumulative impacts of development to be monitored?

Further clarification on this issue is sought following consultation of the Draft Plan, to ensure ECC works with the local authority and developers to deliver high quality healthy places in which people can live and work.

ECC does not support the alternative options to Policy DM1 where the requirement for HIA is related to EIA development, or there is no requirement for a HIA.

9.2 Policy DM2: Community Facilities (p163)

ECC supports the statement in paragraph 7.6 that community facilities are an essential element of sustainable communities. ECC would recommend there is a need to ensure local such facilities are in place to coincide with the completion of different phases of development. This will need to be progressed through the IDP to support the Pre-Submission Plan.

There are presently seven libraries operating in Colchester Borough providing some 4,123 sq.m of library space. The ECC Library Service consistently seeks opportunities to work with partners and local people to shape its service. Moving forward the preferred approach is to provide multi-purpose 'community hubs' offering several multi-local council/partner services, with library and registrar services (births, deaths and marriages) and provide space for communities to gather and share skills and experiences. ECC would welcome discussions on a site by site basis to gather information and possibilities around a multitude of deliverable spaces. This relates to the proposed new Garden Communities, Stanway Community Hub, Greenstead and any other community centres or new builds across Colchester.

The Essex Youth Service operates a light-touch community model with youth workers becoming 'community commissioners' supporting the community to deliver services themselves. ECC retains ownership of a number of physical Youth Centres (three in Tendring District), where utilisation is maximised, especially for those youth functions that aren't compatible with other community uses. Whilst no new facilities are planned to be built, it will be necessary to provide multi-purpose community spaces in the proposed Garden Communities and perhaps at larger development, which also take account of specialised requirements of youth provision.

These requirements will need to be considered during relevant pre-application discussions, and whether multi-functional space is required or alternatively, a developer contribution.

9.3 Policy DM3: New Education Provision (p164)

ECC Schools Service supports this policy which states that "the council will respond positively to and support appropriate and well-designed applications regarding the creation of new schools and education facilities.........Where necessary the, the Council will utilise planning obligations to help mitigate any adverse impact of an educational development and assist in delivering development that has a positive impact on the community". This approach will be important as current government policy requires that any new schools will be "free schools"/ academies.

Where housing growth takes place it will be essential to ensure the delivery of education facilities is undertaken in a timely and phased manner. Additional school places can be provided either by the expansion of existing schools/academies or the opening of new "free schools" or academies. Existing schools and academies can only be expanded if they have sufficient site area to do so. In many cases existing school/academy sites are restricted and cannot, therefore, be expanded easily without the provision of additional land. This is often impracticable in urban areas as schools are located within the existing built up area. In many rural areas schools are on restricted sites but there may be land adjacent to the existing school/academy site that could be utilised to enable expansion. Whilst faith schools and academies may have sufficient site area to expand this would need the agreement of the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford/Roman Catholic Diocese of Braintree/ the academy trusts responsible for these schools/ academies.

ECC recommends Policy DM3 seeks the protection of proposed sites and those in current educational use on the Proposals Map for that use (Class D1).

As noted, the NPPF (paragraph 72) stresses the importance to ensuring that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities. Local planning authorities (LPA's) are encouraged to take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, and to development that will widen choice in education. LPA's are advised that they should give great weight to the need to create, expand or alter schools; and work with schools promoters to identify and resolve key planning issues before applications are submitted.

It should be noted that ECC's home to School Transport policy changed for children joining primary and secondary schools from September 2015. The new policy provides for free home to school transport to the nearest available school to a child's home address. The previous policy provided free home to school transport to a child's designated local school. This change in policy may, over time lead to a change in the pattern of attendance at schools in the district and will need to be monitored carefully to ensure that new school places are provided in those areas of greatest demand.

9.4 Policy DM6: Economic Development in Rural Areas and the Countryside (p170)

Colchester BC may wish to mention the LEADER EU funding (managed by Defra) which is promoting diversification for rural businesses. Representatives from Essex local authorities and ECC oversee the assessment of project bids.

9.5 Policy DM8: Affordable Housing (p173)

ECC recommends that housing classified as 'independent living' is included within the definition of affordable housing. This would support the delivery of ECC's Independent Living programme, which seeks to provide market and social housing for those within this specialist housing category.

9.6 Policy DM9: Housing Density (p175)

In considering the density of new development consideration should also be given to the need to provide high quality open space, including the provision of appropriate above ground SuDS features where necessary. Development in areas at risk of surface water flooding will need to consider whether the development could provide alleviation for the existing and proposed developments.

9.7 Policy DM10: Housing Diversity (p177)

ECC welcomes reference to Independent Living in paragraph 7.53. The following additions should be made as follows:

After '297 additional units' include (124 rental: 173 ownership)
The date of the position statement is now 2016

ECC further recommends specific reference to Independent Living within Policy DM10. In order for ECC to meet the statutory obligations as the provider of adult social care, control the costs of adult social care and improve the lives of residents, ECC is committed to influencing the provision of a range of housing options for the older population. Consequently, ECC is keen to support and enable older people to live independently.

ECC has reviewed its provision and delivery of Extra Care and is now promoting the Independent Living Programme throughout the county in liaison with Essex district authorities, which commenced in 2015. ECC's long term objective is to move from a model of approximately 60% residential care and 40% domiciliary care, to 45% domiciliary care, 50% independent living and 5% residential care. In 2015 ECC endorsed capital investment of around £27m to facilitate the delivery of around 2,730 units over a 5 - 7 year period.

The ECC Housing Board identified that greater awareness and consistent information and intelligence regarding Independent Living units should be provided to Local Planning Authorities, to enable them to produce planning policy frameworks and to make development management decisions that enable the increased supply of Independent Living units. An Independent Living Working Group, made up of ECC officers, Registered Providers, and officers from a number of local authorities has been established to move this forward. An Independent Living Planning Briefing Note is being prepared by ECC to identify how the Independent Living programme is to be delivered, and to identify the land use and planning aspects that need to be considered (i.e. design, layout, locations etc.). A copy will be circulated to Colchester BC when finalised.

9.8 Policy DM11: Gypsies, Travellers, and Travelling Showpeople (p178)

ECC recommends inclusion of specific reference to 'walking/cycling distance via a safe route' to the named services and facilities. ECC is liable for long term school transportation costs where a school is not within safe walking distance of home. Further, the safely accessible schools should be capable of accommodating pupils from the travelling community within existing spare capacity, given the unlikelihood of developer contributions being secured from traveller site proposals.

9.9 Policy DM12: Housing Standards (p180)

ECC welcomes inclusion of Lifetime Homes but would seek their mandatory application for older people and specialist housing.

ECC Public Health reference dementia friendly communities as national guidance, HAPPI design principles and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea older people planning guidance as below.

* RBKC (2015) Older People's Housing Design Guidance
https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/sites/default/files/atoms/files/Older%20People's%20Housing%20Design%20Guidance%20(low%20res).pdf

* LGA and Innovations in Dementia (2015) Dementia Friendly Communities Guidance for Councils
http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7058797/L15-238+Dementia+friendly+communities+guidance+for+councils/7acaa658-329e-4aa1-bdff-ef6a286dd373

Colchester BC may wish to consider strengthening the policy to meet the NPPF requirements regarding climate change by adding:

'Development will be planned to minimise the vulnerability to climate change impacts and that such development will not exacerbate vulnerability in other areas.'

The policy also should ensure that 'development layout allows for the inclusion of above ground SuDS features wherever possible'.

9.10 Policy DM18: Provision for Public Open Space (p192)

ECC Public Health supports access to green space for the multitude of health benefits that this provides.

It is also crucial to take into consideration that open spaces can also perform other functions such as for wildlife, recreation, flood risk mitigation, carbon storage, or food production (as outlined in the NPPF). Prioritising green infrastructure that has multiple benefits, specifically green space, can also reduce flood risk from a development.

There is the potential to add to Policy DM18 to cover mitigation and adaption to climate change in line with the Climate Change Act 2008. This includes taking into account climate change over the longer term, including factors such as flood risk, coastal change, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change.

The following additional point for inclusion in Policy DM18 is provided for consideration.

'Provision of public open space will be used as a way of adapting and mitigating for climate change through the management and enhancement of existing habitats and the creation of new ones to assist with species migration, to provide shade during higher temperatures, and for flood mitigation.'

9.11 Policy DM20: Promoting Sustainable Transport and Changing Travel Behaviours (p195)

ECC welcomes Policy DM20, which seeks to increase modal shift towards sustainable modes; and improve the strategic road, rail and cycle network.

The growth identified in the Draft Plan, and in neighbouring Local Plans, will need to be supported by appropriate transport infrastructure. ECC has been working with Colchester BC and Highways England (HE) to consider the impacts of this growth, and as plan preparation progresses will, where possible, identify appropriate means to mitigate its impact.

ECC/Ringway Jacobs were commissioned by Colchester BC to undertake highway modelling to inform the emerging Draft Plan, and identify the likely impact on key junctions. Mitigation may not be feasible at all key junctions to enable them to operate 'within capacity' at 2033. Increased focus will need to be placed on encouraging modal shift as most journey to work trips are by car. Increased emphasis will need to be placed on increasing levels of public transport provision to reduce car trips. Additional modelling will be undertaken by ECC to support the Pre-Submission Local Plan.

ECC Public Health support linking existing cycling and walking routes, and provision of cycle storage. Reference can also be made to the Essex Countywide Cycling Strategy (2016).

ECC welcomes the safeguarding of existing and proposed routes for walking from developments. The England/Essex Coast Path should be noted as a proposed walking route of significance to both health and the local economy. The path has the potential to draw in significant numbers of visitors. Access to the path and the provision of appropriate parking at strategic locations within close proximity to this new and emerging national trail should be considered.

Additional requirement
Policy DM20 should make specific reference to the need for development to adhere to the content of ECC's Highway Authority Development Management Policies.

Highway Projects
It is clear that additional growth will impact upon the highway network, which is currently subject to a number of ongoing studies/projects aimed at improving the existing transport network and alleviating congestion issues in Colchester Borough. These projects are likely to have a significant positive effect on trip distribution within the Borough in the plan period.

ECC is preparing route based strategies for delivery post 2018/19, A133 - Colchester to Clacton, and Highways England for the A120 Colchester to Harwich. As outlined in Part 1 of the Draft Plan, route based strategies are prepared and delivered by ECC for strategic road corridors, in consultation with local authorities. The strategies will aim to provide:
* improved journey times and reliability for all users with traffic management;
* capacity enhancements and congestion relief measures;
* passenger transport improvements along the routes;
* walking and cycling improvements along the routes where appropriate;
* targeted safety improvements; and
* highway asset renewal.

ECC and Colchester BC will work closely with developers to put in place schemes that can both mitigate impact and contribute to improving the overall road network. These are likely not only to mitigate against the impacts of the development but will also provide relief to the existing road network through use as an alternative route by existing trips in the immediate vicinity. Further consideration will be given to appropriate access and safety matters through the consideration of Transport Assessments supporting the major development proposals.

Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 018 Reference ID: 12-018-20140306) states that the Local Plan should make clear, for at least the first five years, what infrastructure is required, who is going to fund and provide it, and how it relates to the anticipated rate and phasing of development. However, less detail may be provided at the later stages of the plan period as the position regarding the provision of infrastructure is likely to be less certain. ECC and Highways England will continue to progress these studies, and lobby Government, for their inclusion in national strategies and plans, to provide the Local Plan with the necessary degree of certainty for their future implementation and funding.

Moving forward close partnership working will be undertaken with Colchester BC, Highway England, ECC and other local authorities to progress the above projects to improve roads, public transport, and promote walking and cycling. All parties will continue to lobby Government, including DfT, to include these schemes in future programmes to secure necessary funding where possible.

9.12 Policy DM21: Sustainable Access to Development (p197)

Paragraph 7.119
The word 'Guidance' should be deleted.

Paragraph 7.120
Reference should be made to 'residential travel plans, school travel plans and residential travel information packs'. This should also be made to the last paragraph of Policy DM21 itself.

Additional requirement
Policy DM21 should make specific reference to the need for development to adhere to the content of ECC's Highway Authority Development Management Policies.

Contextual information to support Policy DM21
ECC has a statutory duty to publish a 'Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy' (SMoTS), and recently completed consultation regarding a draft Strategy. The SMoTS sets out how ECC aims to effectively target and adopt different methods of encouraging modal shift, by giving existing and future residents of Essex a better choice to travelling in and around the county. It outlines the steps ECC are taking to enable accessibility to places of employment and education for all, including other neighbourhood services such as retail and leisure; with the associated health, social and economic benefits to them and their associated communities.

The SMoTS covers a wide range of activities, with the following key objectives:
* To consolidate and build on the existing Travel Plans developed within the County
* Promoting and supporting the development and enablement of a range of travel alternatives being used to access employment, health and education
* Contribute to meeting the County Council's performance indicator targets for the Local Transport Plan (LTP)
* Better management of congestion during peak travel times
* Improving the environment by introducing high quality choices thereby reducing the need to travel by car and potentially reducing CO2 and other emissions
* Help to improve the health, welfare and safety of all Essex residents by encouraging an active lifestyle through increased walking and cycling
* Allow and enable residents to make an informed choice about how they travel for work, school and leisure

A key strategy element for the successful delivery of the objectives is the preparation and implementation of Travel Plans. These are long term management strategies providing a framework for managing transport issues and promoting travel choice. Developing and implementing a Travel Plan can help to reduce the use of the private car, which in turn helps to tackle localised congestion.

The SMoTS promotes the implementation of a number of travel plans, including:

* Workplace Travel Planning Initiatives - including ECC Travel Plan Accreditation Scheme (working alongside local businesses and employers with 50 or more staff members); ECC Employee Travel Plan (Cycle to Work Scheme, Interest Free Bike Loan Scheme, Rail Discount Scheme, Bus Discounts, Car Share Scheme(s) across hub offices and a Pool Bike Scheme); and Recommendations for Planning Applications (advice, support and guidance to developers and/or local employers on sustainable travel related matters).
* Residential Travel Planning - a Travel Plan is required on all developments of 250 dwellings or more and are requested through responses to individual planning applications; Residential Travel Information Pack (prepared by ECC) - sustainable travel booklet to all dwellings on new residential developments, including the provision of bus/rail tickets for free travel (if required), a Travel Plan may still be required for smaller developments if there are existing concerns relating to congestion, pollution, air quality and strain on the public transport network; ECC Residential Travel Plan Co-ordinator - promoting and monitoring alternatives to the private car through a menu of Travel Plan measures to housing developers and residents
* School Travel Planning - Recommendations for Planning Applications (as above); Assessment of the travel and transport requirements of young people; Audit of Sustainable Travel Infrastructure and Accessibility - to enable schools to assess how accessible their site is for pupils from their home locations; ECC Travel Training Team
* Hospital and Airport Travel Planning - Bus Travel discounts to staff; Car Share
* Marketing and Promotion - Support with promoting national campaigns such as Walking Month (May), Bike Week (June), Catch the Bus Week (July), and Car Free Day (September)

Other Travel Planning initiatives include:

* Neighbourhood/Community Travel Plans - if an area has been earmarked for multiple developments, either full residential or as mixed use, it is possible to implement a neighbourhood or community wide Travel Plan to mitigate against the cumulative impact of development. This may be particularly beneficial if there are a number of smaller applications over a period of time which would not ordinarily require a Travel Plan by themselves, but once complete will form a much larger community. This approach will also enable developments to share knowledge, resources, a Travel Plan Co-ordinator, as well as forming a joined up approach.
* Personalised Travel Planning (PTP) - as part of the Residential Travel Plan new residents can be provided with Personalised Travel Planning. This will be advertised within bespoke Residential Travel Information Packs, and will be exclusive to new residential developments built within Colchester Borough.

ECC strongly supports specific reference in Policy DM21 to Travel Plans especially given the need to encourage modal shift to accommodate the planned growth.

The ECC Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions (paragraph 5.72 - 5.74) further requires development to provide workplace, residential and school travel plans to encourage modal choice and reduce movements by car, and will be secured through s106 agreements. This will be supported by the SMoTS once adopted.
The ECC Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions (paragraph 5.3.2) seeks to promote sustainable modes of travel. ECC has a statutory duty to promote the use of sustainable methods of transport for all education and training related journeys, from pre-school age to post 16 students. Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 authorities are encouraged to develop Travel Plans with schools.

ECC will use its highways, transport and schools expertise to examine the provision of safe walking and cycling routes from new housing to education and other community facilities. Safe direct routes that encourage parents to leave the car at home will be required on all new developments. Financial contributions may also be required for off-site works. Such contributions may also be appropriate from smaller developments.

Walking and cycling are good for physical and mental health. Switching more journeys to active travel will improve health, quality of life and the environment, while at the same time reducing costs to the public purse. The following key tasks are recommended to encourage active travel; namely
* active travel should be enshrined in transport policies,
* ensure that safe, convenient, inclusive access for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users is maximised and is prioritised over private car use in the movement hierarchy,
* focus on converting short car trips to active travel and public transport,
* ensure that policies and budgets demonstrate how maximising active travel can benefit health, the economy and the environment,
* encourage new developments (and retrofits) to maximise opportunities for active travel with appropriate infrastructure (eg cycle lanes, cycle parking), and
* ensure that travel plans for new developments (including schools) prioritise and support active travel over car transport as part of designing safe and attractive neighbourhoods.

Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 010 Reference ID: 12-010-20140306) highlights that Local Plans should plan for the development needs of the plan area, and include a 'strategy and opportunities for addressing them, paying careful attention to both deliverability and viability'.

Education
Section 508A of the Education Act 1996 places a general duty on ECC to promote the use of sustainable travel and transport to and from schools and academies. The duty applies to children and young people of compulsory school age who travel to receive education or training in the County Council's area.

The Act defines sustainable modes of travel as those that ECC considers may improve the physical well-being of those who use them, the environmental well-being of all or part of the ECC's area, or a combination of the two.

ECC would wish to promote the principle of sustainable travel and transport to and from schools/ academies from new housing developments. This is because the sustainable school travel duty should have a broad impact, including providing health benefits for children, and their families, through active journeys, such as walking and cycling. It can also bring significant environmental improvements, through reduced levels of congestion and improvements in air quality to which children are particularly vulnerable. Creating safe walking, cycling and travel routes and encouraging more pupils to walk and cycle to school are also some of the best ways to reduce the need for transport and associated costs.

9.13 Policy DM23: Flood Risk and Water Management (p203)

Paragraph 7.133
The Updated Flood Map for Surface Water Flooding is not generally considered when reference is made to flood zones, however, ECC would like areas of flood risk highlighted within this data to be given similar treatment to the differing flood zones.

Paragraph 7.135
In addition to the requirement for a site specific flood risk assessment to be submitted for all developments over 1ha or within flood zones 2 and 3, a surface water drainage strategy should be submitted with any Major application in order to assess whether proper consideration has been given to SuDS.

Paragraph 7.139
The use of SuDS is an important tool regardless of whether infiltration is possible on a site. The current policy suggests that SuDS should only be used in these situations which is not in line with ECC policy or national guidance and best practice.

Policy DM23, second paragraph
It is essential that development includes flood defence/resilience measure AND SuDS. While both have different goals Policy DM23 should not consider it as an either or option. The policy should be amended accordingly.

Policy DM23, third paragraph
The following sentence needs to be deleted, "The use of SuDS will be particularly important as part of green field developments (but not exclusively)."

The use of SuDS is equally important on both greenfield and brownfield developments. Where possible both should have rates restricted back to the greenfield 1 in 1 year rate, however, should it be demonstrated that this is not possible on brownfield sites then a minimum of 50% betterment should be demonstrated for all storm events.

Policy DM23, first bullet point
ECC seeks removal of the example of 'water butt' from the acceptable source control measures. While their use is supported they are an unreliable way to manage surface water as the storage provided is often not available at times when the capacity is actually needed.

Policy DM23, second bullet point
All development should have rates restricted back to the greenfield 1 in 1 year rate, however, should it be demonstrated that this is not possible on brownfield sites then a minimum of 50% betterment should be demonstrated for all storm events.

9.14 Policy DM24: Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (p204)

All development should give priority to SuDS, however, it is only all major development that is subject to consultation with ECC as the Lead Local Flood Authority.

Only where there is a significant risk of pollution to the water environment, inappropriate soil conditions and/or engineering difficulties, should alternative methods of drainage discharge of water from the site be considered. It is important to note that SuDS is not restricted to ground that can infiltrate; SuDS covers a wide range of drainage options including attenuation when infiltration is not possible.

Role of Essex County Council - Lead Local Flood Authority
Under The Flood Risk Regulations (2009) and the Flood and Water Management Act (2011), ECC as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is responsible for developing, maintaining, applying and monitoring a strategy for flood risk management, including flood risk from surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.

In addition, ECC is responsible for preparing and implementing planning strategies that help deliver sustainable drainage by encouraging developers to incorporate SuDS for proposed developments wherever possible. ECC also has responsibility in approving SuDS proposals for new development as part of the wider planning application approval process. Under this arrangement, LLFAs act as a statutory consultee for major planning applications (sites for 10 or more houses or 1 ha in area) which have surface water drainage implications.

Geological constraints across Essex limit the use of infiltration features. Open water features can be used in open floodplain areas to provide attenuation upstream of large urban areas. Existing sustainable drainage features are predominantly attenuation / detention basins located in open floodplain. ECC, in coordination with water companies and Local Planning Authorities seeks to deliver SuDS on a strategic basis taking into account areas identified for growth, surface water drainage limitations and catchment characteristics.

On a local scale, site specific assessments are carried out to determine the most feasible SuDS mechanisms to use, as well as appropriate site tests to determine the suitability of SuDS options, as recommended by the CIRIA SuDS hierarchy, as included in the SuDS Manual (C753).

ECC considers that all development should incorporate SuDS measures, where possible. However, only major developments are the subject of a statutory consultation with the LLFA, which is defined as follows:

(a) the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;
(b) waste development;
(c) the provision of dwelling houses where -
(i) the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more; or
(ii) the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development falls within sub-paragraph (c) (i);
(d) the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more; or
(e) development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

ECC requires new development in Critical Drainage Areas (CDAs), which are located along surface water flow paths, to address the drainage infrastructure gap through the implementation of SuDS techniques.

In 2016 the EA published the 'Flood Risk Assessments: Climate Change Allowances', which identified amendments to allowances that should be made to flood risk assessments and strategic flood risk assessments arising from the effect of climate change on rainfall. These allowances are based on climate change projections and different scenarios of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. ECC's interpretation of this guidance requires all new development to allow for the upper end allowance of a 40% increase in rainfall events for most developments.

ECC notes that an update to the District Council's Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2009) (SFRA) is taking place. This will address the 2010 Flood and Water Act requirements in relation to the surface water implications.

9.15 Policy DM25: Renewable Energy, Water and Recycling (p206)

It is encouraging that the Draft Plan includes a section and policy covering renewable energy, water and recycling and is supportive of the approach outlined in Policy DM24.

9.16 Additional Policy: Improving the Telecommunications Network)

ECC recommends that the Draft Plan include a specific policy which requires all new dwellings and non-residential buildings to be served by at least a 'superfast' broadband (fibre optic) connection. It is noted this is included in Part 1, but a more detailed policy should be included in Part 2 of the Drat Plan. Colchester BC is referred to Policy CP3 from the Tendring Draft Local Plan, which recently finished public consultation. This was strongly supported by ECC.


Government Policy
The government has committed to ensuring that every premise in the UK has access to broadband with a minimum download speed in line with the defined Universal Obligation Service (UBS) by the end of 2015. The UBS is currently 2Mbps however will shortly be amended to 10Mbps under the Government's planned Digital Economy Bill.

In more remote locations where connection into BT Openreach/Virgin Media's broadband network to achieve these speeds is not possible, support and funding towards alternative connection technologies such as satellite broadband is offered.

Superfast Essex Programme
Connection to superfast broadband throughout the Greater Essex area is continuously undertaken via commercial roll-outs by BT Openreach, Virgin Media and Gigaclear. Superfast broadband is currently defined as speeds of 24Mbps or more, however Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) are currently updating the definition as speeds of 30Mbps or more. ECC is working in partnership with BT and Gigaclear to deliver Phase 2 of this programme.

Phase 1 aimed to expand superfast broadband connectivity to 87% of premises in Essex. This has been achieved and delivered earlier than programmed in 2016. Phase 2 has commenced with the objective of reaching 95% coverage by 2019. At present, this is based on the definition of 24Mbps or more, however will be updated following the revision of the definition of Superfast Broadband. Phase 2a, is to be delivered by BT, and Phase 2b, by Gigaclear concentrating on the more rural areas commenced in 2015.

Superfast Essex programme is currently investigating and testing options for further coverage and ultrafast technology. Ultrafast is defined, depending on the supplier, as delivering between 300Mbps and 1,000Mbps. This work includes the Phase 2b - Gigaclear contract, which delivers ultrafast speeds, and initial supplier engagement with suppliers representing a variety of technologies including fixed wireless broadband, in preparation for commissioning further coverage.

ECC is also looking at the development of ultrafast broadband provision to employment centres using Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). The objective would be to provide ultrafast to all major business parks in the Greater Essex area.

BT Openreach and other providers offer superfast broadband connection for all new developments, either free of charge or as part of a co-funded partnership. FTTP shall be provided free of charge to housing developments with one hundred or more dwellings. Developments smaller than this may have to provide contributions to ensure FTTP connection, or shall be provided copper connections for free.

Planning policies are under review at the local and national level to ensure that new build properties are enabled with fast broadband as part of any new development. Many councils are including within their Local Plan a requirement for all new developments to have high speed connectivity, a position strongly supported by ECC. ECC is recommending that requires all Local Plans in Essex to have broadband planning policies in place which when applied ensures high quality broadband is connected to all new homes and businesses at the point of construction in Essex.

The Phase 1 target of ensuring 87% of premises in Essex are connected to superfast broadband by 2016 has been achieved, with Phase 2 to provide 95% coverage by 2019 currently underway. Schemes to provide ultrafast broadband to both residential and commercial properties are underway by means of FTTP connections, with employment centres being a priority.

10. DELIVERY STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION (p208)

ECC would welcome specific mention of its responsibilities covering its role as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority, Education Authority, Highway Authority, Lead Local Food Authority, and the provider of a range of children's and adult social care services including housing.

11. GLOSSARY (p212)

The following definition for infrastructure is recommended for inclusion in the Draft Plan.

Infrastructure means any structure, building, system facility and/or provision required by an area for its social and/or economic function and/or well-being including (but not exclusively):

a. footways, cycleways and highways
b. public transport
c. drainage and flood protection
d. waste recycling facilities
e. education and childcare
f. healthcare
g. sports, leisure and recreation facilities
h. community and social facilities
i. cultural facilities, including public art
j. emergency services
k. green infrastructure
l. open space
m. affordable housing
n. live/work units and lifetime homes
o. broadband
p. facilities for specific sections of the community such as youth or the elderly

12. APPENDIX 2 - KEY DIAGRAM (p221)

ECC would recommend the key diagram is amended to better reflect the Local Plan's spatial strategy and settlement hierarchy to more clearly show where future development will be focused in the district and those areas to be protected. A clear base map and place names would provide clarity.

13. POLICIES / PROPOSALS MAP

It is recommended that each 'New Housing Allocation' shown on the Proposals Map is appropriately numbered/referenced on the maps to align with the relevant Local Plan policy.

The MWPA welcome the inclusion of Mineral Safeguarding Areas on the Colchester Local Plan Policies Map.

Map: East Colchester Policies EC1, EC2 and EC3 - ECC note the inclusion of the 'East Colchester Transit Route' on the map. ECC seeks further discussion with Colchester BC and other transport partners on this route and further detail around delivery and implementation before the Pre-Submission Plan is prepared.

14. MINERAL AND WASTE COMMENTS - PROPOSED GROWTH LOCATIONS

A number of growth locations identified in the Draft Plan are within 250m of safeguarded operational or permitted minerals and/or waste developments. Future development proposed at these locations must have reference to the requirements of the wider development plan, which includes the adopted MLP and submitted WLP. Such reference must seek to ensure that new development in Colchester Borough avoids impacts on the operation of important mineral and waste infrastructure. Whilst not amounting to an objection from the MWPA at this current time, the MWPA must be consulted on any development proposed within 250m of these safeguarded sites. The MWPA would object to proposed development where it is considered that the granting of planning permission would impact on the ability of these facilities to carry out their permitted or intended operations.

The table below shows those growth locations proposed in the Draft Plan that are within 250m of a safeguarded operational or permitted minerals and/or waste site. In recognition of the fact that some minerals and waste developments are temporary, permission expiry dates have been included. Where development is proposed within 250m of a facility at such a time as the permission has expired, the MWPA would still wish to be consulted to ensure that works have indeed been completed and have not been extended by way of a further permission.

Colchester Proposed Growth Location Minerals and/or Waste Facility
East of Colchester New Garden Community (EST06) Application Number: ESS/16/13/TEN
Site Reference: 14 457 31
Site Name: Land adjacent to A120
Proposal: Proposed development of a new waste management facility, with associated change of use of land. The facility comprises erection of a building for the transfer/bulking of municipal waste, together with ancillary development.
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Application Number: 12/00960/FUL (Tendring Permission)
Site Reference: N/A
Site Name: Allens Farm Tye Road Elmstead Colchester Essex CO7 7BB
Proposal: Erection of a combined heat and power bio-gas plant comprising anaerobic digester, silage clamp and digestate store.
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Wivenhoe Application Number: ESS/45/15/TEN
Site Reference: 14 421 27
Site Name: Wivenhoe Quarry
Proposal: Continuation of extraction of sand & gravel, reinstatement with inert fill and restoration to part agriculture, part nature conservation and part open water without compliance with conditions 50 (Operations completion date) and 51 (Removal of all associated infrastructure) attached to planning permission ref: ESS/42/12/TEN to allow an extension in time to the life of the permitted operations and deadline for removal of all associated infrastructure for an additional 3 years until December 2018.
Permission Expiry Date: December 2018
Application Number: ESS/48/15/TEN
Site Reference: 14 421 27
Site Name: Wivenhoe Quarry
Proposal: Continuation of use for the recycling of glass, coated roadstone chippings and scalpings, concrete and brick waste to produce secondary aggregates involving associated plant on land at Wivenhoe Quarry without compliance with condition 2 (operations completion date) attached to planning permission ref: ESS/41/12/COL to allow an extension in time to the life of the permitted recycling operations for an additional 3 years until 31 December 2018
Permission Expiry Date: December 2018
West of Colchester Garden Community Application Number: ESS/26/08/COL
Site Reference: 13 421 15
Site Name: Church Lane, Marks Tey
Proposal: Periodic review of mineral permission IDO/COL/1/92A for the extraction of brickearth clay and use in the adjacent brickworks
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Please note that this quarry is within the proposed growth location boundary
Application Number: ESS/41/08/COL
Site Reference: 13 457 17
Site Name: Honeylands Farm
Proposal: Change of use of an industrial unit to a waste transfer station to be used for the recycling of waste arising from highway gullies
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Please note that this facility is within the proposed growth location boundary
West of Colchester Garden Community Application Number: COL/476/91
Site Reference: 13 422 01
Site Name: Marks Tey Rail Depot
Proposal: Overnight HGV Lorry Park
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
West of Colchester Garden Community Application Number: ESS/41/08/COL
Site Reference: 13 457 17
Site Name: Honeylands Farm
Proposal: Change of use of an industrial unit to a waste transfer station to be used for the recycling of waste arising from highway gullies
Permission Expiry Date: N/A

15. MINOR WORDING CHANGES TO SUPPORTING TEXT

Refer to 'London Stansted Airport' rather than 'Stansted Airport' wherever this appears throughout the document.

Reference is made in the Strategic Plan Policies SP7 - 10 under transportation to 'foot and cycle ways'. ECC recommend a consistent reference is used, namely 'cycleway and footway' and wherever the terms appear throughout the Draft Plan.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
PUBLIC HEALTH LOCAL PLAN EVIDENCE - USEFUL LINKS

The following links provide useful information/documents, which can be used to inform emerging policies regarding public health matters:

1. Active Design principles; Planning for health and wellbeing through sport and physical activity"; by Sport England and Public Health England
2. Public Health England (2015) Health Profiles by authority area, published June 2015 Public Health England (2015) Health Profile Colchester (June 2015)
http://www.apho.org.uk/resource/view.aspx?QN=HP_RESULTS&GEOGRAPHY=22

Health Profiles provide summary health information to support local authority members, officers and community partners to lead for health improvement. Health Profiles is a programme to improve availability and accessibility for health and health-related information in England. The profiles give a snapshot overview of health for each local authority in England. Health Profiles are produced annually.

Designed to help local government and health services make decisions and plans to improve local people's health and reduce health inequalities, the profiles present a set of health indicators that show how the area compares to the national average. The indicators are carefully selected each year to reflect important public health topics. For more information about the 2015 profiles data (including changes compared to the 2014 profiles) please see the Data page or read our FAQs.

3. Healthy Places- wellbeing in the Environment (2016) by The UK Health Forum
http://www.healthyplaces.org.uk/themes/access-to-healthy-food/hot-food-takeaways/development-control/

The UK Health Forum conducts and commissions research for the on-going development of Healthy Places. This work gives an outline of local structures and responsibilities in each area of focus at the time of research and provides the starting point for many of the themes and key issues found on Healthy Places.
* The regulatory environment and public health: Assessing the options for local authorities to use the regulatory environment to reduce obesity
* Planning
* Sustainability, health and local authorities
* Transport and public health
* Local alcohol control

4. Essex Insights (2015) Local Authority Portrait Published June 2015

5. Dementia friendly communities Guidance for Councils by LGA (second edition) (circa 2014/5)
The publication date is not stated but the Guidance builds on earlier guidelines produced by the LGA in 2012, and is informed by good practice over the last three years and emerging evidence about what works well in supporting people with dementia and those that support them. It is about what local government can do to help make this a reality. The purpose of the guide is to help councils play their part in developing communities where people can live well with dementia. It is about enabling people with dementia, their families, friends and carers to feel at home, supported, understood and that they matter.

6. Healthy New Towns by NHS England 2016
NHS England are working with ten housing developments to shape the health of communities, and to rethink how health and care services can be delivered. The Programme offers a golden opportunity to radically rethink how we live - and takes an ambitious look at improving health through the built environment. In March 2016, following a rigorous selection process, NHS England announced the ten demonstrator sites they will be working with.

In the NHS Five Year Forward View, a clear commitment was made to dramatically improve population health, and integrate health and care services, as new places are built and take shape. This commitment recognises the need to build over 200,000 more homes in England every year, and invited Expressions of Interest from developments across the country. Over time, NHS England look forward to connecting with this broad community of sites look to build health into the design of new and regenerated places. Now, the Healthy New Towns Programme will work alongside the ten housing developments across the country to offer challenge, inspiration and support as they develop their ambitious plans for building healthy communities. The programme is looking at how sites can redesign local health and care services, and how they can take a cutting edge approach to improving their community's health, wellbeing and independence.

7. Working Together to Promote Active Travel by Public Health England May 2016 A briefing for local authorities

The briefing has been written for transport planners, others concerned with the built environment, and public health practitioners. It looks at the impact of current transport systems and sets out the many benefits of increasing physical activity through active travel. It suggests that while motorised road transport has a role in supporting the economy, a rebalancing of our travel system is needed. Some key messages when developing a healthy local transport strategy include:
* physical inactivity directly contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and costs £7.4 billion a year to business and wider society
* the growth in road transport has been a major factor in reducing levels of physical activity and increasing obesity
* building walking or cycling into daily routines are the most effective ways to increase physical activity
* short car trips (under 5 miles) are a prime area for switching to active travel and to public transport
* health-promoting transport systems are pro-business and support economic prosperity. They enable optimal travel to work with less congestion, collisions, pollution, and they support a healthier workforce

This guide suggests a range of practical action for local authorities, from overall policy to practical implementation. It highlights the importance of community involvement and sets out key steps for transport and public health practitioners.
8. Tackling Obesity and Planning

Local Government Association (2016) Tipping the Scales; Case studies on the use of planning powers to limit the use of hot takeaways
(http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7632544/L15-427+Tipping+the+scales/6d16554e-072b-46cd-b6fd-8aaf31487c84)

Public Health England, LGA and TCPA (2016) Building The Foundations; Tackling Obesity through Planning and Development
(http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7632544/L16-6+building+the+foundations+-+tackling+obesity_v05.pdf/a5cc1a11-57b2-46e3-bb30-2b2a01635d1a)

9. Provision of open space, sport and recreation

There is a tool that provides a Health Impact Assessments are available for green space/open space
http://greenspacescotland.org.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=133&mid=129&fileid=41

Public Health England (September 2014) Local Actions on Reducing Health Inequalities; Improving Access to Green Space to reduce health inequalities Health Briefing
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/355792/Briefing8_Green_spaces_health_inequalities.pdf)

10. Ageing population and development planning

Dementia Friendly Communities Guidance for Councils 2015. LGA and Innovations in Dementia
(http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7058797/L15-238+Dementia+friendly+communities+guidance+for+councils/7acaa658-329e-4aa1-bdff-ef6a286dd373)

Communities and Local Government (2008) Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods; A National Strategy for Housing an Ageing Population
(http://www.cpa.org.uk/cpa/lifetimehomes.pdf)

11. Wider guidance to be considered for better mental health and wellbeing related to planning

The King's Fund (2013) Improving the Public's Health; A guide For Local Authorities
(http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/improving-the-publics-health-kingsfund-dec13.pdf)

Mental Health Foundation (2016) Mental Health and Housing
(https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/Mental_Health_and_Housing_report_2016_1.pdf)


Public Health England and UCL Institute of Health Equity (2015) Reducing Social Isolation across the lifecourse.
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461120/3a_Social_isolation-Full-revised.pdf)

London Healthy Urban Development (no date)
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461120/3a_Social_isolation-Full-revised.pdf)

Design Council Planning for Health (2009)
(http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/future-health-full.pdf)

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2555

Received: 21/09/2016

Respondent: Essex County Council

Representation:

Refer to 'London Stansted Airport' rather than 'Stansted Airport' wherever this appears in throughout the document.

Full text:

APPENDIX 1 TO ECC CABINET MEMBER ACTION DATED 2 SEPTEMBER 2016 (FP/530/06/16)

ECC RESPONSE TO THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION OF THE COLCHESTER BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN - PREFERRED OPTIONS CONSULTATION, JULY 2016



1. INTRODUCTION

Essex County Council (ECC) supports the preparation of a new Local Plan for Colchester Borough Council (Colchester BC) and welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Colchester Borough Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Document (July 2016) (the Draft Plan).

A Local Plan, by setting out a vision and policies for the long-term planning and development of the borough, should provide a platform from which to secure a sustainable economic, social and environmental future to the benefit of its residents, businesses and visitors. A robust long-term strategy will provide a reliable basis on which ECC and its partners may plan future service provision and required infrastructure for which they are responsible. ECC will use its best endeavours to assist Colchester BC on strategic and cross-boundary matters under the duty to cooperate, including engagement and co-operation with other organisations for which those issues may have relevance.

The following is the response from ECC to the Draft Plan covering matters relevant to ECC's statutory service provision and its function as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority. The response does not cover ECC as a landowner and/or prospective developer. A separate response will be made on these matters (if relevant) and that response should be treated in the same way as a response from other developers and/or landholders.'

For ease the ECC response will work through each of the chapters set out in the Draft Plan, and indicate where acknowledgements, recommendations and alterations are sought. This is preceded by commentary on the duty to cooperate.

2. DUTY TO CO-OPERATE

ECC acknowledges the production of the Draft Plan consultation by Colchester BC. ECC supports the key issues that the 'Part 1' strategic plan chapter seeks to address, namely providing for homes and jobs in the area; provision of infrastructure for transport and telecommunications; provision of education, health, community and cultural infrastructure; and the conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment.

The PPG makes it clear that the duty to cooperate requires cooperation in two tier local planning authority areas and states 'Close cooperation between district local planning authorities and county councils in two tier local planning authority areas will be critical to ensure that both tiers are effective when planning for strategic matters such as minerals, waste, transport and education.' (Paragraph: 014, Reference ID: 9-014-20140306)

In preparing its Draft Local Plan ECC has assisted Colchester BC in the following:

* Commissioning joint evidence base documents as required

o Joint evidence base: Colchester Local Plan Traffic Modelling Technical Report (July 2016); Submission of SELEP (Round 1 - 3) Single Local Growth Fund Bids for highway schemes, Integrated Transport Packages, and Route Based Strategies. Joint commissioning of Garden Community evidence base documents.
o Evidence base by ECC: Minerals Safeguarding Assessment (2016).
o Statutory Plans: Essex Minerals Local Plan (July 2014) and Essex and Southend-on-Sea Replacement Waste Local Plan (submitted for examination June 2016).

* Joint meetings with relevant authorities as and when required

Joint meetings have been held with Highways England (HE); the Heart and Haven Transport Board; the ECC Community Infrastructure Group, and as part of the North Essex Garden Communities proposals, in addition to regular Local Plan meetings.

* Memoranda of understanding (MOU)

ECC is a signatory, along with North Essex districts (Colchester, Braintree, Tendring), and Chelmsford City Council, to the 'Memorandum of Co-operation: Collaboration on Strategic Priorities in North and Central Essex' (MOU), regarding the exploration of the potential for new garden communities across the area and other strategic cross boundary matters. ECC is an active member on member and officer working groups regarding the North Essex Garden Communities proposals.

A MOU has also been signed between ECC, Colchester BC, University of Essex, and Tendring DC, which sets a framework for collaboration between parties in order to promote the economic interests and prosperity of North East Essex (April 2014). The MOU was supplemented in March 2015 to clarify joint strategic objectives and justify investing further time and resources into developing proposals for a potential new garden village (i.e. Garden Community). It is recommended that this MOU is also mentioned in the Draft Plan. A copy is included at the end of this response and reference should be made in the Draft Plan.

* Pre-consultation during the production of the new Local Plan and other relevant local plan documents

ECC, as Highway Authority, Education Authority, Lead Local Flood Authority, and Minerals and Waste Planning Authority (MWPA) provides pre-application advice and response to planning applications, and potential Local Plan allocations. Interim advice on the capacity of education facilities, highway impacts and mineral issues is also provided. ECC acting as the MWPA are pleased to note the references to minerals and waste policy throughout the relevant sections of the Draft Plan that have resulted from ongoing engagement under the Duty to Co-operate.

ECC will provide information to inform a Colchester BC Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP). The IDP will need to support the Pre-Submission Plan, and identify infrastructure required arising from growth proposals. ECC will continue to assist the Colchester BC in the preparation of the IDP in our role as a provider of key services and subject to statutory responsibilities, for example minerals and waste; highways, education (primary, secondary, and early years and childcare), flood and water management, and adult social care.

COLCHETER BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN PREFERRED OPTIONS DOCUMENT

3. INTRODUCTION (P1)

The MWPA welcome the description of the wider Development Plan in the introductory section, and particularly the references to mineral and waste safeguarding.

Paragraph 1.10
The reference to the safeguarding policy in the Essex Minerals Local Plan is welcomed, although it should refer to the correct title i.e. Minerals Local Plan Policy S8 - Safeguarding mineral resources and mineral reserves.

The MWPA are satisfied that no such reference to a specific policy can be made with regard to Waste Consultation Zones in the Replacement Waste Local Plan, as this has yet to be adopted. Instead, it is anticipated that would be added once the Waste Plan is adopted; scheduled early 2017.

Paragraph 1.19
ECC as the Lead Local Flood Authority recommends the inclusion of the Colchester Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) as part of the Draft Local Plan's evidence base. The SWMP will also inform the Local Plan's IDP and the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Colchester

Paragraph 1.24
Reference is made to Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) under the fourth bullet point. It is recommended that reference to the Annual Monitoring Report and the Community Infrastructure Levy should be listed as separate points and not part of the SPD bullet point.

PART 1 NORTH ESSEX AUTHORITIES

4. NORTH ESSEX AUTHORITIES: STRATEGIC PART 1 FOR LOCAL PLANS (p9)

The 'Strategic Plan' chapter provides a strategic approach to the requirement for the three North Essex authorities (Colchester, Braintree and Tendring) to meet their objectively assessed need for development land, including the identification of three broad areas of search for new Garden Communities. This strategic planning chapter is common to all three Local Plans and provides a spatial portrait, vision, objectives and policies for key growth topics covering strategic cross boundary issues. ECC supports the 'Strategic Objectives' of the Part 1, which includes providing sufficient new homes; fostering economic development; providing new and improved infrastructure; addressing education and healthcare needs; and ensuring high quality outcomes. A new approach to the delivery of such development is proposed and includes land value capture, long term community stewardship and a new model for funding infrastructure, which is supported.

The new Garden Communities are of interest to ECC in its role as an infrastructure and service provider. ECC, is a signatory to the 'Memorandum of Co-operation: Collaboration on Strategic Priorities in North and Central Essex', and is thereby committed to working closely with the three local planning authorities in identifying the infrastructure that is needed to support the growth set out in Local Plans and beyond. In this work ECC will continue to engage on an on-going basis to assess the infrastructure requirements for these new communities and how this can be delivered in a timely and cost effective way, having regard to the following statutory and non-statutory responsibilities held by ECC:

* Highways and Transportation. ECC is the Highway Authority and is also responsible for long-term strategic transport planning within, to and beyond Essex. ECC will undertake further modelling to inform the three Pre-Submission Local Plans of 'North Essex', along with progressing a number of ongoing strategic studies/projects (with Highways England), and to lobby Government for their inclusion in national strategies and plans.
* Minerals. ECC is the Minerals Planning Authority. ECC has prepared and adopted the Essex Minerals Local Plan (2014), which seeks to ensure a steady and adequate supply of mineral resources to facilitate development. Where known mineral reserves are identified, their extraction and any after use will be considered alongside the preparation of the Masterplan Frameworks (or site specific Local Plans) for the proposed new Garden Communities in order to prevent the sterilisation of known mineral reserves.
* Waste. ECC is the Waste Planning Authority. ECC submitted the Replacement Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan for examination in June 2016. It will cover the period from 2017 to 2032. The submitted Plan supports waste management facilities at specified sites within the District and identifies a number of Areas of Search where the Waste Planning Authority may support development outside of allocated waste sites. The submitted Plan seeks to focus any new proposals for waste management facilities, which support local housing and economic growth, within these Areas of Search before other locations are considered.
* Education (Primary and Secondary). ECC is the Education Authority and will assess the requirements for school place provision for any new housing developments; and be a signatory to any S106 agreement and receive the appropriate financial or land contributions. ECC would wish to see any site for new primary and secondary schools to be identified early and safeguarded. ECC will continue to work with the North Essex local authorities in the preparation of the Masterplan Frameworks to ensure delivery.
* Early Years and Childcare. ECC delivers early years and childcare (EYC) through a commissioning approach, with a responsibility for providing targeted support and Government funded Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) for vulnerable 2-year olds and FEEE for all 3 and 4 year olds, which are commissioned from the private, voluntary and independent sectors. ECC will advise on the requirement for new facilities based on the places generated by the new development.
* Flood and Water Management. ECC is the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and must develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management across the county consistent with national strategies. ECC has and will prepare Surface Water Management Plans (SWMP) in North Essex, which will help inform any necessary mitigation arising from development.
* Broadband. ECC is implementing the 'Superfast Essex Programme'. Phase 1 has been completed, with Phase 2a and 2b commenced and to be complete by 2019. ECC will seek to ensure high quality broadband is connected to all new homes and businesses at the point of construction in Essex.
* Independent Living. ECC seeks to develop a range of supported living options and to commission services to support people to remain living independently for as long as possible. A similar process is being considered to meet the needs of working age adults with disabilities. ECC in partnership with local authorities, developers and providers will seek to deliver a range of supported living options that provide integrated and supportive communities for all the citizens of Essex.
* Specialist Housing. In order for ECC to meet the statutory obligations as the provider of adult social care, control costs, and improve the lives of residents, ECC is committed to influencing the provision of a range of housing options for the older population. Such provision should be considered as part of the overall housing mix in Garden Communities to meet identified need. Suitable locations are those close to neighbourhood/local service centres and served by public transport.
* Community Services. ECC is the provider of a number of community services (eg libraries and youth service). ECC will seek to work with partners to ensure multi-purpose 'community hubs' offering several multi-local council/partner services (such as library and registrar services - births, deaths and marriages, and possibly GP and dental practices) are provided within neighbourhood/town centres within the new Garden Communities.

ECC acknowledge and support the commitment of the three authorities to meet their 'objectively assessed need' for housing (2,315 new homes per annum) up to 2033, as identified in Part 1 Policy SP2. Each authority is proposing a spatial strategy that includes at least one new Garden Community, which will provide new housing in sustainable mixed use communities during the emerging Local Plans, and beyond. For Colchester BC, the Draft Plan identifies 2,500 new homes are to be provided on the 'East of Colchester Garden Community' on the border of Colchester BC and Tendring DC, and 2,500 homes to be provided on the 'West of Colchester Garden Community' on the border of Colchester BC and Braintree DC, during the plan period. Across all three local authorities the Garden Communities may be capable of providing 7,500 new homes in the plan period, and between 32,000 to 42,000 new homes, as identified in Policy SP7 at East of Colchester; West of Colchester, and West of Braintree beyond the plan period. ECC acknowledges these are presently 'Areas of Search' and will be refined following further discussions with landowners, and future masterplanning work.

Given the statutory responsibilities of ECC identified above, the strategic priorities for infrastructure identified in Policy SP4 are supported.

In order to deliver the growth outlined in the Draft Plan, ECC in partnership with Highways England will seek to progress improvements to the strategic transport network common to all three local authorities through progression of specific schemes (particularly improvements to the A120 and A12) and through the lobbying of central Government and the Department of Transport for appropriate funding and inclusion in national programmes. The key strategic projects for North Essex include:
* A120 Braintree to A12 (dualling) - being led by ECC to determine options for a new A120 route between Braintree and the A12. Consultation on options will commence January 2017 and a preferred route submitted to Government in Summer 2017.
* A12 Widening between M25 and A12 J29 - being led by Highways England.
* In addition, ECC has and will continue to undertake highway modelling of the three Local Plans, and has produced a 'Rapid Transit Study' focused on the East Colchester/West Tendring locality.
* Route-based strategies are being prepared for delivery post 2018/19 onwards regarding the A133 - Colchester to Clacton, A131 - Chelmsford to Braintree; and A131 - Braintree to Sudbury. The A12/A120 route based strategy was published separately by Highways Agency (now Highways England) in March 2013.
* Lobbying for implementation of rail network projects identified in the Anglia Route Study.

Part 1 Policy SP6 identifies the proposed 'Spatial Strategy for North Essex', which seeks to focus growth on existing settlements prioritising the re-use of previously developed land, but with extensions to settlements where appropriate. Beyond these settlements rural diversification and the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment is supported. Three new Garden Communities are proposed supplying some 7,500 new homes in the plan period, accompanied by employment land, with significant further growth beyond the plan period. ECC supports the strategy and the ambition of maximising growth in existing urban areas on previously developed land. In addition, strategic growth at the edge of the main settlements is supported, where these provide the most sustainable location for growth. All local authorities are seeking to provide a mix of development sites, which will assist in maintaining a five year housing supply to enable plan led growth. The ambition of the three local authorities to promote a strategy that will extend beyond the proposed plan period is welcomed.

Comments and recommended amendments to Part 1

4.1 Introduction (p9)

Paragraph 2.2
It is recommended that the last sentence include reference to ECC's role as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority (MWPA), and is amended as follows,

...'Essex County Council is a key partner in its strategic role for infrastructure and service provision, and as the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority.'

Paragraph 2.3
The MWPA welcome reference to county planning in this section but would advise that the Minerals Local Plan and Waste Local Plan are two separate documents. The Essex Minerals Local Plan (MLP) was adopted in July 2014 and therefore forms part of the statutory development plan in Colchester Borough. The replacement Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan (WLP) has been submitted to the Secretary of State and is scheduled to be examined in September / October 2016 with a view to adopt in early 2017. The text in paragraph 1.2.3 should be amended as follows;

'The Local Plan together with the Essex Minerals Local Plan and Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan prepared by the County Council ....'.

4.2 Mineral Resource Assessment

ECC has assessed all sites proposed in the Draft Plan, which have not already gained planning permission for their impact on mineral resources. The assessment was carried out to ensure that finite mineral resources are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development, in line with national planning policy requirements.

The sites proposed in the Draft Plan were assessed against whether the whole site or a proportion lies within a mineral safeguarding area; whether that proportion was over the minimum site threshold identified in Policy S8 of the Essex Minerals Local Plan, and what proportion of this potentially workable area was outside of 250 metres of the defined settlement boundary. ECC's assessment concluded that a Minerals Resource Assessment (MRA) would be required in relation to the development proposed at the Garden Communities.

Part 1 Policy SP7 - Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in Essex, refers to a number of principles that each garden community will be required to conform with in regards to design, development and delivery. Principle xi) seeks to ensure that a sustainable approach to mineral management is undertaken, and is supported.

ECC recommends the following additional principle is necessary given the identified need of undertaking a MRA at the Garden Communities:

'Where development is proposed in a Mineral Safeguarding Area, it will be necessary to ensure that finite mineral deposits are not sterilised unnecessarily, which accords with the notion of sustainable development. A minerals resource assessment is required (see Essex Mineral Local Plan, Policy S8) to ascertain the viability of prior extraction of the mineral in advance of the non-mineral development proceeding. The Minerals Resource Assessment can also be used to assist in the phasing of the new communities.'

It is recommended that sites covered by Garden Communities (Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and S10) should contain a specific reference to minerals safeguarding. This will ensure that a MRA is undertaken, where necessary, to support a planning application or masterplanning in order to assess if mineral extraction is viable, and can be programmed with the development of the site. ECC recommend the following principle should be added to Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10:

'In accordance with national mineral policy (NPPF para 143) and the Essex Minerals Local Plan (Policy S8), a Minerals Resource Assessment must be submitted as part of any planning application. The Minerals Resource Assessment must assess the economic viability of prior extraction and be prepared using the latest PERC standard. Should the viability of extraction be proven, the mineral shall be worked in accordance with a scheme / masterplan as part of the phased delivery of the non-mineral development. Consultation with the Minerals Planning Authority and Local Planning Authority will be required to determine whether a separate minerals planning application would be required.'


4.3 Policy SP3: Providing for Employment (p23)

ECC supports Policy SP3 and the associated strategic objective 'Fostering Economic Development'. ECC will use its endeavours to implement the strategic economic vision and objectives contained in Part 1 of the Draft Plan and those outlined in the Economic Plan for Essex (2014) and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan. ECC will seek investment to improve the east-west connectivity along the A120 to support growth opportunities, particularly those focusing on the proposed new Garden Communities. ECC would seek for the 'employment ask' for the new Garden Communities to be explored in further detail through the Masterplan Frameworks and other specific employment related studies.

4.4 Policy SP4: Infrastructure and Connectivity (p29)

Paragraph 2.59
The paragraph should be amended to read as follows:

'Highways England and Essex County Council will work together to study options for dualling the A120 between Braintree and the A12 junction with the County Council taking the lead.'

Paragraph 2.61
The paragraph should be amended to read as follows:

Route based strategies are prepared and delivered by the County Council for strategic road corridors, in consultation with local authorities. The following strategies are currently being prepared for delivery post 2018/19: A130 A131 - Chelmsford to Braintree; A131 Braintree to Sudbury; and A133 - Colchester to Clacton; A131 and A120 Colchester to Harwich.

Policy CP4, fourth bullet point
ECC welcomes reference to a dualled A120 but the fourth bullet needs to be amended to read as follows:

'A dualled A120 between the A12 junction and Braintree'

Policy CP4, eighth bullet point
ECC welcomes reference to superfast broadband within Part 1 Policy CP4. It is recommended that it is made clear this applies to both residential and non-residential development.

Policy CP4, ninth bullet point
ECC welcomes the policy requirement that in terms of the infrastructure necessary to support development there will be a need to 'Provide sufficient school places in the form of expanded or new primary and secondary schools.'

To ensure all statutory responsibilities are covered, the following should be included at the end of the above criterion '...together with early years and childcare places'.

It should also be made clear that ECC will require the proposed new developments to meet the cost of expanding existing and building new schools as a consequence of the new housing growth proposed.

4.5 Policy SP5: Place Shaping Principles (p30)

ECC would recommend the inclusion of an additional principle as follows:

* 'promotes the benefits of multi-functional land use for services such as habitat creation, carbon storage and flood risk mitigation.'

4.6 Policy SP7: Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in Essex (p36)

ECC welcomes the principles outlined for the design, development and delivery of each of the three Garden Communities proposed in north Essex and particularly those which relate to the successful provision of the additional school places (and early years and childcare) that will be required to serve these developments, as contained below.

* ii) ii) ensuring the timely delivery of both on-site and off-site infrastructure required to address the impact of these new communities;
* viii) structure the new communities to create sociable, vibrant and walkable neighbourhood with equality of access to all to arrange of community facilities, including ....education....

ECC recommend an additional principle is added, which seeks the new Garden Communities to implement sustainable drainage measures as part of their development, as below:

* 'Plan and deliver a range of appropriate sustainable drainage measures.'

4.7 Policy SP8: East Colchester/West Tendring New Garden Community (p38)

4.7.1 Surface water management

Parts of the Garden Community 'area of search' are at risk of surface water flooding in both 1 in 30 and 1 in 100 year events. In masterplanning the new community the provision of improved drainage infrastructure to future-proof and accommodate the needs of the new development will need to be considered. In so doing opportunities should be explored to promote and encourage multiple beneficial infrastructures such as the use of green space for wildlife, recreation, carbon storage and flood risk mitigation. ECC supports reference to sustainable surface water drainage under Part F (no. 17).

4.7.2 Primary and Secondary Education

ECC's Schools Service supports this policy since it identifies the need to provide "A secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities.......to serve the new development". It also welcomes the recognition of the need for a "phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of necessary social and physical to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured". Such a strategy should ensure that sufficient school places are made available, at the appropriate time, within reasonable travelling distance for children moving onto this development.

The package of measures envisaged "to encourage smarter transport choices to meet the needs of the new community and maximise the opportunities for sustainable travel including the provision of a network of footpaths, cycle ways and bridleways to enhance permeability within the site" should ensure that all children of school age have the opportunity to walk or cycle to school. This would support the delivery of 'garden city' principles.

Developments totalling 2,500 homes in the East Colchester/ West Tendring new Garden Community during the plan period (1,250 in Colchester BC's administrative area) would generate up to 750 primary and 500 secondary aged pupils.

Primary pupil forecasts indicate that there will be little surplus capacity in primary schools located in east Colchester to accommodate pupils from this new Garden Community. As a consequence a new 2 forms of entry (420 place) primary school would be required in the early phases of the development and a second new 2 forms of entry (420 place) primary school would be required later in the plan period. (This would also provide capacity to accommodate pupils from the later phases of the development which would take place beyond the period covered by the Draft Plan. It should be noted that the allowance of 930 dwellings for sites east of Colchester (as stated on page 65) is likely to require the expansion of an existing primary school in this broad locality which would limit the scope for pupils from the new Garden Community to be accommodated at surrounding schools.

Secondary pupil forecasts indicate that there will be little surplus capacity in secondary schools located in Colchester to accommodate pupils from this new Garden Community. There are also significant barriers to pupils travelling from the new Garden Community to secondary schools in Colchester town: the A133 and the Colchester to Clacton railway line to the south and south-west, and the A137 and the Colchester to Ipswich railway line to the north-west. As a consequence, a new 4 forms of entry (600-place) secondary school is likely to be required in the early phases of the development followed by an expansion to accommodate 9 to 12 forms of entry during the next plan period. The establishment of a new secondary school to serve the new Garden Community would also reduce the need for pupils to travel significant distances between home and school.

There would also be a need to transport secondary aged pupils produced by the early phases of this development to existing school until such time as the development reached sufficient critical mass to support the new secondary school.

School sites for both primary and secondary education should be secured in the early phases of the development to allow appropriately timed provision.


4.7.3 Early Years and Childcare

East Colchester / West Tendring New Garden Community seeks to provide a minimum of 2,500 new homes in the plan period by 2033 (as part of an overall total of between 7,000 - 9,000 homes), which would generate 225 additional early years and childcare places by 2033. As a minimum, two new facilities would be required, each offering between 30 and 56 places, and co-located with new primary school development.

Comments applicable to Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10
Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10 under Section E - Community Infrastructure, point 14, refer to the need to provide 'at least one secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities', and is supported. The number of new facilities will be further evidenced through the masterplanning process.

However, ECC notes there is inconsistent reference to the need to provide new early years and childcare facilities in the new Garden Communities. ECC recommend additional reference is made to early years and childcare in the opening paragraph of Policies SP8 (iv) SP9 (v), SP10 (v), and should be amended to read:

'Primary schools, a secondary school, early years and childcare facilities and other community facilities as appropriate'

As indicated in Part 1 Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10 these new garden communities will be progressed through the preparation of a Masterplan Framework, which will consider their design, development, and delivery with regards to place-making and design quality, housing, employment, transportation, community infrastructure and other requirements. This process will be required to consider the holistic approach to the provision of early years and childcare, alongside schools, and other social infrastructure (libraries, adult social services and youth services, public health, community and sports facilities, parks and recreation). Consequently, the new facilities requirement should be considered as indicative only, and based on the delivery of new homes in the plan period, as identified in the housing trajectory.

4.7.4 Transportation

ECC provides in-principle support for the transportation initiatives outlined in Part 1 Policy SP8. The full package of requirements will be developed through the Masterplan Framework and ECC as Highway Authority will work collaboratively with the North Essex authorities and Highways England to confirm appropriate Local Plan policy requirements.

Policy SP8 states that 'primary vehicular access to the site will be provided off the A120 and A133'. ECC would seek a strategic link road between the A120 and A133. This option will be modelled as part of the next stage of transport modelling to support the Pre-Submission Local Plan. An amendment to Policy SP8 may be required once modelling has been complete.


4.8 Policy SP9: West of Colchester/East of Braintree New Garden Community (p41)

4.8.1 Surface water management

Parts of the Garden Community 'area of search' are at risk of surface water flooding in both 1 in 30 and 1 in 100 year events. In masterplanning the new community the provision of improved drainage infrastructure to future-proof and accommodate the needs of the new development will need to be considered. In so doing opportunities should be explored to promote and encourage multiple beneficial infrastructures such as the use of green space for wildlife, recreation, carbon storage and flood risk mitigation. ECC supports reference to sustainable surface water drainage under Part F (no. 18).

4.8.2 Primary and Secondary Education

ECC's Schools Service supports this policy since it identifies the need to provide "A secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities.......to serve the new development". It also welcomes the recognition of the need for a "phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of necessary social and physical to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured". Such a strategy should ensure that sufficient school places are made available, at the appropriate time, within reasonable travelling distance for children moving onto this development.

At primary level a development of 2,500 dwellings during the Plan period (1,350 within CDC's administrative area) would generate up to 750 primary aged children. The primary schools located closest to this area: Great Tey Primary, St Andrew's Primary - Marks Tey, Marks Tey Primary and Copford Primary all have limited scope to expand and a new primary school would be required close to the start of this development, together with a requirement for a second new primary school prior to the end of the plan period.

At secondary level a development of 2,500 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 500 secondary aged pupils. Housing developments on other sites located close to Marks Tey within Colchester BC such as 600 new homes at Tiptree and those located within Braintree DC (1,000 new homes proposed on land south of Feering, and 300 new homes at Monks Farm) would fully utilise any surplus capacity available at The Honywood School and Thurstable School and Sixth Form Centre. Some expansion of The Honywood School and Thurstable School might be possible but there is no scope for the further expansion of The Stanway School, Colchester. A new secondary school would be required to serve this new garden community well before the end of the plan period.

School sites for both primary and secondary education should be secured in the early phases of the development to allow appropriately timed provision.

4.8.3 Early Years and Childcare

West of Colchester/East of Braintree New Garden Community seeks to provide a minimum of 2,500 new homes in the plan period by 2033 (as part of an overall total of between 15,000 to 20,000 homes), which would generate 225 additional early years and childcare places by 2033. As a minimum, two new facilities would be required, each offering between 30 and 56 places, and co-located with new primary school development.

4.9 Community Facilities

Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10 regarding the new Garden Communities seeks to provide accessible neighbourhood centres of an appropriate scale, which will provide health facilities and community meeting places. The policies acknowledge the need to deploy new models of delivery in terms of housing and associated infrastructure in these communities. ECC welcomes reference to the need for timely delivery of both on-site and off-site infrastructure required to address the impact of these new communities, and the provision of a mechanism for future stewardship, management, maintenance and renewal of community infrastructure and assets.

PART 2 LOCAL PLAN FOR COLCHESTER

5. VISION AND OBJECTIVES FOR PART 2 (p50)

5.1 Local characteristics and key issues for Colchester (p50)

ECC acknowledges the 'local characteristics and key issues for Colchester' which provides a clear and coherent link to the Draft Plan's vision and objectives.

Paragraph 3.5 - Building houses fit for the 21st Century
As well as 'high quality and sustainable construction,' reference could also be made to ensuring a suitable housing mix to meet the needs of a changing and new population over the plan period, such as older people.

Paragraph 3.6 - Improving accessibility
It is noted that 69% of residents live and work within the Borough. It is recommended that reference to 'non-car based alternatives' is expanded to explicitly refer to 'active travel such as walking or cycling'. A useful reference is provided below.

* Local Government Association (2016) Working Together to Promote Active Travel; A Briefing for Local Government
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/523460/Working_Together_to_Promote_Active_Travel_A_briefing_for_local_authorities.pdf)

Additional key issues
Colchester BC may wish to consider including an additional key issue that covers health and well-being.

ECC is responsible for the health of the public it serves following the shift in responsibility for public health from the NHS to ECC in April 2013. Much of the key responsibilities of ECC impact on public health whether it is a direct use of the public health grant to commission a specific service or the impact of our broader policies around social care, education, transport, the economy and the environment and communities. This role is outlined in the ECC Commissioning Strategy titled 'People in Essex enjoy good health and wellbeing'.

* http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/Strategies-Policies/Documents/Enjoy_good_health_wellbeing.pdf

ECC Public Health would like to highlight that no reference has been made within the Draft Plan to the published health priorities for the residents of Colchester Borough. This includes levels of obesity, levels of residents participating in physical activity or wider health inequalities faced by residents. Your attention is drawn to the PHE APHO Health Profiles of 2015 and the Essex Insights Local Authority Portrait for Colchester 2016. See weblink below.

https://www.essexinsight.org.uk/Resource.aspx?ResourceID=379&cookieCheck=true

The Draft Plan could also benefit from recognition of the need for sustainable options to manage the waste material produced by a growing community. This is currently omitted from the Draft Plan; this would include an increase in household waste created by a growing population, construction waste resulting from built development, and commercial and industrial waste created by a growing economy. It is considered that development cannot be sustainable if appropriate provision is not made for the waste that will be produced.

5.2 Vision: Colchester in 2033 (p51)

The vision would benefit from referring to the health and well-being of residents, which would provide a link with the objective under paragraph 3.13.

5.3 Objectives (p52)

The fifth bullet point mentions accessible walking and cycling but it could mention the need to ensure these are connected across the Borough to already existing developments. ECC strongly supports accessibility through active travel to support healthy lifestyles.

6. SUSTAINABLE GROWTH POLICIES (p54)

6.1 Comments on Strategic Transport Issues arising from the Draft Plan's Spatial Strategy and Sustainable Growth Policies

Colchester is a historic town with a severely constrained highway network. All of the key radial routes accessing the centre of Colchester (A133, A134, A1124, A1232, A137, B1025) currently experience significant congestion in the peak periods.

Colchester is one of the fastest growing towns in the country. Over the period 2001-2023 (as contained in the adopted Core Strategy), Colchester BC has allocated land for 19,000 new houses and is on course to deliver this target. The Draft Plan seeks to deliver at least 14,720 new homes between 2017 and 2033 (Part 2 Policy SG2). This consists of existing commitments (7,481 new homes) and new allocations (7,570). The focus will be on the Colchester Urban Area, Stanway, and the two new proposed Garden Communities to the east and west of Colchester. The larger 'Sustainable Settlements' of Tiptree, West Mersea and Wivenhoe will see smaller housing growth.

Through monitoring of the highway network, data clearly illustrates that the Colchester road network is largely at capacity, particularly at peak periods, on the key radial routes into the town. It has been observed that congestion is occurring for longer time periods, year on year, demonstrating a tendency towards 'peak spreading'.

ECC has recently completed the following transport projects in Colchester to address network issues.
* Construction of a 1,000 space Park and Ride, located off A12 J28.
* Opening Northern Approach Road (NAR3).
* The provision of bus priority measures through the Station area towards the town centre.
* A133 Colne Bank Avenue widening between Colne Bank roundabout and Albert roundabout (construction currently taking place).
* Bus priority measures in the town centre giving priority to public transport including Park and Ride.
* Improved junction layout and capacity at Brook Street/ East Hill.
* The provision of improved cycle facilities on key links to the town centre, Mile End Road, Ipswich Road, Winstree Road.

To inform the Draft Plan and the growth options considered by Colchester BC, traffic modelling was undertaken by Jacobs and results outlined in the 'Colchester Traffic Modelling Technical Report' (July 2016). The model used was based on the existing Colchester Area SATURN (CAS) model, and a variable demand model developed specifically for the task.

The report shows a list of junctions and links for which demand exceeded capacity. In each case, the volume to capacity ratio has been identified, along with the resulting delays which occur. The network wide summary statistic results, show that, following changes to highway trip generation in response to congestion, the Draft Plan development scenarios experience a reduction in average network speed with a corresponding increase in congestion and delay when compared against the 'current Local Plan allocated development' scenario.

Within the 2032 scenarios, the development proposed as part of scenario 2a indicated the greatest reduction in highway trip generation predicted by the variable demand model; however this is in part due to the provision of new highway infrastructure as part of development within scenarios 1a and 3a in the form of the A133/A120 link road (associated with the proposed new Garden Community).

Key localised impacts identified as part of the model runs are as follows:
* Scenarios 1a, 2a, and 3a show additional overcapacity links along the A12 between the A134 and Ipswich Rd in the AM peak compared to the current Local Plan allocated scenario
* Scenarios 1a and 3a, extra overcapacity links are indicated at the A133/B1028 because of traffic associated with development to the East of Colchester and the attractiveness of the new A133/A120 link road in the PM peak for scenarios.
* Scenarios 1a and 3a, the junction analysis shows more delays at the A12 junction 28 in the AM peak but no notable change in PM in scenarios
* Scenario 2a, junction analysis shows Ipswich Rd/St John's Rd is operating at overcapacity in PM

Longer term potential issues
* Both scenarios 1b and 3b have overcapacity links at the two ends of the new A133/A120 link road in the AM peak
* In the PM peak, both scenarios have extra overcapacity links along the A133/A120 link road as well as on the A12 West of Colchester.
* In addition, for scenario 3b, links on the A12 north of Colchester operate in excess of capacity. In the PM peak, scenario 3b also has overcapacity conditions on Dedham Rd connecting to the A12.

Clearly 'doing nothing' would lead to a situation where none of the growth options in the town could be undertaken without additional significant congestion. This is not an option and the new Local Plan will need to be predicated on the introduction of a range of measures to allow growth to take place while facilitating improvements to the road and highway network.

Key pinch points along the A12, A120 and A133 which are key links and already experience congestion will need to be addressed in the Draft Plan. To this end a number of studies are underway to look at the A133 corridor through central Colchester, A12 Junctions 26 and 28 in addition to the A120 Braintree to A12 study being led by ECC in partnership with Highways England. Access from the east and west of Colchester has been highlighted as crucial and ECC will explore opportunities to improve the access to southern Colchester from the A12/ Stanway area. ECC would also seek a strategic link road between the A120 and A133 as part of the proposed new Garden Community. There is also the potential to further investigate Rapid Transit proposals as part of the new Garden Communities, additional Park and Ride, dedicated bus lanes in the town and proposals that further promote walking and cycling. Accordingly, ECC supports initiatives and policy requirements in the Draft Plan that seek to promote sustainable transport and change travel behaviour (Policies DM20 and DM21).

These studies, together with the findings of the traffic modelling from July 2016, will be reviewed and inform the next stage of transport modelling for the Pre-Submission Plan. A focus will be on identifying appropriate and necessary mitigation, costs, sources of funding and phasing to ensure delivery. Links can then be made to local plan policy and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

ECC together with Highways England will ensure regular and on-going meetings take place with Colchester BC as it prepares its Pre-Submission Plan. As noted above ECC through Jacobs will undertake additional transport modelling focusing on mitigation, and ensure Highways England projects are considered (A120, A12).

6.2 Policy SG2: Housing Delivery (p62)

Paragraphs 4.26 to 4.31
ECC is supportive of a strategy and policies that seek to meet the identified objectively assessed need for housing.

Clarity is sought on the relationship between Part 1 Policy SP2 and Part 2 Policy SG2, including Table SG2, where each provides a different housing number and plan period. This may require an appropriate explanation and/or one or both of the policies and the table to be amended in the Pre-Submission Plan.

ECC recommends the Pre-Submission Plan is supported by a housing trajectory clearly setting out the sites contributing to housing supply, site capacity and phasing. The Draft Plan did not include a housing trajectory therefore ECC is only able to provide information on the need for additional services and facilities on the basis of total housing growth and has not considered phasing. The housing trajectory and site specific requirements will also be necessary to inform the IDP, along with informing the assessment of the viability of the Draft Plan.

Minerals and Waste
It is recommended that Policy SG2: Housing Delivery should make reference to the requirements of MLP Policy S8. The policy could conclude with a re-iteration of the thresholds expressed in paragraph 1.10 of the Draft Plan. This ensures a policy link between the emerging Colchester Local Plan and the MLP.

6.3 Economic Delivery Policies (p65)

ECC welcomes Colchester BC's strategic and local economic allocations that support the NPPF and reflect the need for economic growth to be targeted at the most accessible and sustainable locations. The ability to deliver and bring forward employment land is particularly important for the Strategic Economic Areas and Garden Communities. ECC will use its endeavours to implement the strategic economic vision and objectives contained in Part 1 of the Draft Plan and those outlined in the Economic Plan for Essex (2014) and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan. ECC will seek investment to improve the east-west connectivity along the A120 to support growth opportunities, particularly those focusing on the two new Garden Communities. ECC is providing support for the Innovation Centre (part of the Knowledge Gateway) and has contributed to the Creative Business Centre.

ECC has commissioned consultants to undertake a feasibility study to explore the need for employment 'Grow-On Space' within the County. The purpose is to explore, firstly, whether a lack of 'Grow-On Space' is a substantial problem in the county and if so, what are the classes and sizes of commercial property that are lacking. The study will also seek to make recommendations on what can be done to address this issue including public sector interventions. Whilst there is provision of incubation / start-up space in various forms across Essex, there is anecdotal evidence to say that once established businesses have struggled to find suitable properties to move onto from their incubation / enterprise centres / start-up spaces which also prevents businesses from freeing up the units for other potential start-ups. The study and its recommendations are expected to be available late September 2016 and will be shared with Colchester BC to inform whether an appropriate policy response can be included in the Pre-Submission Plan.

The MWPA welcomes the safeguarding of employment land and the flexibility within Policies SG3 and SG4 to permit those sui generis uses that are akin to employment type uses and which accord with the caveats set out in the policies. This is consistent with the Pre-Submission Waste Local Plan and the identification of 'Areas of Search' (Policy 4, Table 4). The 'Areas of Search' seek to meet the need for additional small scale waste management facilities. It identifies the following areas located on existing industrial estates in Colchester Borough at Land off Axial Way, Myland; Severalls Industrial Park; Tollgate, Stanway; and Whitehall Road Industrial Estate. The Replacement Waste Local Plan would seek to focus any new proposals for waste management facilities, which support the local housing and economic growth, within these Areas of Search, before other locations are considered.

6.4 Policy SG6: Strategic Infrastructure (p75) and Part 2 Policy SG8: Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy (p77)

ECC supports the inclusion of policies covering strategic infrastructure, and developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy.

As a provider of key services and subject to statutory responsibilities, for example minerals and waste; highways, education (primary, secondary and EYC), and flood and water management, ECC will assist Colchester BC in the preparation of its IDP. ECC also recommend specific reference is made to ECC's Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions 2016, which sets ECC's standards for the receipt of relevant infrastructure funding.

Paragraph 162 of the NPPF states that LPAs should work with other authorities and providers to assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure for transport, water supply, wastewater and its treatment, energy (including heat), telecommunications, utilities, waste, health, social care, education, flood risk, and its ability to meet forecast demands. An IDP will need to be prepared to support the next iteration of the emerging Colchester Local Plan, and identify infrastructure required. The Local Plan should make clear, for at least the first five years, what infrastructure is required, who is going to fund and provide it, and how it relates to the anticipated rate and phasing of development. For the later stages of the plan period less detail may be provided as the position regarding the provision of infrastructure is likely to be less certain. If it is known that a development is unlikely to come forward until after the plan period due, for example, to uncertainty over deliverability of key infrastructure, then this should be clearly stated in the Local Plan.

ECC supports reference in Policy SG6 to:
* All new developments should be supported by, and have good access to, all necessary infrastructure, and
* development may need to be phased either spatially or in time to ensure the provision of infrastructure in a timely manner.

Any policy should ensure that sufficient school and EYC places are made available, at the appropriate time, within reasonable travelling distance for children moving onto new housing developments.

ECC supports reference in Policy SG8 that housing developers should contribute proportionally to the cost of providing the additional primary and secondary school places that will be required to accommodate the additional pupils moving onto their new housing developments.

It is recommended that Colchester BC consider a combined policy which encapsulates the main elements from Policy SG6 and Policy SG8 so that there is one coherent policy covering strategic infrastructure, and developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy. A new combined policy should consider covering the following:
* Specify when developers are required to either make direct provision or to contribute towards development for the provision of local and strategic infrastructure required by the development (including land for new schools);
* Requirements for all new development to be supported by, and have good access to all necessary infrastructure;
* Requirement to demonstrate that there is or will be sufficient infrastructure capacity to support and meet all the necessary requirements arising from the proposed implications of a scheme (i.e. not just those on the site or its immediate vicinity) and regardless of whether the proposal is a local plan allocation or a windfall site;
* When conditions or planning obligations will be appropriate - as part of a package or combination of infrastructure delivery measures - likely to be required to ensure new developments meets this principle; and
* Consideration of likely timing of infrastructure provision - phased spatially or to ensure provision of infrastructure in a timely manner.

Recommended wording for such an 'Infrastructure delivery and impact mitigation' policy is provided below:

Policy X: Infrastructure delivery and impact mitigation

Permission will only be granted if it can be demonstrated that there is sufficient appropriate infrastructure capacity to support the development or that such capacity will be delivered by the proposal. It must further be demonstrated that such capacity as is required will prove sustainable over time both in physical and financial terms.

Where a development proposal requires additional infrastructure capacity, to be deemed acceptable, mitigation measures must be agreed with the Council and the appropriate infrastructure provider. Such measures may include (not exclusively):
* financial contributions towards new or expanded facilities and the maintenance thereof;
* on-site construction of new provision;
* off-site capacity improvement works; and/or
* the provision of land.

Developers and land owners must work positively with the Council, neighbouring authorities and other infrastructure providers throughout the planning process to ensure that the cumulative impact of development is considered and then mitigated, at the appropriate time, in line with their published policies and guidance.

The Council will consider introducing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and will implement such for areas and/or development types where a viable charging schedule would best mitigate the impacts of growth. Section 106 will remain the appropriate mechanism for securing land and works along with financial contributions where a sum for the necessary infrastructure is not secured via CIL.

For the purposes of this policy the widest reasonable definition of infrastructure and infrastructure providers will be applied. Exemplar types of infrastructure are provided in the glossary appended to this plan.

Exceptions to this policy will only be considered whereby:
* it is proven that the benefit of the development proceeding without full mitigation outweighs the collective harm;
* a fully transparent open book viability assessment has proven that full mitigation cannot be afforded, allowing only for the minimum level of developer profit and land owner receipt necessary for the development to proceed;
* full and thorough investigation has been undertaken to find innovative solutions to issues and all possible steps have been taken to minimise the residual level of unmitigated impacts; and
* obligations are entered into by the developer that provide for appropriate additional mitigation in the event that viability improves prior to completion of the development.

7. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESTS POLICIS (p79)

7.1 National Environment Policy (p79)

The preamble to Policy ENV1: Natural Environment, currently addresses international sites, protected species, species of principal importance and priority habitat, but not the other suite of sites, except in the policy itself. European legislation is mentioned and strong protection given to European sites. However, it is recommended that reference is made to national sites. In addition to the international sites, the text should also explicitly state after paragraph 5.3 that the borough contains a range of other sites designated for wildlife including Sites of Specials Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and Special Roadside Verges and it should set out its proportionate approach for each, depending on their status. It should also highlight that brownfield sites can be important for biodiversity. The PPG provides further information.

* http://planningguidance.communities.gov.uk/blog/guidance/natural-environment/brownfield-land-soils-and-agricultural-land/

Paragraph 5.3
To set out the legal requirements, an additional sentence is required at the end of this paragraph:

"Proposals will only be acceptable if the appropriate assessment can demonstrate that it will not adversely affect the integrity of an international site".

Paragraph 5.7
It should be made clear that the review and amendment to the Coastal Protection Belt only applies to that part of the designation falling within Colchester Borough. Colchester BC is responsible for this designation and how this is progressed in its Local Plan. This is no longer a County Council responsibility.

Paragraph 5.9
The correct title is the 'Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan'.


7.2 Policy ENV1: Natural Environment (p80)

It is recommended that Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are included within the policy as follows:

"In particular, developments that have an adverse effect on Natura 2000 sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest or the Dedham Vale AONB....."

It is also recommended that in order to comply with the terminology within the legislation, the wording should be amended to read as follows:

'Proposals likely to have an adverse a significant effect on Special Protection Areas (SPAs)...'

Constraints maps
It is recommended that the Local Plan evidence base includes a constraints maps. This would ensure the identification of the statutory wildlife sites as well as Local Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and Special Verges.

7.3 Coastal Areas Policy (p81)

Paragraph 5.12
Reference should be made to the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone, which is designated under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. See weblink below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marine-conservation-zone-2013-designation-blackwater-crouch-roach-and-colne-estuaries

ECC draws Colchester BC's attention to proposals to extend the Dedham Vale Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (ANOB). This extension should be considered as part of the Draft Local Plan's evidence base and potential reference made in the Plan itself. Details of the ANOB extension are provided in the weblink below.

http://www.dedhamvalestourvalley.org/assets/2014-2-14-Dedham-Vale-AONB-boundary-extension-press-release.pdf

Paragraph 5.14
It should be made clear that the review and amendment to the Coastal Protection Belt only applies to that part of the designation falling within Colchester Borough. Colchester BC is responsible for this designation and how this is progressed in its Local Plan. This is no longer a County Council responsibility.

Additional issue
It is recommended that reference is made to the new national Coast Path and that Colchester BC work with Natural England, ECC and other partners to improve access to the coast. It is intended that this will be jointly branded as the 'Essex Coast Path' and partners are seeking to secure external funding for its delivery. The provisions outlined in Policy ENV2: Coastal Areas, should ensure the delivery of the path can be facilitated.


7.4 Climate Change Policy (p86)

ECC is supportive of a section dedicated to climate change and that in 2015 Colchester BC published an Environmental Sustainability Strategy which covers the key themes relating to climate change as stated in paragraph 5.46.

Colchester BC should be aware that updated climate change figures were released in February 2016 and should be accounted for in Local Plan preparation and the evidence base.

7.5 Policy CC1: Climate Change (p89)

ECC is supportive of Policy CC1: Climate Change, however the policy omits the need for development proposals to consider water efficiency, and the risks from flooding. It is acknowledged that these matters are covered under Policy DM23: Flood Risk and Water Management, but consideration should be given to Policy CC1 including the following:

* All new developments to consider:
o the impact of and promoting design responses to flood risk for the lifetime of the development, and
o availability of water and water infrastructure for the lifetime of the development and design responses to promote water efficiency and protect water quality.
* Directing development to locations with the least impact on flooding or water resources. Where development is proposed in flood risk areas, mitigation measures must be put in place to reduce the effects of flood water.
* Green infrastructure to be used as a way of adapting and mitigating for climate change through the management and enhancement of existing habitats and the creation of new ones to assist with species migration, to provide shade during higher temperatures and for flood mitigation

The NPPF requires Local Plans to deliver sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the framework and to set out the strategic priorities and polices for their area, this includes strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change in line with the Climate Change Act 2008. This involves taking account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as flood risk, coastal change, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change.

8. PLACES (p92)

Comments are provided for each place specific policy. The following is provided as a context for the assessment of primary and secondary education requirements and EYC.

8.1 Assessment of Primary and Secondary Education Requirements

Comments with regards to primary and secondary education requirements are provided below on the basis of the housing numbers in Part 2 Policies NC3, EC3, WC4, SS1 to SS16 and SS18. ECC will provide more detailed information on school provision once Colchester BC has an agreed housing trajectory. In preparing the ECC response to the Draft Plan the requirements have been formed using the School Commissioning for Places 2015 - 2020. Consideration has been given to existing spare capacity of facilities, their scope to expand, and utilising the ECC 'Developers Guide to Infrastructure Contributions' child yield rates to identify future demand for places. These requirements will need to be reviewed in the light of more detailed information, including a housing trajectory, the proposed housing mix and the capacity of nearby schools. In addition, it may be necessary to seek contributions from other sites where appropriate.

Where growth is to be located it will be essential to ensure the delivery of education facilities is undertaken in a timely and phased manner. Additional school places can be provided either by the expansion of existing schools/ academies or the opening of new "free schools" or academies. Existing schools and academies can only be expanded if they have sufficient site area to do so. In many cases existing school/ academy sites are restricted and cannot, therefore, be expanded easily without the provision of additional land. This is often impracticable in urban areas as schools are located within the existing built up area. In many rural areas schools are on restricted sites but there may be land adjacent to the existing school/ academy site that could be utilised to enable expansion.

Whilst faith schools and academies may have sufficient site area to expand this would need the agreement of the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford/Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood/ the academy trusts responsible for these schools/ academies. This is particularly relevant as a significant proportion of schools/ academies located within the borough are faith schools.

As indicated, ECC can identify those locations, particularly in rural areas, where scope exists to expand existing schools/ academies without the provision of additional land. In those areas where expansion opportunities are limited, sites for new schools should be identified within or close to the proposed developments. If existing schools cannot be expanded or growth is insufficient to provide a new school, it will be necessary for ECC to seek contributions from developers towards meeting the cost of providing transport between homes and schools.

Each year ECC publishes the Commissioning School Places in Essex document, and the current issue covers the period 2015-2020. This document sets out the number of places available at each school and the number of pupils that currently attend each. Using historic births data, current GP registrations, historic admissions patterns and current numbers on roll the demand for places five years hence is forecast. Longer range forecasts are produced but are less reliable as data on future birth rates is projected rather than based on actual births.
It will be important that in considering the housing allocations, and subsequent planning applications, the interests of schools should be taken fully on board. This is likely to involve allocating land for new school sites on new development sites, especially in and around Colchester and the new Garden Community. School site requirements are provided in the ECC Developer's Guide to Infrastructure Contributions 2015. ECC would wish to see any site for a new primary and secondary school identified early, safeguarded, and allocated as a D1 land use. ECC will continue to work with TDC to ensure delivery.

The scale of expansion of existing schools/academies is also important. The majority of primary schools are organised in classes of 30 pupils to comply with infant class size limits. It is easier, more cost effective and better from an organisational perspective to expand primary schools by a full form of entry (30 pupils per year group) or half a form of entry (15 pupils per year group) than it is to accommodate a smaller number of pupils. On this basis it is often easier and more cost effective to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of school places for larger scale housing developments than it is for relatively small scale developments, particularly in rural areas.

8.2 Assessment of Early Years and Childcare Requirements

Comments with regards to early years and childcare requirements are provided on the basis of the housing numbers in Part 2 Policies NC3, EC2, EC3, WC2, WC4, SS1 to SS16, and SS18. ECC will provide more detailed information on EYC provision as part of the Colchester BC's IDP and once there is a final housing trajectory. In preparing the ECC response to the Draft Plan the requirements have been formed using the 'Early Years Sufficiency Report, Spring 2016'. Consideration has been given to existing spare capacity of facilities, their scope to expand, and utilising the ECC 'Developers Guide to Infrastructure Contributions' child yield rates to identify future demand for places. These requirements will need to be reviewed in the light of more detailed information, including a housing trajectory, the proposed housing mix and the capacity of nearby schools. In addition, it may be necessary to seek contributions from other sites where appropriate.

ECC delivers EYC through a commissioning approach, with responsibility for providing certain elements of Early Years, particularly with regard to identifying gaps in childcare provision, targeted support and Government funded Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) for vulnerable 2-year olds and FEEE for all 3 and 4 year olds, which are commissioned from the private, voluntary and independent sectors.

Sufficient EYC provision also needs to be considered alongside other essential services and infrastructure. Exactly what the provision could look like depends on the nature of the development proposed. There is also the possibility that new EYC facilities could be located near employment areas, with adequate provision of land/buildings in employment centres. Consequently, ECC seeks amendment to Part 2 Policies SG3 and SG4 so that reference is made to the provision of EYC facilities.

The 'Early Years Sufficiency Report, Spring 2016' identifies there is presently 271 vacancies in existing facilities within the district. The Draft Plan is expected to generate the need for 682 additional places (calculated using new allocations of 7,579 in Table SG2 multiplied by 0.09 - the child yield). Provision will need to be at new facilities funded by individual developments or the expansion of existing facilities through developer contributions. Current vacancies are split into:
* 15hr vacancies for 2 year olds (80 vacancies); and
* 15hr vacancies for 3-4 year olds (191 vacancies).

Wards under pressure for both 2 year olds, and 3-4 year olds are as follows:
* St Johns
* East Donyland
* Wivenhoe Cross
* Pyefleet

Additional wards under pressure specifically for 2 year old provision are as follows:
* Castle
* Copford and West Stanway
* Great Tey
* Highwoods
* New Town
* Old Heath
* West Mersea

8.3 Policy NC1: North Colchester and Severalls Strategic Economic Area (p97)

Any new development should incorporate SuDS, which should include elements that address water quantity as well as biodiversity and amenity.

8.4 Policy NC2: North Station Special Policy Area (p100)

This area encompasses a Critical Drainage Area (CDA007) identified in the Colchester SWMP. Any development within this area should take a conservative approach to drainage design to ensure that flood risk is not increased and where possible address existing flood risk issues.

8.5 North Colchester (Zone 3 - Northern Gateway area north of the A12) (p98)

Paragraph 6.19
Reference is made to a growing population and the provision of 2,500 new dwellings over the plan period. Clarification is sought on where the 2,500 dwellings will be located within 'North Colchester' and how this figure correlates to Table SG2: Colchester's Housing Provision, on page 64.

8.6 North Colchester - Land at St. Botolph's Farm, Braiswick (p101)

Transport comments
Reference should be made in paragraph 6.34 to 'safe access' to ensure consistency with paragraph 6.36.

Surface water management comments
The area shows significant surface water flood risk to the east of St Botolph's Brook.

8.7 North Colchester - Land north of Achnacone Drive, Braiswick (p102)

Transport comments
Reference should be made in paragraph 6.35 to 'safe access' to ensure consistency with paragraph 6.36.

8.8 Policy NC3: North Colchester (p102)

Transport comments
Land at St Botolph's Farm Braiswick - an additional bullet point needs to be added to ensure consistency with paragraph 6.34 as follows:

* Access to be directly off the B1508


Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 88 dwellings during the plan period would generate up to 26 primary and up to 18 secondary aged pupils. Additional capacity has been provided in the Colchester north and rural north-east primary forecast planning group in the form of two new schools: Braiswick Primary - 2 forms of entry (420-place) primary school, opened in September 2015, and Camulos Academy - 2 forms of entry (420-place) primary school to open in September 2016. It is anticipated that the relatively small number of pupils from these developments could be accommodated at these schools.

At secondary level The Gilberd School has been expanded by one form of entry (150-places) from September 2015. However, this school remains the only secondary school located in the north of Colchester until new provision can be opened on the North Colchester Growth Area Urban Extension (NCGAUE). The Gilberd School will be under increasing pressure as housing is completed in the early part of the plan period. Until capacity is available in the NCGAUE it is possible that students may need to travel large distances to access secondary education.

Early years and childcare comments
New provision on the Braiswick school site and surplus places in surrounding settings will meet additional demand.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.9 East Colchester (Knowledge Gateway and University Strategic Economic Area) (p103)

Paragraphs 6.41 to 6.47
A MOU (April 2014) has also been signed between Colchester BC, University of Essex, ECC, and Tendring DC, which sets a framework for collaboration between parties in order to promote the economic interests and prosperity of North East Essex. The MOU was supplement in March 2015 to clarify joint strategic objectives and justify investing further time and resources into developing proposals for a potential new garden village (i.e. Garden Community). It is recommended that this MOU is mentioned in the Draft Plan.

8.10 Policy EC2: East Colchester - The Hythe Special Policy Area (p108)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 600 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 180 primary and up to 120 secondary aged pupils. (If much of this development took the form of flats/ apartments, then the pupil yield would be reduced.) At primary level this level of planned growth, taken together with other sites already granted planning permission, could not be accommodated without the expansion of one or more of the schools serving this area. (See also comments for Policy EC3.)

Secondary school places are currently under pressure in school's located within Colchester's urban area. Whilst there is currently some surplus capacity this will be fully utilised as higher pupil numbers feed through from primary schools and pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission. The expansion of an existing secondary school is likely to be required to accommodate the growth in pupil numbers from these housing developments.

Early years and childcare comments
The number of new dwellings would generate 54 additional childcare places. The requirement could be met by a new 26-30 place facility as there is some limited availability at existing facilities in the surrounding area.

Surface water management comments
The development area intersects with CDA001 and CDA002 (as identified in the Colchester SWMP) and has significant surface water flow paths passing through it as well as a number of key areas of historic flooding. Great care should be taken to ensure that SuDS are included as part of all developments in the area, this should include restriction of discharge rates into existing sewer networks wherever possible limiting back to the greenfield 1 in 1 year rate. If it is demonstrated that this is not achievable then a minimum of 50% reduction in rates should be applied to all developments

The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.11 Policy EC3: East Colchester (p111)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 430 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 129 primary and up to 86 secondary aged pupils. (If much of this development took the form of flats/ apartments, then the pupil yield would be reduced.) (See also comments for Policy EC2)

Secondary school places are currently under pressure in school's located within Colchester's urban area. Whilst there is currently some surplus capacity this will be fully utilised as higher pupil numbers feed through from primary schools and pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission. The expansion of an existing secondary school is likely to be required to accommodate the growth in pupil numbers from these housing developments.

Early years and childcare comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 37 childcare places and wards within East Colchester are generally pressure points for childcare sufficiency. An additional 26 place facility would be required.

Surface water management comments
Land at Port Lane, Easy Bay Mill, and the Magdalene Street sites are located in a Critical Drainage Area (CDA003) as defined in the Colchester Surface Water Management Plan, with Barrington Road/Bourne Road vacant site located in CDA002. Appropriate measures should be taken to accommodate the drainage needs of the proposed developments and re-developments in order to avoid exacerbating the current surface water flood risk in the catchment area. These measures could include the provision of onsite SuDS in accordance with National Guidance or the provision of flood alleviation measures in line with the Colchester SWMP. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.12 Policy WC1: Stanway Strategic Economic Area (p113)

Surface water management comments
Any new development should incorporate SuDS which should include elements that address water quantity as well as biodiversity and amenity. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.13 Policy WC2: Stanway (p116)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 778 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 233 primary and up to 156 secondary aged pupils. Existing pressure on primary school places in the Stanway area due to significant amounts of new housing has already resulted in the development of plans to expand both Stanway Primary and Stanway Fiveways Primary Schools. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the shortfall of places. A site for a new 1 form of entry primary school on the Lakelands development can be developed, when it becomes available, to ease the pressure on primary school places in the Stanway area.

At secondary level the significant amounts of new housing in the area has already resulted in the development of plans to expand The Stanway School and The Philip Morant School by 2 forms of entry each. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the current shortfall of places. However, the availability of the former Alderman Blaxill School site would allow the provision of additional secondary school places to serve this area.

Early years and childcare comments
Stanway is a pressure point for childcare. The area is currently served primarily by childminders and sessional provision. The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 70 childcare places. A new facility providing a minimum of 56 places, ideally co-located as part of the school project, would be required.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.14 Policy WC3: Colchester Zoo (p118)

The MWPA is pleased to note that the policy refers to the need to submit a MRA.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.15 Land at Gosbecks Phase 2 (p119)

Paragraph 6.86
ECC questions the statement that the site '...is well supported by infrastructure including public transport to the town centre...'. The existing Gosbecks Farm estate is (and any extension would be) poorly served by public transport and so it should be made clear improved public transport services and infrastructure would be required.

8.16 South of Berechurch Hall Road (p120)

Paragraph 6.87
Depending on the location of this site, there are no public transport services along Berechurch Hall Road. This paragraph refers to access onto Berechurch Road. It is suggested that this should be Berechurch Hall Road.

8.17 Land at Itvine Road (p120)

Paragraph 6.88
Reference is made to the site being 'accessed via a private track however there is no public access to this plot of land'. ECC seeks clarification on access arrangements and the how the land can be allocated for development if there is a question mark over whether an access to the required highway design standards can be provided.

8.18 Policy WC4: West Colchester (p121)

Education comments
At primary level developments totalling 308 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 92 primary and up to 62 secondary aged pupils. Existing pressure on primary school places serving west Colchester has already resulted in the development of plans to expand primary provision in this area. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the shortfall of places. Further expansion of primary provision is likely to be required to accommodate this level of growth.

At secondary level the significant amounts of new housing in the area has already resulted in the development of plans to expand The Stanway School and The Philip Morant School by 2 forms of entry each. The additional housing planned for the area will exacerbate the current shortfall of places. However, the availability of the former Alderman Blaxill School site would allow the provision of additional secondary school places to serve this area.

Early years and childcare comments
West Colchester is reasonably well served and could absorb additional demand for childcare places.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.18 Policy SS1: Abberton and Langhorne (p125)

Transport comments
In paragraph 100 replace the word 'footpaths' with 'footways'.
Housing sites located within Abberton and Langenhoe need to refer to the visibility issue at the Peldon Road/Layer Road junction.

Education comments
Developments totalling 30 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 9 primary aged pupils and up to 6 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Langenhoe Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. An expansion of this school would be required to accommodate the growth from the planned housing. (See also policy SS14 - Rowhedge. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Langenhoe sits within the Pyefleet ward which has a current shortage of childcare places across the age range. Demand could be met by expansion of local settings.

8.19 Policy SS2: Land east of Birch Street (p126)

Education comments
Developments totalling 15 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 5 primary aged pupils and up to 3 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Birch Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.20 Policy SS3: Boxted Housing sites (p128)

Education comments
Developments totalling 36 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 11 primary aged pupils and up to 7 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Boxted VA CE Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.21 Policy SS4: Chappel Housing Sites (p130)

Education comments
Developments totalling 30 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 9 primary aged pupils and up to 6 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Chappel CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.22 Policy SS5: Copford Housing sites (p131)

Education comments
Developments totalling 120 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 36 primary aged pupils and up to 24 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Copford VC CE Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This school also has a significant amount of temporary accommodation that will need to be replaced to meet ongoing demand in this area. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

8.23 Policy SS6: Dedham and Dedham Heath (p134)

Transport comments
In paragraphs 6.139 and 6.140 replace the word 'footpaths' with 'footways'.

Education comments
Developments totalling 17 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 5 primary aged pupils and up to 3 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Dedham CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.24 Policy SS7: Eight Ash Green (p136)

Education comments
Developments totalling 150 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 45 primary aged pupils and up to 30 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Holy Trinity CE VC Primary School is operating at close to capacity but has the site capacity to allow expansion to accommodate the growth from the planned housing. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for this policy to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.25 Policy SS8: Fordham (138)

Transport comments
The third bullet point refers to 'the development incorporating a new footway along the frontage/behind the existing hedgerow to provide safe pedestrian access from the site to existing footways and the rest of the village'. For personal safety (perceived and/or real) ECC would prefer the footway to be immediately adjacent the carriageway.

Education comments
Developments totalling 20 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 6 primary aged pupils and up to 4 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Fordham CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.26 Policy SS9: Great Horkesley (p139)

Education comments
Developments totalling 93 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 28 primary aged pupils and up to 19 secondary aged pupils. At primary level The Bishop William Ward CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at close to capacity. However, forecasts indicate a decline in pupil numbers in future years which would allow the school to accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

8.27 Policy SS10: Brook Road, Great Tey (p141)

Education comments
Developments totalling 17 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 5 primary aged pupils and up to 3 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Gt. Tey CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.


8.28 Policy SS11: Langham (p142)

Transport comments
In paragraphs 6.171 and 6.172 replace the word 'footpaths' with 'footways'.

Education comments
Developments totalling 125 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 38 primary aged pupils and up to 25 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Langham Primary School, which serves this area, could accommodate this level of growth. However, as a consequence some pupils from Colchester town who can currently access places at this school would no longer be able to do so. This would put more pressure on primary school places in Colchester town. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

8.29 Policy SS12: Layer de la Haye (p144)

Transport comments
The following amendments need to be made to the second and third bullet points.
* Access shall be via Old Forge Road and/or Great House Farm Road. A single access point via Hawthorn Road/Great House Farm Road. There shall be no vehicular access onto The Folley;
* A safe pedestrian access agreed with the Highway Authority to existing footpaths footways and Layer village to improve connectivity;

Education comments
Developments totalling 50 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 15 primary aged pupils and up to 10 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Layer-De-La Haye CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The school could accommodate this level of growth. However, as a consequence some pupils from Colchester town who can currently access places at this school would no longer be able to do so. This would put more pressure on primary school places in Colchester town. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

Public Health comments
It is noted that the GP surgery is at capacity. Discussions will need to take place with the surgery and NHS to determine if additional capacity is possible or in nearby GP surgeries.

8.30 Policy SS13: Marks Tey (p145)

Education comments
Whilst no specific allocation of housing has been made in respect of Marks Tey it is noted that the proposed new Garden Community in the area (Part 1 Policy SP9) will have a significant impact on schools in the area. Education comments have been provided under 'Part 1' of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

Surface water management comments
The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

8.31 Policy SS14: Land to the south of Battleswick Farm, Rowhedge Road (p147)

Transport comments
The following amendment needs to be made to the second bullet points.
* Vehicular and pedestrian access from Rowhedge Road, utilising the existing approach from Battleswick Farm. Additionally the development should improve pedestrian connectivity to the rest of the village by linking the site to Hill View Close;

Education comments
Developments totalling 60 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 18 primary aged pupils and up to 12 secondary aged pupils. The Rowhedge Port development at Rowhedge Wharf, which has recently been granted conditional planning permission, will produce an additional 46 primary aged and 30 secondary aged pupils. At primary level St Lawrence CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at close to capacity and, due to its restricted site area could not be expanded further to accommodate this level of growth. Another primary school in the area, Langenhoe Primary School or Cherry Tree Primary School would need to be expanded to accommodate this level of growth. (See also Policy SS1 - Abberton and Langenhoe.)
For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
There is existing capacity in current facilities and growth can be accommodated.

8.32 Policy SS15: Tiptree (p148)

Transport comments
The additional growth of 600 homes (Table SG2) will be considered as part of the transport modelling for the Pre-Submission Plan. There will need to be a link to the Braintree DC modelling as additional housing growth is planned at Feering.

Education comments
Developments totalling 600 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 180 primary aged pupils and up to 120 secondary aged pupils. The three sites in Tiptree granted conditional planning permission will produce an additional 76 primary aged and 51 secondary aged pupils. There is currently a significant number of surplus places in the primary schools serving Tiptree. However, with this level of growth it is likely that there would be a need to expand one of these schools by 1/2 form of entry (105-places).

At secondary level Thurstable School and 6th Form currently has some surplus capacity, however, most of this will be utilised as pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission in the area. It is, therefore, likely that the school will need to be expanded to accommodate the additional pupils that will be produced from the planned housing growth. (See also comments under Part 1 Policy SP9.)

Early Years and Childcare Comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 54 childcare places. As a minimum a new facility offering 26 places would be required. It would make sense if this was developed as part of any primary school expansion. Additional capacity could be provided by existing providers.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for any potential Neighbourhood plan to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual development areas as well as the provision of improved surface water alleviation scheme where appropriate.

8.33 Policy SS16: West Bergholt (p150)

Education comments
Developments totalling 120 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 36 primary aged pupils and up to 24 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Heathlands CE VC Primary School, which serves this area, is operating at close to capacity and is forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The school could accommodate this level of growth. However, as a consequence some pupils from the surrounding area who can currently access places at this school would no longer be able to do so. This would put more pressure on school places in neighbouring schools. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
Developer contributions would be required to expand the current facilities to accommodate the growth.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for any potential Neighbourhood plan to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual development areas.

8.34 Policy SS17a: Mersea Housing and Employment

Transport comments
In connection with 'Development of land at Dawes Lane, West Mersea', the third bullet point refers to 'A single site access off East Road.' The site does not appear to have any frontage onto East Road and it is suggested this should instead read 'Dawes Lane'.

Education comments
Developments totalling 350 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 105 primary aged pupils and up to 70 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Mersea Island School, which serves this area, is unusual insofar as almost all of the primary aged children on the island attend the school. The school would require further expansion to enable it to accommodate this level of growth. For impact on secondary schools see paragraph 8.37 of this response.

Whilst primary aged pupils attend the primary school serving the island all of the secondary school pupils living on the island require transport to reach the nearest secondary school in Colchester town. The provision of home to school transport falls to ECC and the scale of development proposed will influence the on-going transport costs.

Early Years and Childcare Comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 31 childcare places. As a minimum, a new facility offering 26 places would be required. It would make sense if this was developed as part of any primary school expansion. Additional capacity could be provided by existing providers.

8.36 Policy SS18: Wivenhoe

Education comments
Developments totalling 250 dwellings during the Plan period would generate up to 75 primary aged pupils and up to 50 secondary aged pupils. At primary level Broomgrove Infant and Junior Schools and Millfields Primary School, which serve this area, are all operating at, or close to, capacity and are forecast to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. With this level of housing growth, coupled with natural growth in the area, it is likely that there would be a need to expand either Broomgrove Infant and Junior Schools or Millfields Primary School by 1/2 form of entry (105-places).

Early Years and Childcare Comments
The number of new dwellings would generate an additional 22 childcare places. These places could be created by either extending existing local provision or by building a new facility. It would make sense if this was incorporated into any primary school expansion.

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in the area and it would be appropriate for any potential Neighbourhood plan to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual development areas.

8.37 Education comments: secondary school provision Policies SS1 to SS16, SS18

The vast majority of secondary aged pupils can be expected to attend one of the nine secondary schools located within Colchester's urban area. The cumulative impact of the new housing proposed for these villages would be the production of up to an additional 2 forms of entry (300 pupils).

Secondary school places are currently under pressure in school's located within Colchester's urban area. Whilst there is currently some surplus capacity this will be fully utilised as higher pupil numbers feed through from primary schools and pupils are produced from the new housing developments that have already been granted planning permission. Future school place planning will need to take into account the increased student quantum as a result of additional housing and depending on the location of the housing expansion of existing schools may need to be considered.

8.38 OV1: Development in Other Villages and Countryside (p158)

Surface water management comments
The EA uFMfSW indicates surface water risks in areas such as Aldham, Messing, Salcott-cum-Virley and Great Wigborough and it would be appropriate for this policy to include the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of any proposed developments in these areas. The following additional bullet point should be added to ensure surface water management issues are covered:

* Appropriate SuDS for managing surface water runoff within the overall design and layout of the site

9. DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES (p160)

9.1 Health and Wellbeing (p160)

Public Health comments
ECC supports the inclusion of a specific policy within the Local Plan covering health and wellbeing. ECC's responsibilities for public health were outlined in paragraph 5.1 of this response.

It is suggested that paragraph 7.2 is reworded as follows:
'There is a strong evidence base that shows the impact that the built environment has on the health and wellbeing of residents. This evidence base is growing and consideration must be given to how new developments will support and integrate health, wellbeing and lifestyle choices throughout the lifecourse of residents, workers and visitors to these new developments.'

Paragraph 7.3 refers to health impact assessments (HIA). It should be noted that the scope of a HIA is wider than assessing the impact on health services and facilities. ECC in its Public Health role support liaison with NHS England and the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group when looking at developments but would strongly encourage interaction with ECC Public Health colleagues for more specific advice on health improvement and ill-health prevention that impacts on a population level. In addition, the policies, guidance and information listed at the end of this response can further inform the preparation of the next version of the Draft Plan.

ECC seeks clarification as to who will advise and review the Health Impact Assessment once submitted. The need to assess the impact of development on people's health and wellbeing is supported. ECC considers such assessments are a good evaluation to access the impact of a development on the health of a community, to help develop potential ways to improve the quality of air and environment (including building resilience to climate change) and to make the local greenspace, and leisure facilities more accessible.

ECC Public Health would like to draw to the attention of Colchester BC that 'Green Space HIA' exist and provides the following link for information purposes.

* http://greenspacescotland.org.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=133&mid=129&fileid=41

Given ECC's role in public health (outlined earlier in this response) ECC would seek clarification regarding the process being considered to determine the health impact of new development proposals, and in particular:
* How is the impact of health by new development to be undertaken?
* Who is to be consulted on the health impact assessments provided by developers?
* Is the impact of individual and/or cumulative impacts of development to be monitored?

Further clarification on this issue is sought following consultation of the Draft Plan, to ensure ECC works with the local authority and developers to deliver high quality healthy places in which people can live and work.

ECC does not support the alternative options to Policy DM1 where the requirement for HIA is related to EIA development, or there is no requirement for a HIA.

9.2 Policy DM2: Community Facilities (p163)

ECC supports the statement in paragraph 7.6 that community facilities are an essential element of sustainable communities. ECC would recommend there is a need to ensure local such facilities are in place to coincide with the completion of different phases of development. This will need to be progressed through the IDP to support the Pre-Submission Plan.

There are presently seven libraries operating in Colchester Borough providing some 4,123 sq.m of library space. The ECC Library Service consistently seeks opportunities to work with partners and local people to shape its service. Moving forward the preferred approach is to provide multi-purpose 'community hubs' offering several multi-local council/partner services, with library and registrar services (births, deaths and marriages) and provide space for communities to gather and share skills and experiences. ECC would welcome discussions on a site by site basis to gather information and possibilities around a multitude of deliverable spaces. This relates to the proposed new Garden Communities, Stanway Community Hub, Greenstead and any other community centres or new builds across Colchester.

The Essex Youth Service operates a light-touch community model with youth workers becoming 'community commissioners' supporting the community to deliver services themselves. ECC retains ownership of a number of physical Youth Centres (three in Tendring District), where utilisation is maximised, especially for those youth functions that aren't compatible with other community uses. Whilst no new facilities are planned to be built, it will be necessary to provide multi-purpose community spaces in the proposed Garden Communities and perhaps at larger development, which also take account of specialised requirements of youth provision.

These requirements will need to be considered during relevant pre-application discussions, and whether multi-functional space is required or alternatively, a developer contribution.

9.3 Policy DM3: New Education Provision (p164)

ECC Schools Service supports this policy which states that "the council will respond positively to and support appropriate and well-designed applications regarding the creation of new schools and education facilities.........Where necessary the, the Council will utilise planning obligations to help mitigate any adverse impact of an educational development and assist in delivering development that has a positive impact on the community". This approach will be important as current government policy requires that any new schools will be "free schools"/ academies.

Where housing growth takes place it will be essential to ensure the delivery of education facilities is undertaken in a timely and phased manner. Additional school places can be provided either by the expansion of existing schools/academies or the opening of new "free schools" or academies. Existing schools and academies can only be expanded if they have sufficient site area to do so. In many cases existing school/academy sites are restricted and cannot, therefore, be expanded easily without the provision of additional land. This is often impracticable in urban areas as schools are located within the existing built up area. In many rural areas schools are on restricted sites but there may be land adjacent to the existing school/academy site that could be utilised to enable expansion. Whilst faith schools and academies may have sufficient site area to expand this would need the agreement of the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford/Roman Catholic Diocese of Braintree/ the academy trusts responsible for these schools/ academies.

ECC recommends Policy DM3 seeks the protection of proposed sites and those in current educational use on the Proposals Map for that use (Class D1).

As noted, the NPPF (paragraph 72) stresses the importance to ensuring that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities. Local planning authorities (LPA's) are encouraged to take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, and to development that will widen choice in education. LPA's are advised that they should give great weight to the need to create, expand or alter schools; and work with schools promoters to identify and resolve key planning issues before applications are submitted.

It should be noted that ECC's home to School Transport policy changed for children joining primary and secondary schools from September 2015. The new policy provides for free home to school transport to the nearest available school to a child's home address. The previous policy provided free home to school transport to a child's designated local school. This change in policy may, over time lead to a change in the pattern of attendance at schools in the district and will need to be monitored carefully to ensure that new school places are provided in those areas of greatest demand.

9.4 Policy DM6: Economic Development in Rural Areas and the Countryside (p170)

Colchester BC may wish to mention the LEADER EU funding (managed by Defra) which is promoting diversification for rural businesses. Representatives from Essex local authorities and ECC oversee the assessment of project bids.

9.5 Policy DM8: Affordable Housing (p173)

ECC recommends that housing classified as 'independent living' is included within the definition of affordable housing. This would support the delivery of ECC's Independent Living programme, which seeks to provide market and social housing for those within this specialist housing category.

9.6 Policy DM9: Housing Density (p175)

In considering the density of new development consideration should also be given to the need to provide high quality open space, including the provision of appropriate above ground SuDS features where necessary. Development in areas at risk of surface water flooding will need to consider whether the development could provide alleviation for the existing and proposed developments.

9.7 Policy DM10: Housing Diversity (p177)

ECC welcomes reference to Independent Living in paragraph 7.53. The following additions should be made as follows:

After '297 additional units' include (124 rental: 173 ownership)
The date of the position statement is now 2016

ECC further recommends specific reference to Independent Living within Policy DM10. In order for ECC to meet the statutory obligations as the provider of adult social care, control the costs of adult social care and improve the lives of residents, ECC is committed to influencing the provision of a range of housing options for the older population. Consequently, ECC is keen to support and enable older people to live independently.

ECC has reviewed its provision and delivery of Extra Care and is now promoting the Independent Living Programme throughout the county in liaison with Essex district authorities, which commenced in 2015. ECC's long term objective is to move from a model of approximately 60% residential care and 40% domiciliary care, to 45% domiciliary care, 50% independent living and 5% residential care. In 2015 ECC endorsed capital investment of around £27m to facilitate the delivery of around 2,730 units over a 5 - 7 year period.

The ECC Housing Board identified that greater awareness and consistent information and intelligence regarding Independent Living units should be provided to Local Planning Authorities, to enable them to produce planning policy frameworks and to make development management decisions that enable the increased supply of Independent Living units. An Independent Living Working Group, made up of ECC officers, Registered Providers, and officers from a number of local authorities has been established to move this forward. An Independent Living Planning Briefing Note is being prepared by ECC to identify how the Independent Living programme is to be delivered, and to identify the land use and planning aspects that need to be considered (i.e. design, layout, locations etc.). A copy will be circulated to Colchester BC when finalised.

9.8 Policy DM11: Gypsies, Travellers, and Travelling Showpeople (p178)

ECC recommends inclusion of specific reference to 'walking/cycling distance via a safe route' to the named services and facilities. ECC is liable for long term school transportation costs where a school is not within safe walking distance of home. Further, the safely accessible schools should be capable of accommodating pupils from the travelling community within existing spare capacity, given the unlikelihood of developer contributions being secured from traveller site proposals.

9.9 Policy DM12: Housing Standards (p180)

ECC welcomes inclusion of Lifetime Homes but would seek their mandatory application for older people and specialist housing.

ECC Public Health reference dementia friendly communities as national guidance, HAPPI design principles and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea older people planning guidance as below.

* RBKC (2015) Older People's Housing Design Guidance
https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/sites/default/files/atoms/files/Older%20People's%20Housing%20Design%20Guidance%20(low%20res).pdf

* LGA and Innovations in Dementia (2015) Dementia Friendly Communities Guidance for Councils
http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7058797/L15-238+Dementia+friendly+communities+guidance+for+councils/7acaa658-329e-4aa1-bdff-ef6a286dd373

Colchester BC may wish to consider strengthening the policy to meet the NPPF requirements regarding climate change by adding:

'Development will be planned to minimise the vulnerability to climate change impacts and that such development will not exacerbate vulnerability in other areas.'

The policy also should ensure that 'development layout allows for the inclusion of above ground SuDS features wherever possible'.

9.10 Policy DM18: Provision for Public Open Space (p192)

ECC Public Health supports access to green space for the multitude of health benefits that this provides.

It is also crucial to take into consideration that open spaces can also perform other functions such as for wildlife, recreation, flood risk mitigation, carbon storage, or food production (as outlined in the NPPF). Prioritising green infrastructure that has multiple benefits, specifically green space, can also reduce flood risk from a development.

There is the potential to add to Policy DM18 to cover mitigation and adaption to climate change in line with the Climate Change Act 2008. This includes taking into account climate change over the longer term, including factors such as flood risk, coastal change, water supply and changes to biodiversity and landscape. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change.

The following additional point for inclusion in Policy DM18 is provided for consideration.

'Provision of public open space will be used as a way of adapting and mitigating for climate change through the management and enhancement of existing habitats and the creation of new ones to assist with species migration, to provide shade during higher temperatures, and for flood mitigation.'

9.11 Policy DM20: Promoting Sustainable Transport and Changing Travel Behaviours (p195)

ECC welcomes Policy DM20, which seeks to increase modal shift towards sustainable modes; and improve the strategic road, rail and cycle network.

The growth identified in the Draft Plan, and in neighbouring Local Plans, will need to be supported by appropriate transport infrastructure. ECC has been working with Colchester BC and Highways England (HE) to consider the impacts of this growth, and as plan preparation progresses will, where possible, identify appropriate means to mitigate its impact.

ECC/Ringway Jacobs were commissioned by Colchester BC to undertake highway modelling to inform the emerging Draft Plan, and identify the likely impact on key junctions. Mitigation may not be feasible at all key junctions to enable them to operate 'within capacity' at 2033. Increased focus will need to be placed on encouraging modal shift as most journey to work trips are by car. Increased emphasis will need to be placed on increasing levels of public transport provision to reduce car trips. Additional modelling will be undertaken by ECC to support the Pre-Submission Local Plan.

ECC Public Health support linking existing cycling and walking routes, and provision of cycle storage. Reference can also be made to the Essex Countywide Cycling Strategy (2016).

ECC welcomes the safeguarding of existing and proposed routes for walking from developments. The England/Essex Coast Path should be noted as a proposed walking route of significance to both health and the local economy. The path has the potential to draw in significant numbers of visitors. Access to the path and the provision of appropriate parking at strategic locations within close proximity to this new and emerging national trail should be considered.

Additional requirement
Policy DM20 should make specific reference to the need for development to adhere to the content of ECC's Highway Authority Development Management Policies.

Highway Projects
It is clear that additional growth will impact upon the highway network, which is currently subject to a number of ongoing studies/projects aimed at improving the existing transport network and alleviating congestion issues in Colchester Borough. These projects are likely to have a significant positive effect on trip distribution within the Borough in the plan period.

ECC is preparing route based strategies for delivery post 2018/19, A133 - Colchester to Clacton, and Highways England for the A120 Colchester to Harwich. As outlined in Part 1 of the Draft Plan, route based strategies are prepared and delivered by ECC for strategic road corridors, in consultation with local authorities. The strategies will aim to provide:
* improved journey times and reliability for all users with traffic management;
* capacity enhancements and congestion relief measures;
* passenger transport improvements along the routes;
* walking and cycling improvements along the routes where appropriate;
* targeted safety improvements; and
* highway asset renewal.

ECC and Colchester BC will work closely with developers to put in place schemes that can both mitigate impact and contribute to improving the overall road network. These are likely not only to mitigate against the impacts of the development but will also provide relief to the existing road network through use as an alternative route by existing trips in the immediate vicinity. Further consideration will be given to appropriate access and safety matters through the consideration of Transport Assessments supporting the major development proposals.

Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 018 Reference ID: 12-018-20140306) states that the Local Plan should make clear, for at least the first five years, what infrastructure is required, who is going to fund and provide it, and how it relates to the anticipated rate and phasing of development. However, less detail may be provided at the later stages of the plan period as the position regarding the provision of infrastructure is likely to be less certain. ECC and Highways England will continue to progress these studies, and lobby Government, for their inclusion in national strategies and plans, to provide the Local Plan with the necessary degree of certainty for their future implementation and funding.

Moving forward close partnership working will be undertaken with Colchester BC, Highway England, ECC and other local authorities to progress the above projects to improve roads, public transport, and promote walking and cycling. All parties will continue to lobby Government, including DfT, to include these schemes in future programmes to secure necessary funding where possible.

9.12 Policy DM21: Sustainable Access to Development (p197)

Paragraph 7.119
The word 'Guidance' should be deleted.

Paragraph 7.120
Reference should be made to 'residential travel plans, school travel plans and residential travel information packs'. This should also be made to the last paragraph of Policy DM21 itself.

Additional requirement
Policy DM21 should make specific reference to the need for development to adhere to the content of ECC's Highway Authority Development Management Policies.

Contextual information to support Policy DM21
ECC has a statutory duty to publish a 'Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy' (SMoTS), and recently completed consultation regarding a draft Strategy. The SMoTS sets out how ECC aims to effectively target and adopt different methods of encouraging modal shift, by giving existing and future residents of Essex a better choice to travelling in and around the county. It outlines the steps ECC are taking to enable accessibility to places of employment and education for all, including other neighbourhood services such as retail and leisure; with the associated health, social and economic benefits to them and their associated communities.

The SMoTS covers a wide range of activities, with the following key objectives:
* To consolidate and build on the existing Travel Plans developed within the County
* Promoting and supporting the development and enablement of a range of travel alternatives being used to access employment, health and education
* Contribute to meeting the County Council's performance indicator targets for the Local Transport Plan (LTP)
* Better management of congestion during peak travel times
* Improving the environment by introducing high quality choices thereby reducing the need to travel by car and potentially reducing CO2 and other emissions
* Help to improve the health, welfare and safety of all Essex residents by encouraging an active lifestyle through increased walking and cycling
* Allow and enable residents to make an informed choice about how they travel for work, school and leisure

A key strategy element for the successful delivery of the objectives is the preparation and implementation of Travel Plans. These are long term management strategies providing a framework for managing transport issues and promoting travel choice. Developing and implementing a Travel Plan can help to reduce the use of the private car, which in turn helps to tackle localised congestion.

The SMoTS promotes the implementation of a number of travel plans, including:

* Workplace Travel Planning Initiatives - including ECC Travel Plan Accreditation Scheme (working alongside local businesses and employers with 50 or more staff members); ECC Employee Travel Plan (Cycle to Work Scheme, Interest Free Bike Loan Scheme, Rail Discount Scheme, Bus Discounts, Car Share Scheme(s) across hub offices and a Pool Bike Scheme); and Recommendations for Planning Applications (advice, support and guidance to developers and/or local employers on sustainable travel related matters).
* Residential Travel Planning - a Travel Plan is required on all developments of 250 dwellings or more and are requested through responses to individual planning applications; Residential Travel Information Pack (prepared by ECC) - sustainable travel booklet to all dwellings on new residential developments, including the provision of bus/rail tickets for free travel (if required), a Travel Plan may still be required for smaller developments if there are existing concerns relating to congestion, pollution, air quality and strain on the public transport network; ECC Residential Travel Plan Co-ordinator - promoting and monitoring alternatives to the private car through a menu of Travel Plan measures to housing developers and residents
* School Travel Planning - Recommendations for Planning Applications (as above); Assessment of the travel and transport requirements of young people; Audit of Sustainable Travel Infrastructure and Accessibility - to enable schools to assess how accessible their site is for pupils from their home locations; ECC Travel Training Team
* Hospital and Airport Travel Planning - Bus Travel discounts to staff; Car Share
* Marketing and Promotion - Support with promoting national campaigns such as Walking Month (May), Bike Week (June), Catch the Bus Week (July), and Car Free Day (September)

Other Travel Planning initiatives include:

* Neighbourhood/Community Travel Plans - if an area has been earmarked for multiple developments, either full residential or as mixed use, it is possible to implement a neighbourhood or community wide Travel Plan to mitigate against the cumulative impact of development. This may be particularly beneficial if there are a number of smaller applications over a period of time which would not ordinarily require a Travel Plan by themselves, but once complete will form a much larger community. This approach will also enable developments to share knowledge, resources, a Travel Plan Co-ordinator, as well as forming a joined up approach.
* Personalised Travel Planning (PTP) - as part of the Residential Travel Plan new residents can be provided with Personalised Travel Planning. This will be advertised within bespoke Residential Travel Information Packs, and will be exclusive to new residential developments built within Colchester Borough.

ECC strongly supports specific reference in Policy DM21 to Travel Plans especially given the need to encourage modal shift to accommodate the planned growth.

The ECC Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions (paragraph 5.72 - 5.74) further requires development to provide workplace, residential and school travel plans to encourage modal choice and reduce movements by car, and will be secured through s106 agreements. This will be supported by the SMoTS once adopted.
The ECC Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions (paragraph 5.3.2) seeks to promote sustainable modes of travel. ECC has a statutory duty to promote the use of sustainable methods of transport for all education and training related journeys, from pre-school age to post 16 students. Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 authorities are encouraged to develop Travel Plans with schools.

ECC will use its highways, transport and schools expertise to examine the provision of safe walking and cycling routes from new housing to education and other community facilities. Safe direct routes that encourage parents to leave the car at home will be required on all new developments. Financial contributions may also be required for off-site works. Such contributions may also be appropriate from smaller developments.

Walking and cycling are good for physical and mental health. Switching more journeys to active travel will improve health, quality of life and the environment, while at the same time reducing costs to the public purse. The following key tasks are recommended to encourage active travel; namely
* active travel should be enshrined in transport policies,
* ensure that safe, convenient, inclusive access for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users is maximised and is prioritised over private car use in the movement hierarchy,
* focus on converting short car trips to active travel and public transport,
* ensure that policies and budgets demonstrate how maximising active travel can benefit health, the economy and the environment,
* encourage new developments (and retrofits) to maximise opportunities for active travel with appropriate infrastructure (eg cycle lanes, cycle parking), and
* ensure that travel plans for new developments (including schools) prioritise and support active travel over car transport as part of designing safe and attractive neighbourhoods.

Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 010 Reference ID: 12-010-20140306) highlights that Local Plans should plan for the development needs of the plan area, and include a 'strategy and opportunities for addressing them, paying careful attention to both deliverability and viability'.

Education
Section 508A of the Education Act 1996 places a general duty on ECC to promote the use of sustainable travel and transport to and from schools and academies. The duty applies to children and young people of compulsory school age who travel to receive education or training in the County Council's area.

The Act defines sustainable modes of travel as those that ECC considers may improve the physical well-being of those who use them, the environmental well-being of all or part of the ECC's area, or a combination of the two.

ECC would wish to promote the principle of sustainable travel and transport to and from schools/ academies from new housing developments. This is because the sustainable school travel duty should have a broad impact, including providing health benefits for children, and their families, through active journeys, such as walking and cycling. It can also bring significant environmental improvements, through reduced levels of congestion and improvements in air quality to which children are particularly vulnerable. Creating safe walking, cycling and travel routes and encouraging more pupils to walk and cycle to school are also some of the best ways to reduce the need for transport and associated costs.

9.13 Policy DM23: Flood Risk and Water Management (p203)

Paragraph 7.133
The Updated Flood Map for Surface Water Flooding is not generally considered when reference is made to flood zones, however, ECC would like areas of flood risk highlighted within this data to be given similar treatment to the differing flood zones.

Paragraph 7.135
In addition to the requirement for a site specific flood risk assessment to be submitted for all developments over 1ha or within flood zones 2 and 3, a surface water drainage strategy should be submitted with any Major application in order to assess whether proper consideration has been given to SuDS.

Paragraph 7.139
The use of SuDS is an important tool regardless of whether infiltration is possible on a site. The current policy suggests that SuDS should only be used in these situations which is not in line with ECC policy or national guidance and best practice.

Policy DM23, second paragraph
It is essential that development includes flood defence/resilience measure AND SuDS. While both have different goals Policy DM23 should not consider it as an either or option. The policy should be amended accordingly.

Policy DM23, third paragraph
The following sentence needs to be deleted, "The use of SuDS will be particularly important as part of green field developments (but not exclusively)."

The use of SuDS is equally important on both greenfield and brownfield developments. Where possible both should have rates restricted back to the greenfield 1 in 1 year rate, however, should it be demonstrated that this is not possible on brownfield sites then a minimum of 50% betterment should be demonstrated for all storm events.

Policy DM23, first bullet point
ECC seeks removal of the example of 'water butt' from the acceptable source control measures. While their use is supported they are an unreliable way to manage surface water as the storage provided is often not available at times when the capacity is actually needed.

Policy DM23, second bullet point
All development should have rates restricted back to the greenfield 1 in 1 year rate, however, should it be demonstrated that this is not possible on brownfield sites then a minimum of 50% betterment should be demonstrated for all storm events.

9.14 Policy DM24: Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (p204)

All development should give priority to SuDS, however, it is only all major development that is subject to consultation with ECC as the Lead Local Flood Authority.

Only where there is a significant risk of pollution to the water environment, inappropriate soil conditions and/or engineering difficulties, should alternative methods of drainage discharge of water from the site be considered. It is important to note that SuDS is not restricted to ground that can infiltrate; SuDS covers a wide range of drainage options including attenuation when infiltration is not possible.

Role of Essex County Council - Lead Local Flood Authority
Under The Flood Risk Regulations (2009) and the Flood and Water Management Act (2011), ECC as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is responsible for developing, maintaining, applying and monitoring a strategy for flood risk management, including flood risk from surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.

In addition, ECC is responsible for preparing and implementing planning strategies that help deliver sustainable drainage by encouraging developers to incorporate SuDS for proposed developments wherever possible. ECC also has responsibility in approving SuDS proposals for new development as part of the wider planning application approval process. Under this arrangement, LLFAs act as a statutory consultee for major planning applications (sites for 10 or more houses or 1 ha in area) which have surface water drainage implications.

Geological constraints across Essex limit the use of infiltration features. Open water features can be used in open floodplain areas to provide attenuation upstream of large urban areas. Existing sustainable drainage features are predominantly attenuation / detention basins located in open floodplain. ECC, in coordination with water companies and Local Planning Authorities seeks to deliver SuDS on a strategic basis taking into account areas identified for growth, surface water drainage limitations and catchment characteristics.

On a local scale, site specific assessments are carried out to determine the most feasible SuDS mechanisms to use, as well as appropriate site tests to determine the suitability of SuDS options, as recommended by the CIRIA SuDS hierarchy, as included in the SuDS Manual (C753).

ECC considers that all development should incorporate SuDS measures, where possible. However, only major developments are the subject of a statutory consultation with the LLFA, which is defined as follows:

(a) the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;
(b) waste development;
(c) the provision of dwelling houses where -
(i) the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more; or
(ii) the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development falls within sub-paragraph (c) (i);
(d) the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more; or
(e) development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

ECC requires new development in Critical Drainage Areas (CDAs), which are located along surface water flow paths, to address the drainage infrastructure gap through the implementation of SuDS techniques.

In 2016 the EA published the 'Flood Risk Assessments: Climate Change Allowances', which identified amendments to allowances that should be made to flood risk assessments and strategic flood risk assessments arising from the effect of climate change on rainfall. These allowances are based on climate change projections and different scenarios of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. ECC's interpretation of this guidance requires all new development to allow for the upper end allowance of a 40% increase in rainfall events for most developments.

ECC notes that an update to the District Council's Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2009) (SFRA) is taking place. This will address the 2010 Flood and Water Act requirements in relation to the surface water implications.

9.15 Policy DM25: Renewable Energy, Water and Recycling (p206)

It is encouraging that the Draft Plan includes a section and policy covering renewable energy, water and recycling and is supportive of the approach outlined in Policy DM24.

9.16 Additional Policy: Improving the Telecommunications Network)

ECC recommends that the Draft Plan include a specific policy which requires all new dwellings and non-residential buildings to be served by at least a 'superfast' broadband (fibre optic) connection. It is noted this is included in Part 1, but a more detailed policy should be included in Part 2 of the Drat Plan. Colchester BC is referred to Policy CP3 from the Tendring Draft Local Plan, which recently finished public consultation. This was strongly supported by ECC.


Government Policy
The government has committed to ensuring that every premise in the UK has access to broadband with a minimum download speed in line with the defined Universal Obligation Service (UBS) by the end of 2015. The UBS is currently 2Mbps however will shortly be amended to 10Mbps under the Government's planned Digital Economy Bill.

In more remote locations where connection into BT Openreach/Virgin Media's broadband network to achieve these speeds is not possible, support and funding towards alternative connection technologies such as satellite broadband is offered.

Superfast Essex Programme
Connection to superfast broadband throughout the Greater Essex area is continuously undertaken via commercial roll-outs by BT Openreach, Virgin Media and Gigaclear. Superfast broadband is currently defined as speeds of 24Mbps or more, however Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) are currently updating the definition as speeds of 30Mbps or more. ECC is working in partnership with BT and Gigaclear to deliver Phase 2 of this programme.

Phase 1 aimed to expand superfast broadband connectivity to 87% of premises in Essex. This has been achieved and delivered earlier than programmed in 2016. Phase 2 has commenced with the objective of reaching 95% coverage by 2019. At present, this is based on the definition of 24Mbps or more, however will be updated following the revision of the definition of Superfast Broadband. Phase 2a, is to be delivered by BT, and Phase 2b, by Gigaclear concentrating on the more rural areas commenced in 2015.

Superfast Essex programme is currently investigating and testing options for further coverage and ultrafast technology. Ultrafast is defined, depending on the supplier, as delivering between 300Mbps and 1,000Mbps. This work includes the Phase 2b - Gigaclear contract, which delivers ultrafast speeds, and initial supplier engagement with suppliers representing a variety of technologies including fixed wireless broadband, in preparation for commissioning further coverage.

ECC is also looking at the development of ultrafast broadband provision to employment centres using Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). The objective would be to provide ultrafast to all major business parks in the Greater Essex area.

BT Openreach and other providers offer superfast broadband connection for all new developments, either free of charge or as part of a co-funded partnership. FTTP shall be provided free of charge to housing developments with one hundred or more dwellings. Developments smaller than this may have to provide contributions to ensure FTTP connection, or shall be provided copper connections for free.

Planning policies are under review at the local and national level to ensure that new build properties are enabled with fast broadband as part of any new development. Many councils are including within their Local Plan a requirement for all new developments to have high speed connectivity, a position strongly supported by ECC. ECC is recommending that requires all Local Plans in Essex to have broadband planning policies in place which when applied ensures high quality broadband is connected to all new homes and businesses at the point of construction in Essex.

The Phase 1 target of ensuring 87% of premises in Essex are connected to superfast broadband by 2016 has been achieved, with Phase 2 to provide 95% coverage by 2019 currently underway. Schemes to provide ultrafast broadband to both residential and commercial properties are underway by means of FTTP connections, with employment centres being a priority.

10. DELIVERY STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION (p208)

ECC would welcome specific mention of its responsibilities covering its role as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority, Education Authority, Highway Authority, Lead Local Food Authority, and the provider of a range of children's and adult social care services including housing.

11. GLOSSARY (p212)

The following definition for infrastructure is recommended for inclusion in the Draft Plan.

Infrastructure means any structure, building, system facility and/or provision required by an area for its social and/or economic function and/or well-being including (but not exclusively):

a. footways, cycleways and highways
b. public transport
c. drainage and flood protection
d. waste recycling facilities
e. education and childcare
f. healthcare
g. sports, leisure and recreation facilities
h. community and social facilities
i. cultural facilities, including public art
j. emergency services
k. green infrastructure
l. open space
m. affordable housing
n. live/work units and lifetime homes
o. broadband
p. facilities for specific sections of the community such as youth or the elderly

12. APPENDIX 2 - KEY DIAGRAM (p221)

ECC would recommend the key diagram is amended to better reflect the Local Plan's spatial strategy and settlement hierarchy to more clearly show where future development will be focused in the district and those areas to be protected. A clear base map and place names would provide clarity.

13. POLICIES / PROPOSALS MAP

It is recommended that each 'New Housing Allocation' shown on the Proposals Map is appropriately numbered/referenced on the maps to align with the relevant Local Plan policy.

The MWPA welcome the inclusion of Mineral Safeguarding Areas on the Colchester Local Plan Policies Map.

Map: East Colchester Policies EC1, EC2 and EC3 - ECC note the inclusion of the 'East Colchester Transit Route' on the map. ECC seeks further discussion with Colchester BC and other transport partners on this route and further detail around delivery and implementation before the Pre-Submission Plan is prepared.

14. MINERAL AND WASTE COMMENTS - PROPOSED GROWTH LOCATIONS

A number of growth locations identified in the Draft Plan are within 250m of safeguarded operational or permitted minerals and/or waste developments. Future development proposed at these locations must have reference to the requirements of the wider development plan, which includes the adopted MLP and submitted WLP. Such reference must seek to ensure that new development in Colchester Borough avoids impacts on the operation of important mineral and waste infrastructure. Whilst not amounting to an objection from the MWPA at this current time, the MWPA must be consulted on any development proposed within 250m of these safeguarded sites. The MWPA would object to proposed development where it is considered that the granting of planning permission would impact on the ability of these facilities to carry out their permitted or intended operations.

The table below shows those growth locations proposed in the Draft Plan that are within 250m of a safeguarded operational or permitted minerals and/or waste site. In recognition of the fact that some minerals and waste developments are temporary, permission expiry dates have been included. Where development is proposed within 250m of a facility at such a time as the permission has expired, the MWPA would still wish to be consulted to ensure that works have indeed been completed and have not been extended by way of a further permission.

Colchester Proposed Growth Location Minerals and/or Waste Facility
East of Colchester New Garden Community (EST06) Application Number: ESS/16/13/TEN
Site Reference: 14 457 31
Site Name: Land adjacent to A120
Proposal: Proposed development of a new waste management facility, with associated change of use of land. The facility comprises erection of a building for the transfer/bulking of municipal waste, together with ancillary development.
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Application Number: 12/00960/FUL (Tendring Permission)
Site Reference: N/A
Site Name: Allens Farm Tye Road Elmstead Colchester Essex CO7 7BB
Proposal: Erection of a combined heat and power bio-gas plant comprising anaerobic digester, silage clamp and digestate store.
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Wivenhoe Application Number: ESS/45/15/TEN
Site Reference: 14 421 27
Site Name: Wivenhoe Quarry
Proposal: Continuation of extraction of sand & gravel, reinstatement with inert fill and restoration to part agriculture, part nature conservation and part open water without compliance with conditions 50 (Operations completion date) and 51 (Removal of all associated infrastructure) attached to planning permission ref: ESS/42/12/TEN to allow an extension in time to the life of the permitted operations and deadline for removal of all associated infrastructure for an additional 3 years until December 2018.
Permission Expiry Date: December 2018
Application Number: ESS/48/15/TEN
Site Reference: 14 421 27
Site Name: Wivenhoe Quarry
Proposal: Continuation of use for the recycling of glass, coated roadstone chippings and scalpings, concrete and brick waste to produce secondary aggregates involving associated plant on land at Wivenhoe Quarry without compliance with condition 2 (operations completion date) attached to planning permission ref: ESS/41/12/COL to allow an extension in time to the life of the permitted recycling operations for an additional 3 years until 31 December 2018
Permission Expiry Date: December 2018
West of Colchester Garden Community Application Number: ESS/26/08/COL
Site Reference: 13 421 15
Site Name: Church Lane, Marks Tey
Proposal: Periodic review of mineral permission IDO/COL/1/92A for the extraction of brickearth clay and use in the adjacent brickworks
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Please note that this quarry is within the proposed growth location boundary
Application Number: ESS/41/08/COL
Site Reference: 13 457 17
Site Name: Honeylands Farm
Proposal: Change of use of an industrial unit to a waste transfer station to be used for the recycling of waste arising from highway gullies
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
Please note that this facility is within the proposed growth location boundary
West of Colchester Garden Community Application Number: COL/476/91
Site Reference: 13 422 01
Site Name: Marks Tey Rail Depot
Proposal: Overnight HGV Lorry Park
Permission Expiry Date: N/A
West of Colchester Garden Community Application Number: ESS/41/08/COL
Site Reference: 13 457 17
Site Name: Honeylands Farm
Proposal: Change of use of an industrial unit to a waste transfer station to be used for the recycling of waste arising from highway gullies
Permission Expiry Date: N/A

15. MINOR WORDING CHANGES TO SUPPORTING TEXT

Refer to 'London Stansted Airport' rather than 'Stansted Airport' wherever this appears throughout the document.

Reference is made in the Strategic Plan Policies SP7 - 10 under transportation to 'foot and cycle ways'. ECC recommend a consistent reference is used, namely 'cycleway and footway' and wherever the terms appear throughout the Draft Plan.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
PUBLIC HEALTH LOCAL PLAN EVIDENCE - USEFUL LINKS

The following links provide useful information/documents, which can be used to inform emerging policies regarding public health matters:

1. Active Design principles; Planning for health and wellbeing through sport and physical activity"; by Sport England and Public Health England
2. Public Health England (2015) Health Profiles by authority area, published June 2015 Public Health England (2015) Health Profile Colchester (June 2015)
http://www.apho.org.uk/resource/view.aspx?QN=HP_RESULTS&GEOGRAPHY=22

Health Profiles provide summary health information to support local authority members, officers and community partners to lead for health improvement. Health Profiles is a programme to improve availability and accessibility for health and health-related information in England. The profiles give a snapshot overview of health for each local authority in England. Health Profiles are produced annually.

Designed to help local government and health services make decisions and plans to improve local people's health and reduce health inequalities, the profiles present a set of health indicators that show how the area compares to the national average. The indicators are carefully selected each year to reflect important public health topics. For more information about the 2015 profiles data (including changes compared to the 2014 profiles) please see the Data page or read our FAQs.

3. Healthy Places- wellbeing in the Environment (2016) by The UK Health Forum
http://www.healthyplaces.org.uk/themes/access-to-healthy-food/hot-food-takeaways/development-control/

The UK Health Forum conducts and commissions research for the on-going development of Healthy Places. This work gives an outline of local structures and responsibilities in each area of focus at the time of research and provides the starting point for many of the themes and key issues found on Healthy Places.
* The regulatory environment and public health: Assessing the options for local authorities to use the regulatory environment to reduce obesity
* Planning
* Sustainability, health and local authorities
* Transport and public health
* Local alcohol control

4. Essex Insights (2015) Local Authority Portrait Published June 2015

5. Dementia friendly communities Guidance for Councils by LGA (second edition) (circa 2014/5)
The publication date is not stated but the Guidance builds on earlier guidelines produced by the LGA in 2012, and is informed by good practice over the last three years and emerging evidence about what works well in supporting people with dementia and those that support them. It is about what local government can do to help make this a reality. The purpose of the guide is to help councils play their part in developing communities where people can live well with dementia. It is about enabling people with dementia, their families, friends and carers to feel at home, supported, understood and that they matter.

6. Healthy New Towns by NHS England 2016
NHS England are working with ten housing developments to shape the health of communities, and to rethink how health and care services can be delivered. The Programme offers a golden opportunity to radically rethink how we live - and takes an ambitious look at improving health through the built environment. In March 2016, following a rigorous selection process, NHS England announced the ten demonstrator sites they will be working with.

In the NHS Five Year Forward View, a clear commitment was made to dramatically improve population health, and integrate health and care services, as new places are built and take shape. This commitment recognises the need to build over 200,000 more homes in England every year, and invited Expressions of Interest from developments across the country. Over time, NHS England look forward to connecting with this broad community of sites look to build health into the design of new and regenerated places. Now, the Healthy New Towns Programme will work alongside the ten housing developments across the country to offer challenge, inspiration and support as they develop their ambitious plans for building healthy communities. The programme is looking at how sites can redesign local health and care services, and how they can take a cutting edge approach to improving their community's health, wellbeing and independence.

7. Working Together to Promote Active Travel by Public Health England May 2016 A briefing for local authorities

The briefing has been written for transport planners, others concerned with the built environment, and public health practitioners. It looks at the impact of current transport systems and sets out the many benefits of increasing physical activity through active travel. It suggests that while motorised road transport has a role in supporting the economy, a rebalancing of our travel system is needed. Some key messages when developing a healthy local transport strategy include:
* physical inactivity directly contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and costs £7.4 billion a year to business and wider society
* the growth in road transport has been a major factor in reducing levels of physical activity and increasing obesity
* building walking or cycling into daily routines are the most effective ways to increase physical activity
* short car trips (under 5 miles) are a prime area for switching to active travel and to public transport
* health-promoting transport systems are pro-business and support economic prosperity. They enable optimal travel to work with less congestion, collisions, pollution, and they support a healthier workforce

This guide suggests a range of practical action for local authorities, from overall policy to practical implementation. It highlights the importance of community involvement and sets out key steps for transport and public health practitioners.
8. Tackling Obesity and Planning

Local Government Association (2016) Tipping the Scales; Case studies on the use of planning powers to limit the use of hot takeaways
(http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7632544/L15-427+Tipping+the+scales/6d16554e-072b-46cd-b6fd-8aaf31487c84)

Public Health England, LGA and TCPA (2016) Building The Foundations; Tackling Obesity through Planning and Development
(http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7632544/L16-6+building+the+foundations+-+tackling+obesity_v05.pdf/a5cc1a11-57b2-46e3-bb30-2b2a01635d1a)

9. Provision of open space, sport and recreation

There is a tool that provides a Health Impact Assessments are available for green space/open space
http://greenspacescotland.org.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=133&mid=129&fileid=41

Public Health England (September 2014) Local Actions on Reducing Health Inequalities; Improving Access to Green Space to reduce health inequalities Health Briefing
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/355792/Briefing8_Green_spaces_health_inequalities.pdf)

10. Ageing population and development planning

Dementia Friendly Communities Guidance for Councils 2015. LGA and Innovations in Dementia
(http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/7058797/L15-238+Dementia+friendly+communities+guidance+for+councils/7acaa658-329e-4aa1-bdff-ef6a286dd373)

Communities and Local Government (2008) Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods; A National Strategy for Housing an Ageing Population
(http://www.cpa.org.uk/cpa/lifetimehomes.pdf)

11. Wider guidance to be considered for better mental health and wellbeing related to planning

The King's Fund (2013) Improving the Public's Health; A guide For Local Authorities
(http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/improving-the-publics-health-kingsfund-dec13.pdf)

Mental Health Foundation (2016) Mental Health and Housing
(https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/Mental_Health_and_Housing_report_2016_1.pdf)


Public Health England and UCL Institute of Health Equity (2015) Reducing Social Isolation across the lifecourse.
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461120/3a_Social_isolation-Full-revised.pdf)

London Healthy Urban Development (no date)
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461120/3a_Social_isolation-Full-revised.pdf)

Design Council Planning for Health (2009)
(http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/future-health-full.pdf)

Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2568

Received: 27/06/2016

Respondent: Braintree District Council

Representation:

Comment text for Paragraph 3.1
Braintree District Council welcomes the positive approach to strategic joint working being taken by Colchester Borough Council within North Essex to address strategic priorities for housing , employment and sustainable growth.

BDC supports the aims and objectives of the Draft Local Plan (Preferred Options).

BDC is satisfied that the appropriate level of joint-working has been undertaken to­ date in accordance with the Duty-to-Cooperate for strategic priorities and other issues.

Full text:

Colchester Borough Council Draft Local Plan (Preferred Options) Consultation
Comment text for Paragraph 3.1
Braintree District Council welcomes the positive approach to strategic working
being taken by Colchester Borough Council within the North Essex area to address strategic priorities, including the commitment to meet objectively assessed housing needs for market and affordable housing, employment needs and to promote sustainable growth.

As a neighbour and partner in the production of the Shared Strategic Plan for North Essex, or 'Part 1', BOC supports the aims and objectives of the Draft Local Plan (Preferred Options). A Memorandum of Co-operation: Collaborative Working on Strategic Growth Priorities in North and Central Essex was signed between the two authorities, along with Tendring, Chelmsford and Essex County Council. All signatory councils have agreed to meet Full Objectively Assessed Needs for Housing for the Housing Market Area (HMA) and co-operate to plan for cross boundary issues.

BOC is satisfied that the appropriate level of joint-working has been undertaken to­ date in accordance with the Duty-to-Cooperate for strategic priorities and other issues.

Housing
BDC supports the full, objective assessment of housing need in Draft Local Plan which arrives at a target of 920 dwellings per year, the upper end of a range.

Infrastructure
The Council notes that Colchester's Spatial Strategy will focus the majority of growth on the urban areas of Colchester and the Garden Communities, but a proportion of growth will also be located at Large Villages and District Centres. Policy SG2 allocates the following number of dwellings to District villages: 250 at Wivenhoe, 350 at West Mersea and 600 at Tiptree. It is noted that Tiptree is allocated the largest share outside the top two tiers, and when committed developments are also taken into account, a total of 829 additional dwellings are planned.

Policy SS15 establishes the principle that development policies would be devolved to the Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan however BDC are concerned that strategic cross boundary issues will not be appropriately addressed at the lowest tier of planning.

Braintree's Draft Local Plan has identified Kelvedon and Feering as strategic growth location and is seeking to allocate at least 1335 dwellings to these villages. BDC is pleased to see reference to Kelvedon at paragraph 6.195, however there is not enough detail in this policy to guide the Neighbourhood Plan and ensure strategic infrastructure delivery on either side of the boundary, particularly as the 'Basic Conditions' only requires that neighbourhood plans have general conformity with the Local Plan and not consideration of wider strategic issues.
More consideration should be made in this policy to ensure that cross boundary matters are dealt with, including pressing issues to proactively deliver infrastructure to accommodate growth at the right time.

BDC requests that further partnership working is undertaken between, Braintree, Colchester and Essex County Council regarding both authorities' proposals at Tiptree, Kelvedon and Feering, so that appropriate policies can be laid out.

Other Matters
BDC has no further comments on the remainder of Colchester's policies or allocations in Part 2 of the Local Plan at this time.


Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2953

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation:

Support for approach re climate change and for focusing development at sustainable locations. Important in the context of flood risk, siting of development, land use & final design. The SFRA is important evidence to inform the conformity of both the LPA and developers to this objective through application of the Sequential Test.
Consider seeking contributions for new development/re-developments that will benefit from existing flood defence infrastructure, to ensure that they can be renewed or raised as required. New developments (post Jan 2012), built within flood risk areas will not be qualify for investment from Central Government's Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid.

Full text:

Thank you for the consultation on your draft Local Plan. We have provided our comments below in the same format as the draft Plan for ease.
Part 1
1 North Essex Authorities
Paragraph 1.19 - No reference is made in this section to the Strategic Flood risk Assessment (SFRA) update as a key evidence base document. As highlighted further on in this response, the SFRA will have an essential role in ensuring that the flood risk Sequential and Exception test have been appropriately applied to the Local plan. The Water Cycle Study is referred to, but is not available in the webpage of accessible evidence base documents. Paragraph 1.22 suggests that all of this evidence base is publically available, but this does not currently appear to be the case.
Policy SP4 - Infrastructure and Connectivity
Whilst we acknowledge that this policy currently focuses principally on transport and broadband, we would highlight that there is no similar overarching policy that addresses other 'environmental' infrastructure requirements. For example, there is no reference to the need to provide further waste water or flood risk infrastructure to help accommodate the proposed growth. We suggest that the need for similar overarching policy references are considered.

Policy SP5 - Place Shaping Principles
We support the inclusion of this policy, and would take this opportunity to highlight the positive role that a comprehensive design approach (in the form of development frameworks and master-plans) can have in helping to deliver well designed and multifunctional green infrastructure. Public open space and green infrastructure can serve to provide benefits such as sustainable drainage, amenity and ecological habitat improvements. It would be useful for reference to such multiple benefits to be included in the bullet points.
The inclusion of areas of ditches and watercourses within areas of public open space (as opposed to putting these within or bounding property curtilages), will help to ensure that these features are retained. This will ensure that the benefits that they can provide, in terms of managing surface water, enhancing ecology and amenity etc., can continue to be realised through on going management into the future. There also is likely to be lesser potential for watercourse related problems if the site layout allows for these features to be incorporated within land areas that are to be maintained by management companies or community trusts or organisations, rather than being the responsibility of individual property owners.
Policy SP7 - Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in Essex
We welcome Policy SP7 and the aspiration for the new Garden Communities to be climate resilient and water neutral, for there to be net gains in biodiversity and high standards of innovation, water efficiency and waste management. We look forward to engaging on these issues further as the design of these communities' progresses.
We particularly support point iv) of this policy, which states that 'Sequencing of development and infrastructure provision (both on-site and off-site) to ensure that the latter is provided in tandem with or ahead of the development it supports.' The addition of 30-40,000 new homes in total will influence the quality and capacity of existing waste water treatment works and we would expect to be consulted further in future planning phases to discuss potential impacts on the water environment and any potential upgrades to existing infrastructure. In particular, early consultation with ourselves and Anglian Water is strongly recommended regarding the foul water treatment arrangements of the three new garden communities. It is likely that they will need either complete new works, or substantial upgrades to existing works.
We are disappointed, however, that there is no specific text to support the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems and the multifunctional use of green space to provide areas for recreation and flood risk management. We do, however, note that the provision of sustainable drainage systems is mentioned in Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10.
Policy SP8 - East Colchester / West Tendring new garden community
Policy SP9 - West of Colchester / East Braintree new garden community
Policy SP10 - West of Braintree new garden community
We are very supportive of these policies, which are specific to each proposed New Garden Community.
We are also pleased to see that a high proportion of green infrastructure is planned for the East Colchester/West Tendring New Garden Community, with a country park planned around Salary Brook. We would advise that the outer boundary of the new country park should be commensurate with the outer boundary of Flood Zone 2 to
assist the Council in its duty to demonstrate compliance with the required flood risk sequential approach.
When producing a masterplan for the development of this area, both Councils should consider flood risk from all sources, using the Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRA), the Flood Map for Planning, and surface water flood risk maps from the Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) and/or our published Risk of Surface Water Flooding maps as useful evidence base documents.
We support the specific references to the provision of sustainable surface water drainage measures. As above, we would highlight the potential multiple functions of such systems which can form part of public open space or other green-grid infrastructure, and provide biodiversity benefits if well designed.
In respect of foul drainage capacity, the minimum provision scheduled for the east and west new settlements up to 2033 can be accommodated within the current capacity of Colchester WRC. As has correctly been identified, upgrades and a new permit will at some point be required to serve the entire planned development. However, this is a much better option, both environmentally and in terms of permit restrictions, than trying to direct the waste water from these developments to smaller works. New discharges from smaller works will be subject to permits with extremely tight discharge limits, which would be very difficult and expensive to achieve. Upgrades to Colchester WRC are much more achievable and we are therefore supportive of this approach.
Part 2 Local Plan for Colchester
3. Vision and Objectives for Part Two
Objectives
Section 3.13: Sustainable Growth
We support the references to new development addressing the causes and potential impacts of climate change and of focusing development at sustainable locations. This is very important in the context of flood risk, both in the broad-scale siting of development and the chosen land use as well as in the final design of the development. The SFRA should be used as evidence base to help inform the conformity of both the LPA and developers to this objective through the application of the Sequential Test.
Where new development and re-developments will benefit from existing flood defence infrastructure, you should consider seeking contributions (directly or through CIL), to ensure that this type of infrastructure can be renewed or raised as required in future. New developments (post Jan 2012), built within recognised flood risk areas cannot be included in the cost benefit and outcome measure calculations used for determining investment from Central Government's Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid.
(See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flood-and-coastal-resilience-partnership-funding)
Section 3.14: Natural Environment
We support the inclusion of objectives to protect the countryside and coast, and to ensure that new development avoids areas of flood risk and seeks to reduce future flood risk where possible. The SFRA, Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) and the published Flood Maps are the key evidence base documents to help inform this objective.
We also fully support and welcome the objective to "protect and enhance ...biodiversity, green spaces...water quality and river corridors".
4. Sustainable Growth Policies
The Spatial Strategy, and in turn allocated sites for all development proposals, must be informed by the application of the flood risk Sequential Test as part of the plan making process. The Exception Test should then also be applied as necessary and to the degree required for a Local Plan allocation. We note the reference to the Sequential Test in policy DM23, but currently we have not seen any evidence that the Sequential or Exception Tests have been applied to and informed the emerging plan. This evidence will need to support the submission version of the plan for it to be sound. The SFRA will have a key role in informing this process. It must also be ensured that appropriate regard is given to future flood risk (flood risk is considered throughout the lifetime of any proposed development), and that the latest climate change allowances are used to assess this.
Sustainable Settlements
We are pleased to see that flood risk was one of the environmental constraints that was assessed when developing the list of sustainable settlements (although see comments in respect of the Sequential Test, above).
In communities where specific development locations will be decided through the evolution of Neighbourhood Plans, we would hope to see the evidence base of the SFRA, SWMP and the Flood Map for Planning and Risk of Surface Water Flooding Map used to influence those decisions. We would welcome early engagement to help with interpretation of the flood risk evidence base, and to be consulted on early draft Neighbourhood Plans where flood risk is a key issue.
Strategic Infrastructure Policy
Paragraph 4.57 and Policy SG6: Strategic Infrastructure
We are pleased to see and support the inclusion this policy. We welcome the consideration of flood risk management and resilience, and water quality within the categories of infrastructure covered in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan and highlighted in 4.57. "Necessary infrastructure" as stated in the policy should include all of these infrastructure types, and this should be made clear.
We would also highlight the Government Policy on Flood Defence and Partnership Funding, and the potential need to support the construction of new or replacement flood risk management infrastructure with local contributions as the full funding of schemes from central government finances may not be applicable in all cases.
(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flood-and-coastal-resilience-partnership-funding)
Neighbourhood Plan Policy
Policy SG7: Neighbourhood Plans
We would welcome the opportunity to assist the LPA in providing advice to those communities producing Neighbourhood Plans, where flood risk is identified as a constraint within the boundaries of the Plan area. Early engagement would be beneficial to all parties.
Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy Policy
Paragraph 4.65 & Policy SG8: Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy
We would welcome the opportunity to contribute to CIL and developer contribution considerations. Where new development and re-developments will benefit from existing flood defence infrastructure, it is important that the Council seeks contributions (directly or through CIL) to ensure that this type of infrastructure can be renewed or raised in future. As mentioned above, new developments (post Jan 2012) built within recognised flood risk areas, cannot be included in the cost benefit and outcome measure calculations used for determining investment from Central Government's Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid.
New development on sites that have passed the Sequential test and are proposed on land without an adequate standard of flood protection will have to fund improvements in wider flood defence infrastructure or alternatively will be expected to develop and fund their own independent flood defences.
5. Environmental Assets Policies
Natural Environment Policy
Paragraph 5.4 & 5.5: While we welcome the inclusion of this text, there should also be reference to taking opportunities to enhance and improve the natural environment, to enable Strategic Objective 5 from the Sustainability Appraisal to be met and to further support the implementation of Policy ENV1. We welcome the reference to "conserve and enhance" the natural environment in ENV1, but would suggest the use of "providing net gains for biodiversity" to better reflect the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.
Specific reference should be made within the Plan to the Water Framework Directive (WFD). WFD objectives and local River Basin Management Plan actions should be used to inform the Local Plan making process, to ensure that waterbodies are protected and wherever possible improved. We are happy to discuss this with you further.
WFD requires EU member states to divide up the water environment into management units called water bodies. Environmental objectives are set for each water body to help protect and improve its quality. Each water body has an objective to achieve 'good status' and to protect the water body by preventing deterioration in its status.
Colchester Borough falls within the Combined Essex Catchment within the Anglian River Basin Management Plan (2015). Environmental objectives have been set for each of the protected areas and water bodies in the River Basin District. They were identified through a process involving technical and economic appraisals and formal public consultation. Achieving the objectives will optimise the benefits to society from using the water environment. These are legally binding. All public bodies must have regard to these objectives when making decisions that could affect the quality of the water environment. Policies that could be included refer to de-culverting, removal of redundant structures from main rivers, creation and maintenance of wildlife-rich corridors to buffer watercourses, appropriate planting with native species and removal of non- native species.
The environmental objectives of the WFD are:
* to prevent deterioration of the status of surface waters and groundwater
* to achieve objectives and standards for protected areas
* to aim to achieve good status for all water bodies or, for heavily modified water bodies and artificial water bodies, good ecological potential and good surface water chemical status
* to reverse any significant and sustained upward trends in pollutant concentrations in groundwater
* the cessation of discharges, emissions and loses of priority hazardous substances into surface waters
* progressively reduce the pollution of groundwater and prevent or limit the entry of pollutants
Coastal Areas Policy
Paragraph 5.12: We agree that the coastal area is an extremely valuable asset. This section should also include mention of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone.
Paragraph 5.13: We support the inclusion of this text. Paragraph 071 of the NPPF PPG (7-071-20140306) suggests that a coastal change management area should be identified by a Local Plan. This is described as an area which is likely to be affected by physical change to the shoreline through erosion, coastal landslip, permanent inundation or coastal accretion. Furthermore, paragraph 072 (ID 7-072-201403060) states 'A Coastal Change Management Area will only be defined where rates of shoreline change are significant over the next 100 years, taking account of climate change. They will not need to be defined where the accepted shoreline management plan policy is to hold or advance the line (maintain existing defences or build new defences) for the whole period covered by the plan, subject to evidence of how this may be secured.' The Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan section 4.6 provides a plan summary for Management Unit E (Mersea Island). The variance in policy can be seen on policy maps 4-17 to 4-20 and includes areas of 'managed realignment' and 'no active intervention'. You therefore may wish to consider the definition of coastal change management areas at Mersea Island.
Paragraph 5.15: We note the restrictions on development due to the Coastal protection belt. We would also highlight that where development is proposed in these areas (where flood risk is also a constraint), it must be an appropriate land use with regard to the flood zone in which it is proposed to be sited and to the flood vulnerability classification.
Policy ENV2: Coastal Areas: We would suggest that bullet point (ii) includes the addition of "Is a land use type that is appropriate to the Flood Zone, will be safe from flooding over its planned lifetime and will not have an unacceptable impact on coastal change;"
Green Infrastructure Policy
Para 5.22 and Policy ENV3: Green Infrastructure - We support the protection of green spaces and links along river corridors within the Borough. We would like to see specific mention of the use of green infrastructure that contributes to protecting and enhancing water bodies. This could include policies to require de-culverting, creation and management of ecological buffer strips and new wetland areas to help manage flood risk and reduce diffuse pollution.
Climate Change Policy
Paragraph 5.37: We would highlight that the preference should be to avoid development in areas that are considered to be most vulnerable to future flood risk rather than looking to mitigate against future risks; i.e. preference for avoid rather than mitigate wherever possible. Mixed use sites should look to direct land uses with the lowest vulnerability to flooding in the areas that are known to be more susceptible to future flooding as a consequence of climate change.
Paragraph 5.38: We would suggest that flood risk, as above, should also be referenced within this section, as should water efficiency. In respect of water efficiency, it should be noted that 5.5% of UK greenhouse gas emissions arises from hot water for cooking and showers (this does not include space heating). 89% of the total CO2 emissions are associated with heating water in the home, while 11% is associated with the emissions resulting from abstracting, conveying and treating domestic water outside the home. Installing simple water-saving measures, such as water-efficient taps and showers, therefore saves both water and energy by minimising heated water. All saving of water helps to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the UK as well as reduce the use of this resource.
The Local Plan should also highlight the importance of identifying and using opportunities to help wildlife to adapt to climate change through design. This may be through use of sustainable drainage systems, wetland creation and restoration, promoting urban green space, protecting new wildlife corridors and developing new corridors which ideally link in with existing sites.
Paragraph 5.44: We would suggest that the long standing problems of surface water sewer and ordinary watercourse flooding in the area of the Hythe would need to be resolved prior to establishing a heat network scheme in that area.
Policy CC1: Climate Change - We would wish to see some reference to flood risk relative to climate change in respect of locating developments, to water resource efficiency and to biodiversity improvements.
Section 6. Places
Colchester
Central Colchester
Town Centre
Paragraph 6.9: With reference to the residential allocation for the Britannia Street car park, we would draw your attention to the published 'Risk of Flooding from Surface Water' maps which suggest that there is a frequent surface water flooding risk to that site in its current form. We would advise that discussions are held with Essex County Council with regard to the existing flood risk at this site and the surrounding St Boltolph's area and establishes whether there are any potential flood alleviation measures that are proposed relative to the Action Plan/Preferred Options of the Colchester Surface Water Management Plan which the developer and the Borough Council might look to support.
Policy TC1: Town Centre Policy
Policy TC3: Town Centre Allocations
Significant parts of the St Boltolph's , Middleborough and Town Centre fringe areas have been identified to be at risk of flooding from surface water (Flood Modelling and
mapping for both the Colchester Borough Surface Water Management Plan and the Risk of Surface Water Flooding maps shows these risks).
Essex County Council and Colchester BC have identified Action Plans and Preferred Options for addressing and reducing the current flood risk from surface water in "Critical Drainage Areas" (CDAs) within the Borough and we would advise that the council and developers look to support flood risk reduction projects (potentially through developer contributions or the adaption of useful land for flood management purposes) that will benefit both these sites and existing developments in the surrounding areas.
North Colchester
Policy NC1: North Colchester and Severalls Strategic Economic Area
Some of the land within zones in the policy area are shown to be at risk of surface water flooding and care should be taken with development designs to avoid those areas.
We would advise that the LPA and prospective developers enter into discussions with Essex County Council's Flood Management team with regard to addressing the existing flood risk at these sites and to bring about opportunities to support schemes to reduce flood risk through the adaptive use of land for flood management infrastructure or to seek developer contributions towards solutions that will address this (to the benefit of the site) on lands elsewhere.
Any existing watercourses should be located ideally in open space without residential plot curtileges extending to the banks or centreline of the watercourse. The benefits of this will be to prevent residents from culverting or modifying the channel in future. Maintenance will be easier if a watercourse is left visible in open space.
Policy NC2: North Station Special Policy area and adjacent existing mixed use commercial areas north of Cowdray Avenue.
No consideration is currently given to fluvial or surface water flooding issues. The Risk of Flooding map for Surface Waters shows flooding along Cowdray Avenue. North Station Special Policy Area is partially located in Flood Zone 2 & 3. For all locations, the flood risk Sequential Test should be applied. This should consider all sources of flooding.
We would advise that the LPA and prospective developers enter into discussions with Essex County Council's Flood Management team with regard to addressing the existing flood risk at these sites and to bring about opportunities to support schemes to reduce flood risk through the adaptive use of land for flood management infrastructure or to seek developer contributions towards solutions that will address this (to the benefit of the site) on lands elsewhere.
There is Main River at St Botolphs Brook with housing development shown adjacent (NGR TL9748927334). As above, this site must be sequentially considered in line with the NPPF. There is currently 'J-flow' flood modelling only at this location, which means that further detailed modelling should be carried out prior to site development. This is to establish detailed flood extents and to assist the LPA in advocating a sequential approach to flood risk, avoiding the areas shown to be at highest risk of flooding from the Brook.
Policy NC3: North Colchester
We would suggest that there may be a need to support Preferred Scheme options for existing Surface Water flooding issues (as identified in the Colchester SWMP) as developer contribution either through CIL or through S106 obligations. This should be discussed in detail with Essex County Council who are the lead Flood Risk Management Authority for the delivery of Surface Water Management Schemes.
We are pleased to see the references to avoiding areas of land at St Boltophs Farm shown to be within Flood Zone 3, but the developer and LPA may need to rely on more detailed modelling to fully understand fluvial flood risk extents on the sites near to St Boltolphs Brook as our flood map for planning relies on a very simplistic modelling techniques for that area.
East Colchester
Knowledge Gateway and University Strategic Economic Area (East Colchester)
Policy EC1: Knowledge Gateway and University of Essex Strategic Economic Area: We would recommend reference made to the avoidance of built development within the flood plain of the Salary Brook.
East Colchester/Hythe Special Policy Area
Paragraphs 6.49 & 6.50: We welcome recognition and reference to the existing surface water and ordinary watercourse flooding and infrastructure issues. We would recommend that these are addressed through infrastructure improvements between Colchester BC, Essex County Council and Anglian Water. You should consider developer contributions or CIL levied to support infrastructure schemes that will resolve the existing problem and provide capacity in the drainage network for incoming developments and regeneration.
Paragraph 6.51: We would have concerns that the use of tidal flows to generate power may increase fluvial flood risk in the town given that such schemes require the maintenance of a high upstream head of water. Flood Modelling will be required to develop this beyond a very outline concept as there could be large flood risk management infrastructure implications associated with power generation through the potential restriction of tidal inflows and outflows.
A flood risk activity permit would most likely be required from us in advance of any such works, and early engagement is recommended. In addition to flood risk, other issues such as maintaining fish and eel passage would need to be addressed.
The bridging of the river would also require a permit and need careful consideration to ensure that flood flows are not impeded within the river channel and that access to flood defences and the river's edge is maintained. We would wish to seek early dialogue with the Borough about outline ideas for such a crossing.
Paragraph 6.54: We appreciate the inclusion of this paragraph, and again would reference the importance of the flood risk Sequential and Exception Tests. We would also highlight that currently the most frequent flood risk in this area is from surcharging of the surface water sewers. It would be useful to identify this within the supporting text as this is where investment in infrastructure is a vital requirement to support the aspirations for regeneration.
There are significant constraints in this area due to flooding from various sources. Engagement of ECC as the LLFA /CBC and AW should be carried out in order to strategically inform this development area.
Policy EC2: East Colchester - The Hythe Special Policy Area
While we support many parts of this policy (for example maximising opportunities to enhance biodiversity), we are unsure of the inference in the bullet point with the wording "Manage flood risk pragmatically, further to Flood Risk Management policy DM23". We would welcome further discussions on this point.
Residential moorings, referenced in the final bullet point, should also consider any flood risk implications. This should include for example access to the moorings from land in a flood scenario. We would be happy to discuss this issue further.
The final paragraph of this policy should make reference to the need for development to contribute towards infrastructure that is currently needed to provide adequate capacity for surface water management (and not just responding to constraints).
East Bay Mill
Paragraph 6.59: Please note that it is not the "Environment Agency's exception test for development" in flood risk areas. The Exception Test is a DCLG test laid down within the NPPF to be addressed through the planning process. Additionally, the first requirement is always to satisfy the Sequential Test. We welcome the specific references that development will have to adequately address flood risk issues.
Policy EC3: East Colchester
If deemed necessary, replace reference to "Environment Agency exception test" with "the NPPF Exception Test". However, this test is to be applied to all development proposals as indicated in Table 3 of the Flood Risk and Coastal Change section of the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).
Sustainable Settlements
Boxted
Boxted and Langham are both served by Langham Water Recycling Centre (WRC). The WRC is over capacity by a figure equivalent to roughly 133 houses. This must not be exacerbated by further connections. Either upgrades need to be undertaken by Anglian Water and a new permit applied for, or sufficient capacity needs to be created by reducing infiltration into the system. In the latter case, bear in mind that the volume of capacity that will be created cannot be predicted in advance, and in order to plan for a specific amount of development the cost and difficulty of upgrades and a revised permit will need to be considered and quantified. Development must not occur until it has been demonstrated that there is adequate wastewater treatment and sewerage infrastructure capacity in the catchment. This isn't currently referenced in the plan.
Chappel and Wakes Colne
Paragraph 6.123: we welcome the reference to water infrastructure capacity constraints within this section and within Policy SS4.
For information, there is a fluvial flow path from an ordinary water course flowing to Colne adjacent to proposed residential area at grid ref TL8947628069. There is also a potential constraint of a culvert near the development.
Copford and Copford Green
Paragraph 6.132: we welcome the reference to water infrastructure capacity constraints within this section. Copford and Copford Green (and Marks Tey) are all served by Copford WRC. The WRC is over capacity by a figure equivalent to roughly
500 houses. This must not be exacerbated by further connections. Either upgrades need to be undertaken by Anglian Water and a new permit applied for, or sufficient capacity needs to be created by reducing infiltration into the system. In the latter case, bear in mind that the volume of capacity that will be created cannot be predicted in advance, and in order to plan for a specific amount of development the cost and difficulty of upgrades and a revised permit will need to be considered and quantified. Development must not occur until it has been demonstrated that there is adequate wastewater treatment and sewerage infrastructure capacity in the catchment.
For information, fluvial flood risk from Roman River could impact on development. We currently only have J-flow data so further detailed flood modelling will be required to inform the siting of development within the site.
Dedham & Policy SS6: Dedham Heath Housing Sites
Dedham currently shows sufficient capacity for the development allocated. However, last year indications showed that the WRC was at over-capacity for the existing settlement. For additional security we would recommend that the infiltration into this network is investigated and reduced by Anglian Water, otherwise there may not be capacity for new developments to connect to once they are completed.
Eight Ash Green & Policy SS7: Eight Ash Green
There is an un-modelled Main River running through existing developed areas. We would wish to seek early engagement with the Parish and the LPA over the preferred locations of development when these are considered during the evolution of the Neighbourhood Plan. This is to help the community to avoid siting development in areas that may potentially be at risk of flooding.
Great Horkesley
For information, there is a tributary of Black Brook running to the rear of the identified residential development area on School Lane TL9832929404. This is currently un-modelled Main River and the degree of flood risk is therefore unknown. We do, however know that there is a very small and restrictive culvert which takes the ditch under the conservatory of Yew Tree Cottage and there have been flooding problems in this area historically. The Updated Map for Surface Water shows some water out of channel in this area.
Marks Tey & Policy SS13: Marks Tey
Please see comments above in respect of waste water capacity at Coptford WRC (Coptford and Coptford Green). Those comments also apply to Marks Tey.
No specific development site options are shown on the plan. Main River and surface water constraints must be considered as part of the strategic planning for this development area. The Main River - 'Roman River' will require detailed modelling to be carried out to fully understand the fluvial flood risk and inform a sequential approach to the siting of development and the design requirements. We would seek to work with the Parish in the consideration of development site options during the evolution of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Mersea Island
Residential development of up to 150 dwellings at Dawes Lane, is shown in an area of Surface water flooding TM0222413585 this site should be considered sequentially. The Updated Map for Surface Water shows a significant proportion of the proposed development area is subject to surface water flooding.
Policy SS17b: Coast Road
We support the presumption against residential development in the Coast Road area.
Caravan Parks
Paragraph 6.228: We welcome reference to flood risk and waste water infrastructure requirements. We would also suggest that reference is included to the requirement (in the NPPF) that sites must have adequate flood warning and evacuation arrangements for them to be acceptable. The reference to these required measures is however in the policy (Policy SS17c).
Rowhedge
Housing development proposed immediately adjacent to Main River. The defended flood source shown on our mapping is tidal. However the undefended fluvial main river at this location (the Birch Brook) has only got a J-Flow outline and therefore we would suggest that further modelling be carried out to understand the fluvial flood risk, this will need to take into account new climate change allowances.
Tiptree
We would welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Borough and Tiptree Parish Council to ensure that flood risk is not increased elsewhere as a consequence of growth in Tiptree
West Bergholt
We would welcome the opportunity to be involved with the strategic development of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Wivenhoe
We would wish to be involved with the strategic development of the Neighbourhood Plan. There are flood risk issues with regard to the location of development, including access to the Colne Flood Barrier, an essential element of infrastructure for the whole Borough.
Section 7. Development Management Policies
Policy DM5: Leisure & Tourism
Given the vulnerability to flood risk of visitor accommodation in particular, we recommend that flood risk is highlighted as a significant constraint. Public safety and emergency planning will be key issues in relation to some of these sites.
Housing Standards
Paragraph 7.57: We welcome the current reference to waste and recycling facilities, but note there is no reference to this issue in Policy DM12. New developments should include easy recycling systems for the householder, but also recycling on the go in public areas. This should also be included either in this section, or all waste and recycling requirements moved to fall under Policy DM25.
Policy DM12: Housing Standards: We would suggest that this policy is more closely linked to Policy DM25, or is revised. There is some overlap with water efficiency and waste in particular.
Policy DM13: Domestic development: Residential alterations, extensions and outbuildings
We note that for replacement dwellings in the countryside, the rebuild should be "on a one-for-one basis and the property to be demolished is a permanent lawful dwelling". This will have potential flood risk benefits as there have been past cases
where uninhabitable former dwellings on plots with high flood risk have had applications for rebuilds where there had been no residential occupancy of the former property for years.
Policy DM14: Rural Workers Housing
A reference within the policy to avoid the siting of rural workers housing in recognised flood risk areas would be welcomed. This is particularly with regard to temporary housing which tend to have the same vulnerabilities and safety issues, in flood risk terms, as static caravans and Park Homes. These are deemed, by the NPPF, to be inappropriate development within Flood Zone 3 and can only be sited in Flood Zone 2 after the Exception Test is passed and that there are adequate warning and evacuation arrangements.
Policy DM17: Retention of Open Space and Recreation Facilities and Policy DM18: Provision of Public Open Space
We support the inclusion of these policies protecting green links. We would welcome the inclusion of existing ditches and watercourses as specific protected features within both policies. This is to ensure that such features can continue to be maintained and serve as drainage and biodiversity features.
Flood Risk and Water Management
Some updating of the text and policies within this section is required, and there is scope to provide further detail relevant to development in Colchester Borough. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you, but have provided some initial comments below:
Paragraph 7.133: This paragraph is one of several parts of this section that refers to the NPPF Technical Guidance. This is no longer current, having been replaced by the Flood Risk and Coastal Change section of the Planning Practice Guidance. The flood zones quoted are in relation to tidal and fluvial flood risk. They do not show surface water flooding and are not shown on the surface water flood maps.
Paragraph 7.134: This text requires some re-working. The text currently does not accurately define the process for applying the Sequential Test. Application of the Sequential Test is a pre-requisite before any other flood risk considerations apply. It should consider all sources of flooding and development should only be further considered once it has been shown to have been passed.
Paragraph 7.138: We support the inclusion of this paragraph.
Paragraph 7.140: Reference could be made to the Environment Agency's 'Risk of Surface Water Flooding' maps to help identify surface water flooding constraints in areas of the Borough not covered by the SWMP. Reference could also be made to the potential need for new developments to support the provision of the SWMP CDA preferred management options, possibly through developer contributions (particularly where the development will benefit from such the construction of flood alleviation infrastructure/measures).
Paragraph 7.141: While we feel that this is a useful paragraph, we would suggest that it may be clearer if 'flood risk' and 'water management' were separated? Water management in this context would appear to be more appropriate in the Renewable Energy, Water, Waste and Recycling section.
Policy DM23: Flood Risk and Water Management
We support the reference in this policy to the Sequential Test. However, we have not seen evidence of it being applied to the preparation of the Local Plan. As mentioned
above, this is a key issue for all proposed allocations and must be demonstrated for the plan to be deemed sound.
As above, we would suggest that the current policy text requires some updating and rewording for clarity. We would welcome the opportunity to assist with this.
We would also add at this time that the use of CIL to support future interventions for tidal and fluvial flood management should not be overlooked and should relate to any new development located in defended flood plain areas where there will be future investment required to renew or raise existing flood defences.
There is also the potential for future small flood defence projects at Dedham and Ford Street, Aldham to proceed following project appraisal. The ability to deliver such schemes is likely to depend upon partnership funding contributions to supplement Central Government Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid and CIL or developer contributions can help the Council to support projects that lower flood risk in these communities.
Policy DM24: Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
As above, this policy would also benefit from some re-wording and we would welcome the opportunity to contribute to that. While the LLFA lead on managing surface water flooding, it is essential that run-off does not have the potential to pollute receiving surface or groundwaters. Further text in relation to required treatment steps should be added to the existing policy. We would also add at this stage that all new developments should be required to include SuDS, not just major development as stated. Many small scale measures are available, but we would not consider water butts to be a SuDS measure. We welcome the reference to integrated SuDS and biodiversity improvements.
Renewable Energy, Water, Waste and Recycling
Paragraph 7.150 & Policy DM25: Renewable Energy, Water, Waste and Recycling: We note and welcome that developers are to be encouraged to meet higher than minimum standards for water efficiency. We would suggest that you may wish to consider requiring the higher water efficiency standards for new development through the Local Plan. The 'Water supply, waste water and water quality' section of the Planning Practice Guide identifies this as an option. We would be happy to discuss this further, including the evidence required to pursue this approach. You may also wish to consider adding further guidance as to how residential and non-residential developments can voluntarily achieve further efficiency gains, and the benefits (environmental and economic) of doing so.
Please also note our comments on waste recycling facilities in new developments made in respect of Housing Standards, above. It may be more appropriate to address those points in this section.
We trust this advice is useful, please contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect of this response further.

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 3090

Received: 14/10/2016

Respondent: CAUSE

Representation:

CAUSE agrees with sustainable land use patterns, delivery of economic growth, supporting town centre and improving accessibility as key issues considers that development at West Colchester will never be sustainable and will not support local economy or improve accessibility. To support Town Centre credible Transport Plan needed. Local plan should encourage modal shift from car to sustainable public transport, but Part 1 does opposite. CAUSE Metro Plan sustainable alternative.

Full text:

See attachment for full formatted version including charts and maps.
Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the joint strategic plan. The Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex (CAUSE) recognises the need for more housing, but believes it has to be located correctly and that the supporting infrastructure has to be built first.
Plan soundness
We set out in detail in this response why we have significant concerns about the soundness of this Plan, with particular regard to West Colchester Garden Community. In light of our significant and legitimate concerns this Plan should not proceed, for the reasons set out later in these representations.
The failure to properly assess infrastructure delivery constraints, phasing and funding mean that Part 1 of the Plan is not 'positively prepared' (see Appendix 8). The OAN figures cannot be sustainably delivered through the Local Plan; and should be legitimately reduced on the basis of work we have undertaken (see Appendix 5).
Neither is this Part 1 'Justified'. It ignores reasonable and legitimate alternatives (Colchester Metro Plan and North Colchester Garden Community). Both have been rejected on the basis of flawed and inconsistent analysis of the evidence base (see Appendices 2,3, 4 and 10). An additional example of inconsistent decision-making is the inclusion of West Colchester in the Preferred Options despite uncertainties about the A120 and the impact of traffic implications. This is contrary to the correct rejection of 'Temple Border garden village' by officers on May 9 2016 for the very reason that there are uncertainties about the A120 and traffic implications.
Finally, we do not believe that this Part 1 is 'Effective' i.e. deliverable over its period, ensuring both viability and deliverability. The NPPF is clear that Local Plan proposals should be deliverable, whilst being aspirational yet realistic. The Local Plan is not promoting a deliverable or realistic option. CAUSE has significant concerns about the deliverability of three garden cities simultaneously by local authorities.
2 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
We have specific concerns about the viability and deliverability of West Colchester Garden Community. Major upgrades to the road and rail network and station (see Appendices 7 & 8) are required there to meet current demand, let alone taking account of planned growth, and there are uncertainties about timing, funding and delivery (see Appendices 10 & 11).
In addition, there is no employment strategy for West Colchester Garden Community (see Appendix 6) and no strategy for long-term healthcare provision in north Essex (see Appendix 9)
About CAUSE
CAUSE is a volunteer organisation that seeks a better solution for North Essex. We have prepared a sustainable, transport-oriented vision for growth: "Colchester Metro Plan", which we launched at a conference on 'Visions for Growth in North Essex' in November 2015 (see Appendix 4). Notwithstanding that we have no financial interest in any of the development land under consideration, the "Colchester Metro Plan" is a deliverable alternative growth option and includes a focus on growth around Essex University, yet has been rejected by the Local Planning Authorities. Our fund-raising has enabled us to build a professional team which includes a planning solicitor, urban designers, and planning, transport and rail consultants - experienced people whose views on alternatives merit consideration in the context of tests on 'soundness'.
We, and local people, have particular concerns about the proposed garden city at West Colchester (SP9: 2,500 dwellings in the Plan period, rising to between 15,000/20,000 according to Preferred Options and up to 28,000 according to Aecom). At this location there is a mismatch between economic activity and housing, such that commuting will be encouraged on inadequate infrastructure. A CAUSE petition gathered over 7,600 signatures and CAUSE held a series of well attended village meetings in 2016 (see appendix 12, Community Engagement).
This submission provides a serious and constructive contribution to the debate on a Local Plan which needs some major changes in order to meet the tests of soundness.
Yours sincerely,
Rosie Pearson
Secretary
On behalf of CAUSE
www.cause4livingessex.com
Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex: a company limited by guarantee, registered in England, Co. no. 09684557. Registered office: Abbey Mill House, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex CO6 1RD
1 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
CAUSE consultation response to North Essex Authorities 'Part 1'
We set out in detail in this response why we have significant concerns about the soundness of this Plan, with particular regard to West Colchester Garden Community.
In light of our significant and legitimate concerns, this Plan should not proceed, for the reasons set out later in these representations. Part 1 of the Local Plans should be delayed until proper infrastructure plans and a delivery vehicle are in place.
The chosen option (West Colchester Garden Community) is not sustainable or deliverable and will not achieve the OAN in the Plan period and therefore should be dropped.
There should be a focus on the most deliverable and sustainable of the options, East Colchester, and in addition alternatives (Colchester Metro Plan and Colchester North) should be properly considered.
In addition, the housing need figures (OAN) should be reduced over the three boroughs to ensure sustainable delivery through the Local Plan
Synopsis
This response comes in three sections, together with twelve Appendices:
1. Location of Garden Communities and consideration of alternatives;
2. Deliverability and viability
3. Improving the Plan
Appendices
Section 1: Deciding on the location of Garden Settlements:
CAUSE supports the principles behind garden settlements, delivered properly and in the right place, and sees merit to proposals for growth at East Colchester, with the University and its Knowledge Gateway as a focus.
However, very little of the analysis needed for sound decision-making has been done. Key reports (Infrastructure Delivery Plan, transport modelling, viability appraisal, SHLAA) have been unavailable during the consultation period such that the we question how the consultation is valid. In particular the Councils have refused to disclose their viability appraisals and there are worrying signs that the conclusions in Part 1 are not supported
2 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
even by the Councils' consultants. CAUSE has been refused meetings with Aecom and Atlas when requested in an attempt to gain a further understanding of the Plan.
The NPPF requires a proportionate evidence base. Given the scale of what is being proposed it follows that the evidence base, purporting to underpin the Local Plan, should be wide ranging and significant in scope. Finally, a legitimate reasonable alternative has been wrongly sidelined: the CAUSE Metro Plan has been inappropriately rejected in the Sustainability Appraisal1 and ignored by Aecom despite repeated requests that it be considered. This failing goes to the heart of soundness.
Section 2: Deliverability and viability.
CAUSE supports growth at East Colchester, adjacent to Essex University, an area which has many merits in terms of proximity to employment, sustainable transport and the town centre. However, we do have concerns about the deliverability of all garden communities proposed. These are untested in market terms and therefore delivery rates and lead-in times require forensic analysis, particularly as competing concurrent garden communities present cumulative impacts.
We have particular concerns about West Colchester Garden Community. Major upgrades to the road and rail network are required there to meet current demand2. A Plan which includes West Colchester Garden Community cannot be sound given the lack of Infrastructure Delivery Plan, lack of economic proposition and the lack of credible development expertise plus uncertainties about the timing and funding of the infrastructure improvements needed.
Section 3: Improving the plan.
We suggest that Part 1 of the Local Plans should be delayed until proper infrastructure plans and a delivery vehicle are in place. The chosen option (West Colchester Garden Community) will not achieve the OAN in the Plan period and therefore should be dropped. There should be a focus on the most deliverable and sustainable of the options, East Colchester, and in addition alternatives (Colchester Metro Plan and Colchester North) should be properly considered. In addition, the housing need figures (OAN) should be reduced over the three boroughs to ensure sustainable delivery through the Local Plan (see Appendix 5).
We set out in a series of appendices our evidence and findings to support our main response:
Section 1: Deciding on the location of garden settlements
One of the tests of soundness of a Local Plan is that it is 'justified'. The NPPF states that it should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives. CAUSE believes that the Plan's location of settlements is not justified: major decisions are proposed affecting the lives of thousands of people without proper consideration of the alternatives. A flawed analytical approach has produced distorted evidence3 and wrong conclusions. In starting from a flawed position, everything in the Plan which flows from it cannot be relied upon.
The underlying principle of the NPPF is that planning for housing, economic land uses and community facilities / services should be integrated, so that the demand for labour is fulfilled and there is no unsustainable commuting. The call for sites process does not enable this principle to be fulfilled. Development land isn't scarce4, but infrastructure and high value jobs are and these should, instead, be the starting point. Other land can deliver the OAN in a more sustainable manner than the current proposals.
Neither external infrastructure nor job creation are considered properly in the AECOM report (see Appendix 10) or the sustainability appraisal (see Appendix 2).
 Housing should be located near to the strategic economic areas of North Essex including Essex University, Northern Gateway, Skyline 120 and international gateways of Stansted and Harwich. In North Essex, much of the road and rail infrastructure is stretched and a sustainable transport strategy will be essential. Matching housing locations with economic activities is an inherently sustainable approach.
 Our councils should make use of underused infrastructure such as the Colchester-Clacton rail line. A settlement at West Colchester, selected through the call for sites process, will further overload the GEML and roads and will need to contribute its share to the upgrades required.
Alternatives: Alternatives have not been properly considered, nor is their consistency in decision-making. Two clear alternatives, North Colchester and Colchester Metro Plan, have been wrongly rejected following the Sustainability Assessment (see Appendix 2). A third, Temple Border, was rightly not included in the preferred options yet the reasons given by officers not to recommend it apply equally at West Colchester, which has been included.
Alternative 1: North of Colchester was said to be "potentially viable" in the AECOM report, along with all four settlements studied. But it has been dropped, despite offering greater sustainability and viability than West Colchester following the sustainability study which we believe is illogical and riddled with contradictions (see Appendix 10). CAUSE's own evaluation based on the same evidence has North Colchester as the second most desirable of all the options.
3 Comments on Sustainability appraisal, appendix 2. Comments on Employment appraisal, Appendix 6. Comments on Aecom, Appendix 10
4 Land value uplifts from £10,000 per acre to £100,000 or even £1m provide a huge incentive for farmers to participate, and even if one or two may hold out there should others to take their place in whichever location is chosen.
5 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Alternative 2: CAUSE's Colchester Metro Garden Communities plan was prepared by Dr Nicholas Falk, a recognized expert on garden communities, and is supported by CAUSE's professional advisers. It was first presented at the November 2015 "Visions for Growth" conference to which Officers and Councillors were invited. It has been reported on in the journal of Urban Design Magazine and presented at the Design South East Conference. It is shortly expected to feature in a CPRE publication.
The Metro plan has been briefly, but inaccurately, evaluated in the Sustainability Appraisal (see Appendix 2) and ignored in the AECOM analysis. On 10th February 2016 CAUSE met with officers from all three North Essex local authorities, demonstrated that the Metro Plan meets garden community requirements and requested meetings with Aecom and Atlas to ensure that the Metro Plan was fully explained and understood. This request was rejected. There has been no attempt by council officers, Aecom or Place Services to contact CAUSE to resolve those areas where questions are raised about our proposal.
Alternative 3: A separate proposal for a 4,000 dwelling new village at 'Temple Border' (by the same consortium proposing the West Colchester Garden Community), on the eastern edges of Braintree, was not recommended by officers nor subsequently included in the draft Local Plan: "The proposed site is substantial and would create a new village on the edge of Braintree. Given the uncertainty over the future location of the A120 in this vicinity and the traffic implications for this site, it is not considered appropriate for development." This applies equally at West Colchester and therefore there is no rationale for including it in the Preferred Options.
AECOM's four-volume feasibility study does little to inform the choice of location. Most of the infrastructure costing is done on a "per dwelling" basis which provides no differentiation between locations. Jobs are assumed to be created by allocations of employment land with little thought given to the growth opportunities provided by the University in the East and Stansted airport in the West, or the risk that commuters will outbid locally employed people for housing near Marks Tey station.
The study ignores external infrastructure costs where they are borne by other parts of the public sector. The main example is rail infrastructure: long distance rail commuting to London is clearly unsustainable but no attempt is made to put a cost on it. Appendix 7 argues that commuting is likely to be more popular at West Tey, and that a capital cost allowance of around £170,000 per extra commuter should be allocated to it.
The report states that four locations are "capable of becoming viable". We have asked for copies of the viability studies but these have been refused. It is apparent from the report that Aecom are unable to reach "conclusions" on viability calling them "observations" instead. Cushman & Wakefield, who appear to have done the detailed viability work, state that no conclusions should be drawn.
It is "surprising" that the Councils are recommending preferred options on location based upon such weak analysis. The Plan is being taken forward without a proportionate evidence base.
The sustainability appraisal prepared by Place Services, a part of Essex County Council, also ignores external rail costs and does little to inform the choice of location. Our detailed comments are in Appendix 2.
6 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
It concludes that West Colchester should be favoured as a location because it will "stimulate required infrastructure delivery". This may be logical political reasoning but it is economically perverse and its presence in a sustainability appraisal is highly inappropriate. A location should be chosen to maximise the net benefits for everyone, not because it will stimulate more spending from other parts of the public sector.
The correct approach is to establish locations which require the least intervention to mitigate the impact on infrastructure; this is a fundamentally sustainable approach. Thus any mitigation required deals with residual impact rather than having to deal with a root cause sustainability defect.
We assume that the "required infrastructure delivery" refers to the improvements needed to the A12 and A120. These improvements are needed for the benefit of the whole region, not just the fields alongside. There is no economic sense in locating development directly alongside major roads when reasonable alternatives exist. It is also noteworthy that, where possible, new access points off strategic routes including trunk roads and non-trunk roads should be avoided in accordance with Circular 02/2013. An objective and independent sustainability appraisal would not allow its key conclusion to be dependent on such a political argument.
Section 2 - Deliverability
A further test of the soundness of a Plan will be whether it is deliverable. This is fundamental to the success or otherwise of the Plan. The NPPF states that the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities.
CAUSE believes that that WCGC will not be delivered as promised (i.e. with full supporting infrastructure) because:
1. There is no transport or Infrastructure Delivery Plan;
2. There is no usable viability study5;
3. There is no delivery vehicle in place.
No transport plan:
● AECOM suggest that 500-900 dwellings could be delivered using existing infrastructure (Volume 3, section 7.5). There is no indication of how the A120 will cope: there are already long tail backs during peak periods, and total gridlock if there is a minor accident or delayed delivery.
● AECOM suggest that Marks Tey station needs to be moved towards the centre of the settlement. It isn't clear how this can be achieved. Our understanding is that the costs are substantial and disproportionate notwithstanding the time delays that will ensue in obtaining statutory undertakers agreement to the proposed works. The junction with the Sudbury line will need to be realigned and this will involve buying land and demolishing buildings, for which a lengthy CPO is likely. It isn't clear why this is needed in option 4 (27,841 dwellings) but not in options 1,2 or 3 (16,861, 17,182 or 13,105 dwellings).
5 See page 122 of AECOM report. Cushman & Wakefield have used the ATLAS model. They state that "no conclusions are drawn or intended within this work regarding the viability of the sites and options.
7 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
● AECOM suggest that employment land should be located between the A12 and GEML. It isn't clear how this will be accessed or whether some of the land is needed to widen the A12. It is premature to lay out the settlement until the road and bridge layout is known.
● Highways England / ECC are planning a consultation in early 2017 on how the A12 should be tripled, and the A120 dualled. This has a fundamental impact on the layout and viability West Tey and it would make sense to delay West Colchester GC until the consultation is complete. Until capacity issues are set out and a strategy for resolution of existing capacity issues is identified, a baseline for the Local Plan doesn't exist and therefore mitigation cannot be set out.
● Local people need a guarantee that no significant development will take place at West Tey until both roads are complete and rail improvements made. The Local Plan must consider the impacts for meeting the OAN in the context of the works to the A12/A120 not being completed until 2030, and the strategy for delivering development in the event that the highway works are delayed beyond 2030.
Public transport:
CAUSE regards public transport as a key differentiator between the sites (including North Colchester) under consideration.
We challenge AECOM's methodology, which allocates a mass rapid transit contribution of £1500 per dwelling to every North Essex garden community option. This ignores crucial differentiators between the garden community sites under consideration:
● Houses built along an underused railway such as the Colchester - Clacton line will require a significantly lower rapid transit contribution than those on the overstretched GEML (which will need costly major upgrades). Those near the GEML will require a road-based solution, from scratch, because there is no capacity remaining for a local train rapid transit service;
● North Colchester GC already has park and ride from the southern corner;
● Mass rapid transit is already planned between the Severalls site, the town centre and the University.
● North and East Colchester will require a lower cost allocation for public transport because their proximity to jobs and the town centre will mean that cycling and walking take a higher percentage of the modal share. In addition, there are already cycle-ways in place.
Under AECOM methodology none of these factors make a difference. The methodology needs to be changed to properly reflect the 'situation on the ground' otherwise our local authorities will continue to reach the wrong conclusions.
AECOM say that "without sub-regional public transport intervention, it is highly unlikely that the sites benefit from the levels of uptake in sustainable transport use required and car borne travel will prevail" (page 136).
They suggest three transit options for West Tey ranging from a heavy rail built from Marks Tey to Stansted (option 1a costing £2bn), through to a partially segregated BRT system which involves replacing the Braintree railway with a guided busway (option 2 costing £25m).
They take no account of the cost of upgrading the GEML, a key differentiator against WCGC. CAUSE concurs with AECOM's view that "The GEML is constrained in terms of current and future
8 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
capacity...6" Upgrading it on a 'predict and provide' basis will be extraordinarily expensive and it is vital that such costs are included in any viability appraisal.
Bus Rapid Transit proposal
AECOM outlines three public transport options to support the garden settlements. Of these the two rail options are unlikely to ever be done due to cost. The third, a bus rapid transit system is costed at £25m including some partially dedicated pathways. If existing roads are to be used this will just add to congestion. If it is to be done properly as per the Cambridge guided bus route the £25m budget is likely to be inadequate: the Cambridge route was based on an existing railway, and even then cost £181m for 16 miles, a cost of £11m per mile.
No usable viability study.
As stated above Cushman and Wakefield make it clear that their financial viability assessment is not to be used to draw conclusions7. It appears that the Plan is trying to draw very serious conclusions on the location of settlements from a heavily caveated report. There is no other evidence base to rely upon beyond the Cushman and Wakefield report. This is a fundamental failure of the evidence base.
This is not just a technicality: the key differentiators are ignored and as a result the output could be seriously misleading. Huge sums could be wasted by locating settlements in the wrong place.
3. Delivery vehicles
The North Essex Authorities are currently investigating the best ways to deliver development on the garden communities (page 47).
This is inconsistent with the statements in SP8, SP9 and SP10 which all say that the "masterplan will be produced in partnership with development interests". Whilst this approach may suit Colchester's existing development programme, it would be inappropriate for garden settlements. Master planning would be a key role for any meaningful delivery vehicle, with developers working on smaller sites within the master plan area.
CAUSE fears that without a delivery vehicle the North Essex Authorities will quickly lose control once the land has been allocated. There is a risk that developer led master-planning will aim to maximize profit, not serve the community over the long term and that infrastructure promises will be renegotiated.
Stonger public sector leadership is needed. It is worth remembering that no major new town has been delivered in SE England since Milton Keynes in the 1960s, and that had its own development corporation. Despite considerable infrastructure advantages, progress at Ebbsfleet has been slow, a Development Corporation has been imposed, and £300m of Government funding has been required to date. The North Essex Authorities aim to develop, with no relevant experience and a poor track record of infrastructure delivery, three Ebbsfleets at the same time. They are unlikely to succeed. The consequence is the failure of three Plans.
6 AECOM volume 2 page 36
7 AECOM volume 3 page 122. "The financial appraisal provides an indicative assessment of the costs and sales values associated with the schemes. Given the high level of information available, the use of the Model at this stage is for indicative purposes only, and to identify key input values and assumptions that future, more detailed modelling should take account of. As such, no conclusions are drawn or intended with this work regarding the viability of the sites and options.
9 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
CAUSE believes that a strong delivery vehicle is a pre-requisite to ensure proper master planning and that infrastructure is delivered before housing. The vehicle needs planning and CPO powers within designated areas: the Councils and other public bodies should all have a stake in it, but it should be protected from political interference. Private and community interests must also be represented. Its job would be to locate a new settlement, communicate its benefits, negotiate proper infrastructure funding, capture land value uplift, produce an attractive visionary master plan and co-ordinate private sector delivery.
Major decisions on the location of settlements should be postponed until the delivery vehicle is in place, along with a CEO and Chairperson who can build consensus and provide expert leadership.
Section 3 - improving the plan
CAUSE is keen to play a constructive role in the planning process, and Appendix 1 sets out how the Plan can be amended to be sound. The changes proposed are of a scale to warrant delay of the Plan to allow further evidence base to be identified, scoped and prepared; and for this to be consulted upon as part of a Further Focused Consultation before the Plan is taken forward to the stage of preparation.
Step 1: Postpone Part 1: the Councils should postpone decisions on Garden Settlements until proper infrastructure plans and a delivery vehicle are in place. The time pressure created by current deadlines in the process is leading to rushed decisions and the wrong answers in the context of substantial levels of development which will span a number of decades in the preparation and construction phases alone.
This is both realistic and practical: the three section 2s on smaller settlements can go ahead independently. With a lower OAN, section 1 can be removed from all three plans. Braintree and Colchester will have sufficient housing numbers without it. Tendring will have a 1250 dwelling shortfall over 15 years but they have plenty of realistic options: they can assume that a start can be made on East Colchester, the least unrealistic of the garden settlement proposals. Alternatively, more development could be located around stations on the underused Colchester / Clacton line as suggested in CAUSE's Metro Plan.
Step 2: Review the OAN: CAUSE recommends a wholesale review of housing need which would legitimately lead to a reduction in the OAN (Objectively Assessed Need) figures for Colchester and Braintree (see Appendix 5). The current figures are unnecessarily high, and undeliverable through a sustainable Plan, and should be more in line with demographic forecasts of the DCLG household projections as recommended in the Planning Practice Guidance.
Such a reduction would allow Councils to drop Part 1 without compromising the validity of their plans. Taken together the Part 2s provide enough housing to meet a sensible OAN forecast. Housing need would be met even with a lower OAN.
Step 3: Develop proper funded infrastructure plans: Infrastructure plans must cover the following points before a decision can be made on the location of garden settlements:
● Conditionality and triggers to ensure that infrastructure is in place before building can begin. Cast-iron guarantees about delivery are required.
● A road plan with an agreed layout for the A12 and A120 between Braintree and the A12 is needed. The junction between the two also needs to take account of the needs of Tiptree
10 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
and the villages to the South of the A12 whose traffic is currently congesting Kelvedon High Street.
● The plan also needs to revive the old plan for a South Circular road around Colchester linking the Tollgate through to a Colne Crossing and the A120 somewhere near Elmstead Market. This will serve the villages to the South of Colchester and significantly reduce congestion within the town.
● A credible transport plan for Colchester itself is required. Reducing through traffic with a South Circular road is only part of the solution.
● Much more detail on the proposed bus rapid transit system8 from the AECOM report is needed. Examples elsewhere lead us to suspect that the £25m budget will be inadequate if it is to be done properly with dedicated bus routes.
● A credible funded plan for dealing with the forecast increase in commuters and freight along the Great Eastern Mainline is urgently needed but unlikely to appear: in its absence North Essex should do everything it can to build the local economy rather than commuter settlements.
Conclusion:
When a proportionate evidence is prepared and a delivery vehicle is in place and the infrastructure plans are complete, the Councils will be in a position to make rational decisions on the location of garden settlements.
We therefore recommend that Part 1 of the Local Plans should be delayed until proper infrastructure plans and a delivery vehicle are in place. The chosen option (West Colchester Garden Community) will not achieve the OAN in the Plan period and therefore should be dropped.
There should be a focus on:
 the most deliverable and sustainable of the options, East Colchester;
 alternatives (Colchester Metro Plan and Colchester North) should be properly considered;
 reducing the OAN in line with realistic sustainable delivery.
In the mean-time the Part 2 plans, combined with a more balanced approached to OAN, will provide adequate delivery of development.
No garden community should commence until external infrastructure is upgraded to meet both current needs and the needs of the future population of the planned community.
8 We assume that the rail options mentioned in the AECOM report will never be delivered due to their high cost - £500m and [£1.5 billion.]
11 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
APPENDICES
Appendix 1
Proposed changes to the Local Plans Part 1
We suggest how the Plan can be improved to meet the tests of 'soundness'
SP1 - Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development
The need, driven by the NPPF (SP1), for growth to be sustainable is emphasised, stating that "new development should be accessible by sustainable forms of transport, including cycling and walking" and that "sustainable development principles will be at the core of the strategic area's response to its growth needs". The vision for the Strategic Area should therefore place greater emphasis on connectivity and transit-oriented development.
CAUSE would like to see an "infrastructure first" qualification added to the general presumption in favour of development and a statement that "where a planning permission results in significant land value uplift, developers are expected to contribute to related infrastructure costs, whether through CIL or (for larger sites) through a s106 agreement.
As drafted, SP1 allows development to go ahead without consideration of external infrastructure requirements, the cost of which must be borne by the public sector. This is not the intention of the NPPF and could lead to further "infrastructure last" development in the region.
SP2 - Meeting Housing Needs
CAUSE suggests that modestly lower OAN figures should be adopted based on demographic trends. See Appendix 5 which concludes that the OAN figures are unnecessarily high.
SP3 - Providing for employment
The stated aim is '...to achieve a better balance between the location of jobs and housing, which will reduce the need to travel' and to strengthen and diversify local economies.
However, the preamble to SP3 ignores the biggest credible generator of employment in the area, the University. The impact of the university should be properly assessed. It should mention the aspiration for 50% growth in student numbers over the next 5 years, partnerships with business, the Knowledge Gateway, the need for more staff at the University, and the multiplier effect of student and staff spending in the area.
The employment policy itself needs significant rewriting because it over-regulates and shows no understanding of how jobs are created9. CAUSE recommends retaining only clauses b, c and d from the existing draft.
The rewrite should state that development will be supported to meet the needs of business except where there are infrastructure constraints, unnecessary use of greenfield land or other external costs.
9 CAUSE believes that this approach to regulation has been behind the debacle at Stane Park
12 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Top down targets for hectares of B use employment land should be abandoned, and it should be clear that development will be supported in smaller locations (including farmsteads) as well as the large industrial estates which seriously overload the transport infrastructure at peak hours.
Such a policy will generate much more diverse, well paid and sustainable employment.
CAUSE's Appendix 6 argues that just allocating land to employment uses is unlikely to generate the high value jobs needed to support a thriving Garden Settlement at West Tey.
SP4: Infrastructure and Connectivity
'The challenge is to provide a sustainable transport system, while providing good access to jobs and services, and to support economic growth'. This needs more detail:
Paras 2.63 - 2.66 need to show more appreciation of the constraints along the GEML particularly along the stretches towards London.
Clause 2.66 contains a reckless assumption that "these improvements are assumed to provide the gross capacity required along the line". It should instead say that there is significant doubt about the capacity of the line, and that the plan will therefore do everything it can to reduce dependency on jobs in London.
Para 2.71 on healthcare infrastructure gives no comfort that adequate hospital facilities will be provided in advance of development: it needs to recognize that new hospital facilities take decades to plan, and to demonstrate that there is a credible course of action. In its absence there should be a condition that "new garden communities will not be started until healthcare provision in the Boroughs has been raised to at least the national average". Garden communities can only become popular if existing infrastructure shortfalls are addressed.
Para 1 of the policy should add the words in italics: "Development must be supported by provision of infrastructure, services and facilities that are identified to serve the needs arising from the new development and provide net betterment for existing residents whose lives are affected."
The strategic priorities should include an extra bullet point as follows: "A link road between the A133 and A120 close to Elmstead Market to relieve traffic pressures on East Colchester, to be constructed before any new dwellings are occupied in the East of Colchester Garden Settlement".
Additional last paragraph to the policy: "No planning permissions will be granted for development within the garden settlements until
 The developer can demonstrate that the infrastructure improvements listed above will be delivered before or alongside housing: AND
 the developer can demonstrate that the standards of existing road, rail, shool and hospital services exceed the national average"
SP5: Place shaping principles
Preamble 2.74: "New development must reflect high stands of urban and architectural design. It must also be functional and viable. Major new developments will be planned carefully with the use of masterplans and design codes where appropriate. Severance issues will be properly addressed before land is allocated and each community will be designed with a centre and a distinctive character with the advice of a recognized master planning architect."
Policy SP5: All new development should reflect the following principles:
13 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 It should reflect the principles of transit-oriented development, which require that existing transport infrastructure is considered and that transport issues are addressed at the earliest stage of the planning process
 Respond positively to local character etc.
SP6: Spatial strategy for North Essex
CAUSE requests that paragraph 5 of SP6 be deleted. It prematurely incorporates three huge garden settlements at East Colchester, West Colchester and West Braintree into three Local Plans. Formal inclusion has the effect of driving up "pre-scheme" land values10, making it more difficult to capture land value uplift for infrastructure spending.
These settlements must be reconsidered only when credible infrastructure planning is complete and a delivery vehicle is in place.
No garden community should commence until external infrastructure is upgraded to meet the current needs and the needs of the future population of the planned community.
Two valid and viable alternatives, in the form of 'North Colchester' and 'Colchester Garden Metro Communities' have been have not been included in Part 1. These must be reconsidered.
SP7: Development and delivery of garden communities in North Essex
(NB SP7, SP8, SP9 and SP10 should be dropped from the formal plan at this stage to allow for proper analysis of other options and full modelling and Infrastructure Delivery Plans as set out elsewhere in this resposne . If they must remain they should be amended as follows.)
SP7 needs to acknowledge the disconnect between lofty ambitions and the resources presently available to the Councils. It needs to build a credible business case for the government funding needed to start a development corporation and plan the supporting infrastructure.
SP8: East Colchester / West Tendring Garden Community
Section D on Transportation should be amended to state that
i) the A120/A133 link road will be constructed before new dwellings are occupied.
ii) The promised transit link between the settlement, Colchester and the University should be operational at a specified service level before new dwellings are occupied
SP9: West of Colchester / East of Braintree Garden Community
Para 2 on the Master Plan framework should be amended to make it clear that the delivery vehicle will be responsible for master planning.
The policy on "Place Making and Design quality" should
 contain a statement about the need to create an identifiable centre for the community
 require that the masterplan deal with the severance problems created by the A12, A120, GEML and Sudbury lines.
The policy on Transportation D6 isn't strong enough. It should state that no new housing in the garden community will be occupied until the A12 is tripled and the A120 is dualled.
Policy D7 should be removed. It suggests that the reconfigured A120 will provide access to the site which is inappropriate because:
10 In the event of CPO
14 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 It predetermines the outcome of the upcoming ECC consultation on the road and
 It conflicts with ECC's preferred options from 2005 which propose a direct link between the McDonald's roundabout in Braintree to the A12 near Feering with no intermediate junctions and
 It reveals an illogical connection between improving the A120, a part of the Trans European road network from Cork to Moscow, and the location of new settlements.
Policy D8 needs to be stronger. West Tey should not be started until dedicated bus routes11 are established between Braintree and Colchester town centres. This will cost much more than the £25m budgeted in the AECOM appraisal for a bus rapid transit system for the whole area.
Policy D10 needs to be stronger. West Tey should not be started until we know that the station will be properly connected to the community. The present statement about "exploring opportunities" is much too vague.
Policy D11 should incorporate the promises made by the developers for living bridges connecting the disparate parts of Marks Tey.
A new policy D12 is required stating that West Tey will not be started until there is a credible funded plan to enable the GEML to meet forecast increases in long term commuter demand.
Policy E12 should be strengthened to clarify that school and health facilities will be provided to incorporate the needs of the full 15-20,000 dwelling development as well as improving facilities available to the existing population.
SP10: West of Braintree new garden community
Para 2 on the Master Plan framework should be amended to make it clear that a delivery vehicle will be responsible for master planning, not developers.
Policy D6 needs strengthening. Transport-oriented development requires that transport is considered first, not retrofitted after the location is decided.
Policy D8 needs to be strengthened to make it clear that the development will not be started until dedicated12 bus routes are in place.
Delivery arrangements
CAUSE supports the Council's exploration of delivery options and has outlined a vision of how a delivery vehicle might work on page [7] above.
2.88 should be amended to "ensure that infrastructure and residents requirements for the new community are developed ahead of or in parallel to the building of new homes." It should be clear that the price for garden settlements is "infrastructure first".
2.89 should be dropped. The Councils don't have the expertise to exercise large scale CPO powers if there is an unacceptable delay in development and/or infrastructure. The policy sounds unduly threatening and does nothing to enhance the credibility of the plan to landowners or the public.
11 Dedicated bus routes should be defined to include bus lanes, guided bus routes as in Cambridge or use of a dual carriageway with sufficient capacity even at peak hours.
15 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 2
CAUSE comments on the Sustainability Appraisal for Part 1, prepared by Place Services
The Sustainability Appraisal contains a number of serious inconsistencies and omissions. This commentary focuses on
1. The erroneous inclusion of West Colchester Garden Community in the Preferred Options and the equally erroneous rejection of North Colchester Garden Community.
2. The erroneous exclusion of CAUSE's Metro Plan, prepared by CAUSE's professional team. This alternative has received recognition in the wider planning community but has been misunderstood by the authors of the sustainability appraisal. It is a matter of regret that CAUSE has been unable to explain it to the appraisers, despite repeated requests to do so.
The principal argument in favour of West Colchester GC appears to be that the location will 'stimulate required infrastructure delivery'. This political argument is highly inappropriate in a sustainability appraisal. Garden settlements should be located in the most sustainable locations from the point of view of society as a whole, not with the intention of securing funding from other parts of the public sector.
We conclude that the infrastructure requirements to ensure that West Colchester succeeds as a garden community are too high, both in terms of financial viability and practical deliverability. The location does not support the NPPF principle of reducing journeys and it appears that the sustainability appraisal favours it for political rather than economic reasons.
West Colchester compared to North Colchester
Severance.
Marks Tey already suffers from severe severance by the A12, the A120 and the GEML. Shops are severed from the village hall which is itself is severed from the main residential area. The industrial area between road and railway has unsatisfactory and dangerous linkages to both A12 and A120.
Without huge infrastructure investment these problems will be exacerbated in the expanded settlement. The Appraisal acknowledges the severance caused by the A12 and the GEML. It neglects to mention the additional severance caused by the current A120, the Sudbury line and the new A120 which will join the A12 in the area. Therefore, West Colchester will be a community severed in five directions. See map of Marks Tey, below.
North Colchester is capable of forming a coherent community with its own centre and identity. The A12 forms a natural boundary which can can be bridged to link the community to Severalls Industrial Park.
There is no logic to why such extreme severance is considered acceptable at West Colchester yet the significantly lesser severance at North Colchester is not considered acceptable. The Appraisal should
16 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
make more attempt to compare the search areas and analyse the differences.
Sustainability and accessibility.
There are significant sustainable transport and accessibility issues at West Colchester GC highlighted by Place Services and by Aecom. The impact on the transport network will be exacerbated by the need for many residents to travel to work elsewhere. This is not highlighted sufficiently in the Appraisal.
a. Road congestion. It is clear from the Appraisal that road infrastructure represents the main barrier to development at West Colchester GC. The Appraisal contradicts itself, stating, despite its own references to congestion, that the A12 and A120 at West Colchester GC are 'beneficial'. Negative concerns that North Colchester GC will be reliant on the A12 and 'could' increase congestion are therefore also contradictory if the Appraisal believes that location on the A12 at Marks Tey is beneficial when it is considered a negative a few miles away.
The Appraisal must compare like with like. The congestion effects on the A12 will be high at both North Colchester GC and West Colchester GC, arguably higher at West Colchester GC due to the larger settlement proposed and the distance from any of North Essex's designated strategic economic areas.
b. Rail. It is extraordinary that the Appraisal neglects to discuss the capacity issues on the GEML. Aecom is clear in its assessment of the long term capacity constraints on the line, stating that Network Rail's own proposed interventions will be insufficient. West Colchester's location to encourage rail commuting is flawed.
17 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
In addition, the accessibility issues at the station raised in the Appraisal 'limit any meaningful expansion'. Relocation of Marks Tey station is suggested, but only in the 'Maximum Land Take' option in the Aecom analysis - yet another illogical piece of analysis. The station must be central in any West Colchester GC option.
The location of the station in the new community and the Anglia Route Study capacity forecasts make it clear that the station is not the advantage it is purported to be.
c. Bus. The bus service from Little Tey & Marks Tey is cited as a clear advantage for developing a sustainable transport system and BRT, a clear sign that the appraisers have yet to appreciate the scale of development proposed or of infrastructure needed. This is not a location differentiator as there are bus services from all rural areas into the centre of Colchester. Nor does it form the basis for a BRT system, something which is a complex and expensive undertaking!
By comparison, at North Colchester GC not only is there already a Park & Ride (referred to in the Appraisal) in place but already the planned provision of a dedicated bus corridor to support existing plans for 1,500 homes at Severalls Hospital (not mentioned in the Appraisal - why?). Nor does the Appraisal refer to the Rapid Transit Option Appraisal being investigated to link the Severalls site, University and town centre, which would bring benefits to (and could be extended to) the North Colchester options.
It is clear that public transport options under consideration in the north Colchester area are well advanced and would offer considerable benefits to the residents of North Colchester GC. Meanwhile proposals for the West of Colchester still range from heavy rail (cost £2bn), adapting existing rail (cost £500m) or developing a new Bus Rapid Transit system for £25m, which we suspect will do little other than further congest existing roads.
d. Cycling & walking. Aecom notes that there are no external cycle and pedestrian ways near the West Colchester GC search area, and a quick glance at the map above makes it clear that retrospective provision will be difficult. The Appraisal neglects to mention this, nor does it refer to the distance of the settlement from Colchester and Braintree, which would discourage cycling and walking.
With reference to North Colchester GC, the Appraisal does not cite the benefits of the 'well-established Colchester walking and cycling network linking the [North Colchester] site, the P&R, Stadium and importantly the employment and leisure area on the south side of the A12' (Aecom Garden Communities Concept & Evaluation).
e. Reducing journeys. West Colchester, as a new and stand-alone community, offers none of the benefits of existing employment which the North Colchester settlement offers. It is not a Strategic Economic Area and there is no focus for employment (Aecom refers to home-working and touch-down spaces as the employment strategy). Whilst land will be provided for employment, Aecom notes that residents of West Colchester will be attracted to Severalls and the Northern Gateway to work, which will require residents to travel by car on the A12.
18 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
By contrast, Colchester GC will be adjacent to employment at Colchester's Strategic Economic Area of Severalls and the Northern Gateway. Aecom's schematic demonstrates this relationship:
The Appraisal asserts that all Garden Community Options will have broadly the same employment opportunities. This is clearly not the case and nor does the conclusion meet with the NPPF aim to reduce journeys to work and to locate houses for employment.
Taking each of the three options:
o East Colchester benefits from and supports the growth of the University, the Knowledge Gateway (one of Colchester's three Strategic Economic Areas), and the town centre.
o North Colchester benefits from and supports the Strategic Economic Area of the Northern Gateway, Severalls (and the town centre).
o West Braintree benefits from and supports the strategic employment zones of Skyline 120 and Panfield, and is on the 'right side' of town for employment at Stansted, where sustainable transport solutions are proposed.
o West Colchester GC is located far from any strategic employment zone and town centre.
19 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Deliverability
Place Services reminds us that the deliverability of West Colchester is directly linked to investment decisions by Highways England. There is no such constraint at North Colchester. Aecom and Place Services believe that the road network in its existing state must constrain development at West Colchester to between 500-900 homes.
CAUSE believes that the GEML must be additionally considered as a constraint and questions why the Appraisal has not taken it into account.
Finally, North Colchester GC carries a lower deliverability risk being entirely within Colchester's boundaries.
Other environmental
Pollution. It is evident that West Colchester, situated between the A12, current A120 and new A120, will suffer from pollution and air quality issues as evidenced by the image below (Source www.airtext.info 14 September 2016). This topic is not mentioned in the Appraisal's summary comparison between options although in the detail it does state that the main air quality issues for Braintree relate to traffic on the A12 and A120. Once again, the report contradicts itself, stating that cumulatively the garden communities will have a positive impact on air quality due to availability of sustainable transport but that there would be an A120 and A12 air pollution impact of North & East Colchester combined. Air quality issues need to be given far greater consideration and the inconsistencies ironed out.
20 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Water. We challenge the assertion that there are major constraints on water delivery at North Colchester because Anglia Water's response to Colchester's Issues & Options consultation did not differentiate between locations (see table below). We have been unable to find the references in the Appraisal which refer to constraints at North Colchester GC.
Solar farm. We do not agree that a 26 hectare solar farm at North Colchester GC (within a total site of between 457ha and 681ha) prevents garden city principles being applied. This is something that could be addressed through masterplanning and exclusion zones (as required at West Colchester for underground and overhead power cables).
Impact on existing residents / protected zones. At North Colchester GC, protection could be afforded to the Dedham Vale AONB through masterplanning and green buffers, and the areas of importance at West Colchester can be protected in the same way. Too little thought is given to the entire villages (Marks Tey and Little Tey) which will be engulfed at West Colchester and the Appraisal simply states that this impact is not 'positive'. There needs to be greater consideration of the impact on the existing local residents of West Colchester.
Brownfield. The plan states a preference for building on brownfield land as opposed to greenfield. But there is no mention of the brownfield element at North Colchester - the Boxted airfield. The whole CO4 5 postcode is treated as brownfield in the report from BPS Chartered surveyors. It is unclear why the SA favours West Colchester which is treated as greenfield by BPS.
Conclusion on North Colchester / West Colchester comparison
The Sustainability Appraisal concludes that for North Colchester GC that there is limited scope for maximum sustainable benefits associated with adhering to Garden City principles. This is contradicted by much of the report's own evidence and the research prepared by Aecom and Colchester's Part 2.
The conclusion for West Colchester GC that the location will 'stimulate required infrastructure delivery' is also flawed and makes the report look like a political attempt to secure funding rather than a genuine sustainability appraisal. A location for a garden settlement should not be chosen to stimulate infrastructure delivery, nor because it is proposed by land owners. The infrastructure requirements to ensure that West Colchester succeeds as a garden community are too high, both in terms of financial viability and practical deliverability. The location does not support the NPPF principle of reducing journeys. Planners are trying to fit a square peg to a round hole at West Colchester GC.
Reasons given for excluding CAUSE's Metro plan
Assessment of CAUSE Metro Plan in the Sustainability Appraisal relating to North Essex authorities 'Part 1'
The Sustainability Appraisal assessment of CAUSE's Metro Plan strategy is disappointing and inadequate. The absence of appropriate testing goes to the heart of soundness.
The Appraisal takes a very narrow view of the Metro Plan, failing to acknowledge that this was part of a broader strategy which included not only the 'pearls' but also a garden community development to the East of Colchester focused on the fast employment growth zone of the University. It aims to make the area more self-supporting, with a new rail 'halt' proposed as an early win.
It is extraordinary that the Appraisal has "assessed" the CAUSE option as if it was intended to address the total growth through concentrated development around stations on the Colchester-
21 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Clacton/ Walton-on-the-Naze line, rather than as a contribution to growth, which could reduce the scale of development (and associated infrastructure requirements) which is being relied upon to meet growth requirements in less sustainable locations, including West Tey. The Metro Plan was never intended to address Braintree District's housing need and nor does the East of Colchester/West of Tendring garden community included in Tendring and Colchester's Preferred Options do so.
We strongly believe the thinking about large stand-alone garden settlements is outdated as URBED's Wolfson prize submission showed. Instead of thinking in terms of bureaucratic convenience in handling one scheme (and the associated risks to delivery by an overconcentration of development in one location), the authorities need to think in terms of what will work in our stressed circumstances with increasing concerns about access to affordability and housing delivery to meet changing housing needs. A quick look over the water to the Netherlands shows what would work better and pay off for everyone. The CAUSE Metro Plan merely extends the garden communities concept away from the creation of two very large garden communities to a network of smaller garden communities which can start to be developed during the current plan period and continue to be developed beyond 2030. (See case study page 26 http://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/housing-and-planning/housing/item/4345-making-the-link). Garden villages are, in fact, strongly promoted in the latest DCLG garden communities' prospectus but this approach is not reflected in the strategy for North Essex authorities.
One of the advantages of the Metro Plan is flexibility; if one area of development is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances the entire Plan does not fail. Flexibility is a key component to Plan making as set out in the NPPF.
The Metro Plan is an innovative and sustainable concept based on principles of transit-oriented development which links the strategic allocations in Tendring's Preferred Options, including the East Colchester Garden Community, Weeley, Frinton and Clacton, which would constitute the first pearls - see below:
22 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
In undertaking Sustainability Appraisals, a key consideration should be impact on modal share or congestion. A scheme that makes better use of existing rail capacity should score better than one that puts more load on already congested road infrastructure. The connectivity benefits of CAUSE's Metro Plan are key and it supports Tendring's stated objective under Connected Places: "The Local Plan's strategic objectives for Infrastructure Provision are to make efficient use of existing transport infrastructure and ensure sustainable transport opportunities are promoted in all new development." However, despite this stated objective, the Preferred Options totally ignore the benefits of the Colchester-Clacton line.
The view expressed in the Sustainability Appraisal that CAUSE's Metro Plan has "potential for negative impacts associated with the distribution," especially, "regarding increasing visitor numbers to the coast" contradicts the Preferred Options policy statements and Tendring's site allocations along the Colchester-Clacton rail spine (see map above) in the Preferred Options. The Metro Plan meets with Development Strategy Objective 1 to support Tendring's growth locations, particularly Clacton and West of Colchester. In addition, the Metro Plan supports Objective 5, to 'facilitate population growth where it supports economic objectives' by linking regeneration areas with strategic economic areas.
Tim Pharoah's December 2015 transport report (pp 27-29) indicates that there is already considerable land available within the 800m catchment of stations, identified in the "call for sites", especially at Weeley and at and Kirby Cross (Walton branch). Once the stations have been identified as growth points, it is likely that other landowners will come forward to promote sites for development.
23 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
The infrastructure costs for the Metro Plan pale into insignificance when compared to the infrastructure upgrades required at other sites, in particular Marks Tey, and thus we reject the assertion that viability is an issue. It is significant also to note that Highways England has stated that it would not wish to see development in this location before the A120 is upgraded which would require significant upfront investment in infrastructure provision which must present a significant risk to delivery within the plan period. The Colchester-Clacton line is a transport asset with spare capacity to meet the NPPF sustainability criteria.
The Sustainability Appraisal's conclusion regarding the Metro Plan is unsound and for this reason, we believe the Metro Plan option must be re-assessed.
24 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Extracts from the CIL report by BPS Chartered Surveyors which suggests that the land used for Colchester North is "brownfield" while that used for West Tey is "greenfield":
Anglia Water assessment of options:
25 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 3
CAUSE ranking of the 5 options*
North Essex authorities: Strategic Part 1 for Local Plans
CAUSE regards West Colchester Garden Community as the least viable, deliverable and sustainable of the five North Essex garden community options.
See attachments for table in readable format
Appendix 4
CAUSE Metro Plan
All documents available on www.cause4livingessex.com under 'A Better Way'.
Overview
CAUSE's proposal takes advantage of employment and infrastructure opportunities to the east of Colchester and across Tendring District. It provides a network of integrated, sustainable, garden communities, benefiting the economies of both Colchester and Tendring.
Settlements along the under-used resource of the Colchester-Clacton electrified railway, and one as proposed by Colchester and Tendring near Essex University, could provide up to 19,000 homes. All would be within a 10 minute walking catchment of high quality transport and deliverable within the 15 year plan period.
Early implementation would be possible without waiting for major infrastructure, thus removing delivery and viability risk. Each settlement would offer low order services and the 15 minute rail service would connect residents to high order services in the towns. The concept is more in line with the original garden city vision than freestanding large settlements.
Overview document:
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Overview-Colchester-Metro-Plan.pdf
Also a CPRE report about the benefits of transit-oriented development entitled "Making the link" in which CAUSE's Metro Plan is a case study on page 26:
http://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/housing-and-planning/housing/item/4345-making-the-link
Map
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/MAP-COLCHESTER-METRO-PLAN.pdf
CAUSE Metro Plan and garden city principles
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CAUSE-vision-versus-West-Tey-matrix.pdf
Planning report
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/JoannaChambersCOLCHESTER-METRO-PLANNING-ADVICEFinal.pdf
BY JOANNA CHAMBERS BA BTP MRTPI, CHANGING CITIES
Joanna has over 30 years' experience in the public and private sectors and has been responsible for a range of strategic planning, master-planning and regeneration work in the
28 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
UK and overseas, focusing on development feasibility studies, strategic planning, master-planning, project management and public consultation and participation. She has worked in partnership with the private sector, agencies, local authorities and communities to help bring about more sustainable neighbourhoods, high quality development and lasting renewal. Recent project experience includes working with Maldon District Council on the delivery of new Garden Suburbs and masterplan frameworks for Clacton-on-Sea, Dovercourt and Walton-on-the-Naze. Joanna is passionate about place making and good design and her professional ethos is based on building a climate of collaboration. She established Changing Cities in January 2012 as an independent consultancy focusing on partnership working to help overcome barriers to the delivery of sustainable development and regeneration.
Transport report 1 CAUSE Metro Plan
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Tim-Pharoah-Living-Transport-report-for-CAUSE-FINAL.pdf
BY TIM PHAROAH MSc, MRTPI, MCILT, CMIHT, LIVING TRANSPORT
Tim is a transport and urban planning consultant working independently. He has more than 40 years' experience of transport, land use planning and urban regeneration in local authorities, private consultancies, and the academic sector. He is a keen advocate of planning for vibrant urban communities through integrated planning, low-impact accessibility, and public realm design. Tim's second report for CAUSE forms Appendix 8.
The scope for high-quality rail services to support sustainable urban development
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Jonathan-Tyler-CAUSE-Report-FINAL.pdf
BY JONATHAN TYLER, PASSENGER TRANSPORT NETWORKS
Jonathan started his railway career as a British Rail Traffic Apprentice in 1962 after which he went to BR Headquarters to develop the MONICA demand model. From 1976 to 1982 he was the British Rail Lecturer in the University of Birmingham. In 1983 he became an independent consultant, trading as Passenger Transport Networks, in which capacity he has worked on a range of projects, concentrating initially on geodemographic market analysis for the rail passenger business and from 2000 on timetabling policy and construction.
Consultants assisted by:
DR NICHOLAS FALK BA (Oxon), MBA (Stanford), PhD (London), Hon FRIBA
Nicholas founded URBED in London in 1976 to offer practical solutions to urban regeneration and local economic development. Over the last few years he has focused on new communities, the future of the suburbs, historic centres, and the adaptive reuse of old buildings. He has recently been advising on an urban extension to Oxford, and previously produced the Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth. With David Rudlin, he won the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014. He has extensive experience in creating visionary, economically viable and popular urban plans and designs.
ALAN STONES, CAUSE AADip TPDip MRTPI IHBC(ret)
Alan is a locally based architect-planner and urban designer. He was Head of Heritage and Urban Design at Essex County Council and Chair of the Urban Design Group (the
29 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
professional body for urban designers in the UK). He was also co-author of the Essex Design Guide, and chaired the campaign group that saved Liverpool Street Station from demolition in the 1970s. He lives locally and is currently Secretary of the A12 Villages Traffic Action Group and of the Kelvedon and Feering Heritage Society.
Conference podcast available under 'Conference' and full pack here:
http://www.cause4livingessex.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CONFERENCE-PACK-27-NOV-15-FINAL.pdf
30 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 5
Critique of housing need projections and Local Plan proposals
Alan Wenban-Smith, Urban & Regional Policy
1 Introduction
Purpose of this report
1.1 The three North Essex Districts of Braintree, Colchester and Tendring share a common Part 1, covering the strategic elements of employment, housing and transport of their three Local Plans currently being produced. I have been commissioned by CAUSE to critically examine the housing proposals. My relevant qualifications and experience are given in below.
Documents consulted
1.2 The work has been carried out as a desk-study of the evidence for the housing provision being proposed in the three Districts. In addition to relevant national sources for policy and data, the following key local documents have been consulted:
a) The 'Objectively Assessed Housing Needs Study' (OANS) prepared by Peter Brett Associates (PBA), published July 2015. This covers the whole Housing Market Area (HMA), which includes Chelmsford as well as the three Districts discussed in this report.
b) The 'SHMA update', prepared by HDH Planning & Development (HDH), published December 2015, providing further analysis of affordable housing needs for the four Districts in the HMA. Together with the OANS this is stated to comprise the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) required by national policy (see 2.3 below).
c) 'North Essex authorities: Strategic Part 1 for Local Plans'. This is the common strategic component of all three. The text consulted was contained in the Colchester Local Plan published for consultation in July 2016 (assumed to be substantively the same in all three).
General conclusion
1.3 I have reviewed the evidence referred to above, and my detailed analysis follows. The broad conclusion I reach is that the strategic Part 1 of the North Essex Local Plans is unsound. This is because, while mostly following the processes set out in national Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) to quantify housing needs, it fails to meet the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in respect of securing sustainable development.
1.4 The remainder of this report, fleshing out this conclusion, is in four sections:
Section 2 sets out the relevant elements of NPPF and PPG on housing provision in Local Plans.
Section 3 compares local and national housing need projections with the strategic proposals for provision of housing land in the three North Essex Local Plans.
Section 4 reviews the provision proposed against four issues derived from NPPF:
 Meeting needs: will the Local Plans really help to meet the housing needs which justify the level of new housing they propose?
31 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 Feasibility: is the proposed scale of development feasible in the context of the level of effective demand demonstrated by past construction?
 Local labour markets: is the proposed distribution of housing land between Districts well-founded in terms of meeting future local labour market needs?
 The wider context: how does the proposed provision relate to housing and labour markets, and consequent travel demands, across a wider area (including London)?
1.5 Section 5 summarises my conclusions.
2 National policy context
2.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, approved in 2012) is the top level of national policy on planning, and requires Parliamentary authority to modify. NPPF makes clear that purpose of the planning system is to further the economic, social and environmental dimensions of 'sustainable development' (paras 6 and 7). It stresses (para 8) that because of their mutual dependence "to achieve sustainable development, economic, social and environmental gains should be sought jointly and simultaneously through the planning system" which "should play an active role in guiding development to sustainable solutions.". However, within this context, NPPF also stresses the need to "support sustainable economic growth" (para 19) and to "boost significantly the supply of housing" (para 47).
2.2 Economic growth and housebuilding have not in fact recovered to the levels experienced before the economic crisis of 2008. Although (as discussed later) this has little to do with the planning system, modifications to NPPF are under consideration by DCLG following a consultation period that ended on 22 February 2016. According to its website (16/8/16) DCLG is still 'analysing feedback'. No other consultations are referenced, though a Local Plans Expert Group reported its recommendations in March 2016. Both sets of proposals could affect the treatment of housing in Local Plans, possibly in major ways. These uncertainties, affecting an already over-complex process, are a concern for all involved in local planning.
2.3 National Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) is subordinate to NPPF, but is much more voluminous and can be varied at will by DCLG. The current version for housing was published in March 2014, and no relevant update is registered on the DCLG website. In respect of housing needs PPG requires a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to be carried out for a Housing Market Area (HMA) that covers the whole of the area that is functionally interdependent in housing market terms with the Local Plan area. The OANS and SHMA update for North Essex cover a Housing Market Area (defined in these terms) which includes Chelmsford as well as the three Districts sharing a strategic context for their Local Plans. The implications of this mismatch are considered later.
2.4 The starting point specified by PPG for examination of housing needs is the latest official household projections produced by DCLG. PPG implies a cautious approach to any proposed adjustments:
32 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
"The household projections produced by DCLG are statistically robust and are based on nationally consistent assumptions. However, plan makers may consider sensitivity testing, specific to their local circumstances, based on alternative assumptions in relation to the underlying demographic projections and household formation rates. Account should also be taken of the most recent demographic evidence including the latest Office of National Statistics population estimates."
2.5 The household projections for local authority areas are themselves based on subnational population projections (SNPPs) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS and DCLG projections are 'policy neutral': that is, they take past trends and project them forward on the assumption that the same policies and processes are in place in both the past 'reference' period and the future 'projection' period. Note that the headship rates in the household projections rely on much longer-term trends than the corresponding population projection (the reference period is 20 years for household projection compared with 5 years for population).
3 Housing need projections and planned housing provision in North Essex
3.1 Housing needs for the whole HMA (4 Districts) on the basis of the DCLG 2012-based trend projection would be 2,916 dwellings pa (dpa). The OANS makes allowances for additional employment in each District and for more migration from London, adding a further 221 dpa. This 'uplift' of 8% is stated as all that would be needed to meet future employment needs and 'market signals', as well as London-related migration (OANS 9.12). The Local Plan reference to a 15% uplift for these purposes (Local Plan Part 1, para 2.36) is therefore clearly mistaken13. The relationship of the DCLG, OANS and Local Plan figures for the three Districts in North Essex is set out in Figure 1 below. While Local Plan periods differ from the OANS and from each other (Figure 1, Note 4), when all are expressed in terms of provision per annum the comparisons are valid.
Figure 1: See attachment for readable formatted table
3. OANS includes an 'uplift' of 8% across the 4 Districts forming the HMA
4. Local Plan periods: Braintree, 2016-33 (17 yrs); Colchester, 2013-2033 (20 yrs), Tendring, 2013-2033 (20 yrs)
5. DCLG (2014-based projection - July 2016) over period 2013-2037 (24 years)
3.2 The OANS estimates of additional housing needs vary markedly between Districts because of estimated differences in local employment prospects (+159 (23%) for Braintree, +52 (6%) for Colchester, -108 (-15%) for Tendring, and +118 (18%) for Chelmsford). However, in the Local Plan Part 1 a still lower figure is adopted for Tendring: -155 (-22%). For the three North Essex Districts the proposed provision (2,315 dpa) is only 56 dpa (2.5%) above the corresponding DCLG trend figure, compared with the 221 dpa (8%) increase at the 4 District HMA level. The effect is to transfer the resulting housing need obligation to other Districts within the HMA, in particular Chelmsford, which would have to find a difference of 165 dpa.
3.3 It is notable that the latest household projection (DCLG 2014-based) suggests a baseline housing need figure 115 dpa below the 2012-based figure that has been used. This is commented upon later.
3.4 Variation within the HMA may well be justified by the need for a distribution of development that is more 'sustainable' in the terms of NPPF, and this seems to underlie the general correspondence with employment projections. The principle of matching housing and employment changes arises from the idea that commuting will thereby be reduced, but as will be discussed later (paras 4.16-23), this is mistaken. The Local Plan itself refers to uncertainties arising from Unattributed Population Change (UPC) as the reason for an additional reduction in the case of Tendring. This is also mistaken: UPCs have been the subject of a study by ONS14, which concluded that because the 2012-based SNPPs are fresh forecasts, with reference period Mid-Year Estimates adjusted for the 2011 Census, they should not be adjusted for UPCs. The Tendring figure is therefore anomalous on these grounds as well.
3.5 The total 'objectively assessed need' (OAN) estimated to 2033 by the three N Essex Local Plans is some 43,765 dwellings on a 2013 starting point of about 200,000 (+22%). The proposal for accommodating this growth is that new development should be focused on the principal settlements in each District, but with the addition of up to 7,500 dwellings (in total) in three new 'garden communities' (one in each District).
4 Critical review
Issues
4.1 While the overall housing growth proposals are substantial, they are close to the DCLG projections, and so in broad conformity with PPG. The main outstanding issue is whether the 'adjustment' for additional employment is well founded, though (as already noted) this adds only 2.5% for the three Districts. However, there are other critical issues relating to the broad planning principles stated in NPPF. In summary these are:
a) The justification for the new housing provision proposed in the Local Plan is the housing need identified in the SHMA. Will it help meet these needs?
b) Is the proposed scale of development feasible in the context of the level of effective demand demonstrated by past construction?
14 ONS (2014) Report on Unattributable Population Change
34 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
c) The proposed distribution of housing land between Districts is justified by reference to meeting future labour market needs. Is this well-founded?
d) How does the proposed provision relate to the pressures being experienced by North Essex to its position relative to London?
4.2 Whether or not the housing needs assessment conforms to PPG, analysis of these issues give grounds for serious concern that the planning strategy for the three North Essex Districts is not compatible with NPPF. As already noted, NPPF has precedence over PPG.
(a) Meeting needs
4.3 The DCLG projections include analyses of the age profile of households. In the context of the widening gap between the incomes of different age groups this information is important. It reveals an impending (if not already present) crisis because while newly-forming households are in the younger age-groups, these are also the groups whose incomes have been hit hardest by changes in the economy since the global financial crisis in 2008 (a recent report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that while average incomes have recovered to their pre 2007/8 levels, those of under 30s have dropped by 7%). These younger age groups have also been hit by increasing insecurity of employment (eg 'zero hours' contracts) and a range of increasing costs (eg rising housing prices and rents, house purchase deposits, higher child-care costs, and student loan repayments).
4.4 Figure 2 shows the pattern of dynamic change between household age groups in North Essex over the period 2013-33 (which approximates to the Local Plan periods)15. The underlying numbers are set out in Appendix Table A1.
15 This analysis uses the DCLG 2012-based projection statistics (Tables 406 and 414) but presents them in a new way. By following each 10-year age group through the plan period it provides an insight into the dynamic process of household formation.
35 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Figure 2. Household age groups in Welwyn Hatfield: dynamic changes 2011-31
4.5 Within an overall increase of about 43,000 (22%) the pattern of change by age group is similar to elsewhere in England. There is:
 An increase of about 59,000 households (nearly ten-fold) from those under 25 in 2013 to those under 45 in 2033;
 An increase of about 26,000 (+20%) from those between 25 and 65 in 2013 to those between 45and 85 in 2033; and
 A decrease of about 41,000 (-70%) from those between 65 and 85 in 2011 to those over 85 in 2031.
4.6 It can be seen that the youngest age groups form the overwhelming majority of newly-forming households over the period 2013-2033 (59,000 out of 85,000 (70%))16. But while most new households are young, they are not the target market for new housing provided by the private sector. While the average price of a new house in the Eastern region was £258k (2015, Q2), the average price paid by first time buyers (FTBs) was £181k and the average paid by existing owner-occupiers was £272k, while the income levels of these categories of buyer were £51k and £121k respectively (ONS House Prices (2015, Q2), Table 12 and 15, East Region).
4.7 In fact new houses form only about 10% of the annual flow of property on the market, with the other 90% being provided by the 'churn' of the existing stock. First time buyers must necessarily make their choices mainly from the cheaper end of the existing stock, while builders of new housing rely almost exclusively for custom on present owner-occupiers. Any
16 This is even though households of over 65s increase by some 35,000 over the period, and form a higher proportion of the total (about 40% in 2033 compared with 30% in 2013). This increase is the effect of longer survival of single elderly, though because they are generally already housed this does not in itself generate a need for additional housing.
36 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
benefit to FTBs depends on 'trickle down' - and many obstacles obstruct that trickle. The effect on household formation is only beginning to felt because of the 20 year 'reference period' for projections (see 2.5 and 3.3 above), but may be expected to continue.
4.8 The high proportion of existing stock in the housing market also ensures that prices are insensitive to the volume of new housing. The Barker Report in 2004 estimated that an additional 70,000 dpa in England would 'price into the market' only 5,000 more new households per year (and then only after 10 years)17. Moreover, if for any reason house prices were to fall, builders would reduce, not increase their output (as experience since 2008 has demonstrated - see Figure 3).
4.9 The implication is that in terms of meeting the needs identified in the OANS new houses are not relevant unless they are genuinely affordable (whether to buy or rent). 'Affordable housing' as defined for planning purposes (80% of market prices/rents) is largely irrelevant. The Chancellor's 2015 Autumn statement included proposals for £8bn of public investment in 400,000 'affordable homes' by 2020/21 including 200,000 'Starter Homes'. However, at £20k per unit this provision would clearly depend mainly on existing money. Recent analysis by Shelter showed that a FTB wanting a Starter Home would need an income of over £55k (and much more in London).
4.10 The shared Local Plan Part 1 only refers to 'affordable housing' in the context of the new settlements, where it states that a figure of 30% "is supported by the evidence base" (para 2.40), a total of 2250 over North Essex if adopted as policy18. The SHMA suggests 30-35%, but this is unrealistic in the light of the evidence reviewed above about how future housing needs will arise. This conclusion is strongly reinforced by examination of past levels of output, discussed in the next section.
(b) Feasibility of the level of output
4.11 The past level of effective demand for housing in North Essex (needs backed by money) is indicated by sales over the last 16 years. Appendix Table A2 sets out the level of output achieved in the three North Essex Districts in the 8 years from 2000/01 to 2007/8 and the 8 subsequent years, and this is summarised in Figures 3 and 4.
17 HM Treasury (2004) Barker Review of Housing - Final Report, Table 1.1 Housing requirements in England
18 I have not studied the individual District Local Plans, but note that Colchester proposes only 20% on sites over 10 dwellings (Policy DM8), because of the likely effect on viability, implying an overall level significantly less than this. This is in spite of a SHMA assessment of 30-35% need.
37 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Figure 3.
See attachment for readable formatted table.
Figure 4. Housing output in North Essex, by District and year (2000/1 to 2015/6) and LP target
4.12 Although the level of development proposed in the Local Plan Part 1 was achieved in the two years 2006/7 and 2007/8, the average levels achieved, both before then and since the events of 2008, are significantly lower. Overall output over the 16 years was only two-thirds of the Local Plan target level, and since 2008/9 it has averaged less than half.
4.13 If national economic circumstances improve, as all would wish, the low current levels of housing output may recover. However, unless there is also a redistribution of income in favour of the age groups forming most new households, the whole housing market will eventually be compromised by the lack of new entrants. This could lead to a major market correction to reduce prices, but while improving affordability that would also be likely to reduce output of new homes19.
4.14 The average level of output achieved over the last 16 years (1,572 dpa) would represent a highly optimistic view of the level of effective demand likely over the Local Plan periods. The
19 Landowners tend to hold on to land in depressed market conditions in the expectation of later improvements, making land prices insensitive to lower final demand. Land already held by builders would effectively be devalued by lower house prices, affecting their ability to finance construction.
38 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
level of provision in the Local Plans (2,315 dpa) could only be justified by evidence of radical changes in the structure of housing provision and/or income distribution. One such change might be large scale provision of subsidised homes for rent, but that seems unlikely at the present time (see 4.9-10 above). The proportion of social rented housing over the last 16 years was only 12%, and local plan provision would be unlikely to deliver much more (see Footnote 6). Increased levels of sharing and private renting are more likely outcomes.
4.15 The implication of allocating land on the basis of the OANS is that builders will be able choose from a large surplus of land those sites that offer the most profitable development prospects for their actual target markets. These will tend to be greenfield sites in attractive surroundings, which are likely also to make disproportionate demands on services and infrastructure, competing for limited (mainly public) resources for these purposes20.
(c) Accommodating the labour market - the roles of new and existing housing
4.16 It has already been noted (3.3 above) that the variation in provision between Districts responds to the differences in District level employment forecasts. The OANS references two different sources of local employment forecasting: the East of England Economic Forecasting Model (EEFM) created by Oxford Economics, which (with further analysis of the relationship to housing needs by Edge Analytics) and there is also reference to forecasts by Experian.
4.17 The EEFM/Edge population forecasts are jobs-led at District level. The results suggest that the official household projections would lead to lower growth in numbers of workers than in numbers of jobs in Braintree and (to a lesser degree) Colchester, and the reverse in Tendring. The housing numbers in the OANS are those required to balance housing and jobs growth in Braintree and Colchester, and these are carried straight through into the Local Plans (Figure 1). However, in the case of Tendring the same procedure produces a lower figure than DCLG (597 dpa compared with 705), and this is further reduced to 550 dpa in the Local Plan. As already discussed (3.3) there is no good reason for this, though it is perhaps a minor issue compared with concerns about (a) the validity of the EEFM, discussed next, and (b) the principle of balancing growth, discussed at 4.20-23 below.
4.18 The EEFM procedure is not discussed in depth in the OANS, but a similar model by Cambridge Economics at around the same time is familiar to me from my critical review of the Oxfordshire SHMA (2014). I reviewed the Oxfordshire forecast and concluded that it was on the high side, for two main reasons:
a) The reference period was much longer than for the ONS sub-national population projections (SNPPs) - 15 years rather than 5. The trends thus reflected pre-2008 conditions to an unrealistic degree (like the DCLG household projections).
b) The economic assumptions about the future global context were also optimistic, even then, and look more so now21.
20 Policy SP4 states a wide range of infrastructure as being necessary to support the levels of development proposed (transport, education, healthcare and broadband), but offers no evidence that the resources will be available for funding this. I have not made a study of individual Local Plans, but Colchester's states that planning permission will not be given unless there is adequate provision both on and off-site. While reference is made to Community Infrastructure Levy and Obligations under s106 of the Planning Act (Policy SG8), it has not yet produced an Infrastructure Delivery Plan endorsed by public providers. In the context of the comments previously noted about ensuring viability of development (Policy DM8) it seems unlikely that the resources will become available from private sources either.
21 "in the medium term, global growth is expected to accelerate slowly from the historically low levels of 2012 and 2013, with strong growth in China, India and the oil-producing countries making a greater contribution to
39 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
4.19 Cambridge Economics carried out an economic modelling exercise for Essex County Council in 2013/4, the results of which are regarded by the OANS as not worthy of further discussion because they 'show less growth than the others' (OANS 6.16). This perhaps demonstrates the tendency for inflation to be built in to both the commissioning and the use of economic projections, or might simply be indicative of the vagaries of local economic forecasting. Whichever it is, while the growth uplift proposed for the HMA is not enormous, it does not appear particularly well-founded.
(d) Housing provision and travel demand and the wider housing market area
4.20 Turning to the question of distribution, there is no straightforward equation between new homes and more jobs. All employers - new and existing - need housing for those who work for them, but workers choose from the whole supply, of which new housing (as noted above) is only a small part. Higher paid workers will be able to choose from a wider area and a wider range of both new and existing, while lower-paid workers will depend more on the cheaper end of the existing stock or renting (private or social). An area's attraction for employers and workers will therefore depend on the mix of all these, plus the quality of local services and environment.
4.21 The market for housing in North Essex - new and existing - is the product of these factors, and the following considerations are relevant to the appropriate planning response:
a) Although most movements are local there are well-established patterns of migration and commuting further afield. In particular gross inward migration from London Boroughs is equivalent to about 1100 people pa - equivalent to 400 dpa in terms of housing demand (OANS Figs 2-2, 2.4, and 2-6). Meanwhile commuting to London runs at about 8,000/day (OANS Figs 2-9, 2-11 and 2-12), implying use of about 4% of North Essex housing stock by households with a commuter to London. These features underlie past migration trends already incorporated into the DCLG household projections (and the London component that is an explicit part of the OANS 'uplift').
b) Because builders target existing home owners (as reviewed above) additional provision is more likely to be aimed at attracting better-off commuters to London and retirees than at providing scope for an increase in the local labour force. Increasing housing provision to accommodate these demands would therefore tend to attract more migrants and commuters.
4.22 North Essex forms a small part of the much wider London commuter belt, and much of the pressure for housing arises from migration from London. The net migration in Figure 6-12 of the OAHNS varies between 500 and 1500 persons pa from 2001 to 2013. Translated into housing requirements this would imply between 200 and 600 dpa, or closely equivalent to the total amount of housing built in North Essex over the same period (see Figures 3 and above).
4.23 The common presumption is that 'sustainable development' means minimising growth in travel demand; that this in turn requires a local balance of jobs and homes, and further, that any increase in the number of local jobs should be matched by an equivalent increase in housing. However, while a local balance might mean no change in net commuting (commuting-in minus commuting-out), the amount of traffic depends on the sum of these flows (commuting-in plus commuting-out), not their difference. People commute to find the
the global economy. Over the long term, world GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 41/2% pa, with emerging Asia, the EU12 and the economies of some other developing countries leading the way. The US will be just behind, growing at 2-2¼% pa". Communication to the author from Cambridge Economics, May 2014
40 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
best match for them between the type and quality of job, and the type and quality of home they are looking for. The amount of traffic depends on how well both sets of preferences can be met locally from the incomes generated by local jobs, not on whether the number of homes in an area balances the number of jobs (let alone whether the number of new homes matches the number of new jobs).
5 Conclusion
5.1 The main findings of this analysis are:
a) The housing proposals in the North Essex Local Plans would not help meet the greatest part of the OAN - the needs of newly forming households over the plan period.
b) The level of provision of housing land is so far in excess of past or likely future effective demand for housing as to compromise the renewal of services and infrastructure in existing communities. Far from meeting the needs of newly-forming households, it is likely to undermine their housing prospects. Deep-seated economic and social processes are likely to continue to supress new household formation, exacerbating this effect.
c) The distribution of housing provision between Districts is based upon employment forecasts which are not robust. In addition, it incorporates a false premise regarding the relationship between location of new development and growth of travel demand.
d) Local employers need attractive and affordable housing for all levels of staff. This depends much more on the quality of existing places and stock than on new development.
e) The achievement of the proposed levels of development depends mainly on purchases by existing owner-occupiers. This would require an influx of migrants and commuters to above the levels already incorporated in official population and household projections.
5.2 In my opinion Part 1 of the three Local Plans fails on these grounds against the central NPPF objective of sustainable development (para 2.1 above), and the Local Plans should therefore be ruled 'unsound'.
41 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 1 Tables
See attachment for readable formatted tables
Biography
Alan Wenban-Smith, Urban & Regional Policy
This submission has been prepared on behalf of CAUSE by Alan Wenban-Smith. He is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, and was a member of its Policy and Research Committee from 2005 to 2015. He is RTPI's representative on the Board of the Transport Planning Society.
He has extensive relevant professional experience in spatial planning in local government, including leading development planning, housing, transport and economic development projects at local, city, conurbation and regional levels. Between 1981 and 1996 he was responsible for planning and transport policy for Birmingham City Council, and also chaired conurbation- and region-wide collaboration on planning and transport issues in the West Midlands. In these capacities he led a number of joint projects, some later adopted at national level: the first big city Unitary Development Plan, the first regional Strategic Planning Guidance (later rolled out nationally as Regional Planning Guidance), the first conurbation-wide transport investment programme (rolled out nationally as Local Transport Plans), and the first Regional Transport Strategy (later incorporated into Regional Spatial Strategies).
As a consultant since 1996 (trading as Urban & Regional Policy) he has led several projects touching on housing issues in the South East and elsewhere, including advising CPRE on housing in SERPLAN (author of its 1999 report on 'Plan, monitor and manage'); acting as a Special Adviser to the Commons Select Committee Inquiry into the South East Growth Areas (2003/4); advising DfT on integrating transport planning with regional spatial policy (2004); conducting regional case studies on land for affordable housing for the Housing Corporation (2008), chairing a Peer Review of London's land-use transport modelling for TfL (2008/9); and reviewing the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment for CPRE (2014).
43 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 6
Providing for employment in North Essex
CAUSE believes that there are three reasons why the employment land allocations implied by policy SP3 (Providing for Employment) are unsound:
 Credible local employment opportunities are key to the viability and sustainability of the garden communities, and they are not created by land allocations alone;
 North Essex's job generation must be sufficient to support the growing population
 West Colchester's potential to generate employment is limited.
Given the backdrop of high out-commuting in the Housing Market Area, over-supply of employment land, outdated employment policy, transport constraints and the current market challenges to developing land outside strategic and central urban areas highlighted by the ENLAs and Aecom, CAUSE does not believe that the employment land to be allocated at West Colchester Garden Community will be developable and viable.
West Colchester Garden Community has little to offer as an independent employment hub, and will inevitably have a disproportionate number of long distance commuters, principally to London and Stansted. When comparing it to other locations significant long term rail costs should be factored in as well as the sustainability impacts of long distance commuting.
1. Credible local employment opportunities are key to the sustainability of garden settlements
The stated aim of SP3 is '...to achieve a better balance between the location of jobs and housing, which will reduce the need to travel' and to strengthen and diversify local economies.
A new West Colchester Garden Community (WCGC) does not meet this aim. A focus on the commuter line not only weakens the local economy but creates pressure on a line which is already stressed and forecast by Network Rail's Anglia Route Study to be standing room only by 2043. Commuter-focused development simply encourages long distance travel. Housing should be located near to thriving jobs hubs otherwise there will be more long distance commuting - unsustainable in terms of economic cost, lifestyle and NO2 emissions.
Setting aside land for employment and hoping for jobs growth is not sufficient. Businesses will have a wide diversity of requirements, and will not necessarily favour land set aside by the public sector. Many will favour locations with a network of supporting businesses and a positive image. This is backed up by Colchester and Braintree's Employment Land Needs Assessments (ELNA), which argues that employment land must be focused around town centres and the identified strategic economic areas and employment clusters of the Borough and District where market demand is strong, rental values high and viability good. Aecom's economic strategy for North Essex also points to the need to reduce out-commuting by focusing on the local economy - the ports, creative industries in Colchester and the two main drivers of employment, the University of Essex (2,000 net jobs forecast) and Stansted (20,000 net jobs forecast). (The multiplier effects of the University and Stansted should not be ignored).
Outside these areas ELNA market analysis demonstrates that viability is questionable. West Colchester suffers the additional disadvantage of competing for labour against the higher wage economies nearer to London. It is regarded as the least sustainable location for employment growth.
There are other garden settlement locations better suited to balancing jobs and housing.
44 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 North Colchester, which has been prematurely abandoned, is located adjacent to Severalls and the Northern Gateway and can be connected by sustainable transport including Park & Ride, already in place;
 CAUSE's Metro Plan, which has been roundly ignored, links homes to jobs in Colchester, Clacton and the University area via a frequent and regular sustainable metro train service.
 East Colchester is close to the University of Essex and its Knowledge Gateway;
 West of Braintree is close to Panfield & Skyline 120 and within easy reach of Stansted;
In addition, the ELNA, backed up by the recent Planning Inspector decision at Stane Park, reminds us that Colchester has "sufficient employment floorspace in quantitative terms to meet future needs up to 2032 under all scenarios of future growth." At a current development rate of only 1 hectare per annum, Colchester has a 65 year supply of employment land and this surplus will be greater when garden communities are taken into account.
North Essex's job generation must be sufficient to support the growing population
Colchester, Tendring and Braintree are all net exporters of labour. Colchester's self-containment rate has reduced over the last ten years, from 71% in 2001 to 63% in 2011, with a net outflow 1830 workers. Workforce job growth has historically lagged behind working-age population growth: 98% of job creation is part-time and start-ups and self-employment are at low-levels. In Braintree District, there is also low self-containment. The ELNA concludes that more residents leave the district than remain to work and growth is influenced by London, London-Cambridge Corridor, Stansted and Haven Ports.
In addition, in both Colchester Borough and Braintree District congestion is a deterrent to economic investment. Outlook for demand for employment sites using A12/A120 route will decrease as inhibited by the road, which is not suitable for HGVs. Market feedback suggests that peak hour traffic levels in and around Colchester and on the A12 has had, and continues to have, an adverse effect on its commercial property market.
The map below shows where job growth exceeds population growth. This map supports the hypothesis that the University and Stansted are generating the growth.
This is important for two reasons.
 First it supports the CAUSE view that OAN figures should be based on demographic projections, and that the 15% added to allow for job growth is unrealistic and unnecessary
45 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 Secondly it supports the view that garden settlements should be located in Tendring and near Stansted where there are credible sources of local employment growth
2. WCGC's potential to generate employment is limited.
CAUSE has long expressed concerns about the ability of a new town at Marks Tey (West Colchester Garden Community or WCGC) to be self-contained and to generate sufficient employment to support its working age population. WCGC does not meet NPPF requirements to plan for sustainability by locating housing near to employment. There is no existing employment focus at Marks Tey and, being located at some distance from North Essex's allocated strategic economic areas and town centres, and adjacent to a main commuter line and trunk road to London, WCGC will be an exporter of labour. To build adjacent to the overcrowded GEML (acknowledged by Aecom to be a constraint) is a flawed strategy.
Aecom has been unable to propose an economic strategy to support WCGC, suggesting only that home-working, flexible office space near the station and logistics might prove attractive.
The ENLA notes that out-of-town business parks are no longer the preferred option for many businesses, and growth sectors (services and creative) favour town centre locations. The allocation of land for employment at WCGC will be insufficient to create employment for the inhabitants of a settlement of between 13,000 and 28,000 dwellings. Land promoters have focused on the construction phase of the scheme as an employment generator, not the long-term needs of the settlement.
The evidence from Colchester and Braintree's ENLAs indicates a very high chance that WCGC will export labour and be unable to support a viable employment offering for the working age population. Aecom adds, on page 126 Options and Evaluation, that there is softer B1 demand at Marks Tey compared to the Colchester northern business parks, hence a slight discount on the rent per square foot, and that some units on local business parks currently struggle to let.
(On a point of consistency of evidence, Aecom's concluding observation, four pages later, that there is good evidence of local demand directly contradicts its earlier statement. The same contradiction is evident at east Colchester, where, in the detail it is cited as unproven for employment delivery yet in the strategy the University is put forward as a beacon of employment growth)
This aerial photo of Marks Tey above shows Long Green, the proposed area for employment land in West Colchester Garden Community. It is sandwiched in a narrow wedge between the GEML, the
46 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
A12 and, possibly the new A120. Access to the A12 is difficult (with one dangerous direct access point onto the A12 northbound and a circuitous loop past The Food Company and shops near the petrol station to reach the southbound A12). The location of the new A120 junction is not yet known. Existing buildings are available for as little as £3 per square foot and at these levels building new class B employment buildings will not be viable.
47 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 7
External Rail Costs
Introduction
Decisions are being made by North Essex authorities about the location of up to three garden communities. The largest, 'West Colchester Garden Community' (WCGC) or West Tey, is planned at Marks Tey, adjacent to the Great Eastern Main Line, and could contain as many as 28,000 homes. This settlement in particular will generate the highest number of rail commuters yet there has been no analysis of the impact on the GEML of this (or other garden communities).
Network Rail's Anglia Route Study forecasts a 75% increase in peak hour passengers on the GEML. Interventions to meet this demand are, as yet, un-costed and there is no schedule for delivery. Aecom states that even with the interventions outlined in the Anglia Route Study demand would not be met.
CAUSE believes that, in line with the first principles of Economics, external rail costs22 must be factored into any decision on the location of new settlements. They tend to be ignored because they are long term, difficult to quantify and responsibility lies in other parts of the public sector. In order for externalities of rail capacity improvements to be included in site modelling for WCGC, Network Rail must provide full costings for all interventions required by 2043. Until then WCGC cannot be considered.
Ideally for the Preferred Options consultation process, Network Rail costed, funded and scheduled plans for improving the GEML to meet forecast demand over the next 30-50 years should be available. In their absence it is necessary to look at the cost of other major commuter rail projects. In reality, the only solution to meet the demand on the GEML forecast by the Anglia Route Study (which many believe to be on the low side, and does not include the population of the garden communities proposed in north Essex) is a new rail line. This paper therefore calculates the capital cost per extra commuter implied by the emerging plans for Crossrail 2. This is the best indicator of the magnitude of cost that should be factored in to new commuter settlements such as WCGC.
This paper's conclusion that external rail costs are in the order of £170,000 per commuter should serve as a sharp warning against building commuter orientated settlements such as WCGC when there are better alternatives available.
How is the figure of £170,000 per commuter calculated? See attachment 2
Crossrail 2 will cost between £27 and £32 billion to build - we've taken £30bn23. It will result in up to 30 extra trains per hour into central London in each direction, each with a
22 'External rail costs' refer to the wider costs of meeting capacity demands on the Great Eastern Mainline ie. outside the immediate locality. These external costs have been largely excluded from both the AECOM feasibility study and the Sustainability Appraisal.
23 Source: Crossrail 2 website. Relevant extract shown in attachment 2.
48 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
capacity of 1500 people. From this we can calculate the cost per commuter at £170,000 - see attachment.
The assumptions behind this figure are the most conservative we can find. We have accepted the 30 trains per hour figure for the tunnelled section mentioned in the publicity material which sounds extreme: it implies that trains can consistently slow down, unload, reload and clear a station within 2 minutes. We have included standing commuters as well as seated ones, and based our figures on the class 345 trains which aim for nearly double the capacity of existing underground trains but are as yet unproven. There is no allowance for cost escalation. If any of these assumptions proves to be optimistic the figure of £170,000 will increase.
Surely the costings should take account of the benefits to non-peak passengers
We have allocated all the cost of Crossrail 2 to peak hour travellers. Other travellers may see some benefit and should arguably bear some cost. However peak hour travellers drive the demand, and they will create the bulk of the extra fare income. Train operators discount off-peak fares towards marginal cost, at which level there is very little capital cost recovery. Thus capital decision-making should be focused on peak hour users.
Surely people will commute wherever you build?
There are four good reasons why WCGC is likely to create more demand for commuting than the alternatives to the North or East of Colchester.
1. Colchester season tickets cost 6.5% more, equivalent to £607pa in pre-tax salary24.
2. Marks Tey will naturally attract those moving out of London. It already has a strong commuting tradition and to those looking at a map of rail lines and house prices it is an obvious choice. Marks Tey experienced a 94% increase in passenger numbers 1998 - 2015, according to Bettertransport.org.
3. Commuters on London salaries are likely to outcompete locally employed people for housing at WCGC, and this is already reflected in house prices25. Housing built elsewhere may be more attractive to locally employed people, although if development to the East of Colchester is a Cambridge style success, this may reverse.
4. The lack of employment offering at WCGC will lead to a high proportion of residents commuting to work, London being a particular magnet.
CAUSE acknowledges that some people will commute wherever settlements are located in North Essex. But planning needs to tilt the balance in favour of the local economy wherever it sensibly can.
Surely capacity on the GEML can be upgraded for less than Crossrail 2?
There are major problems in dealing with the competing demands on the GEML, and it is difficult to see how capacity can be increased to cope at any cost. CAUSE believes that the "interventions" mentioned in the Anglia Route Study won't be sufficient to meet the demand.
24 Assuming a marginal tax rate of 40%. £5936 - £5572
25 See Aecom report volume 3 page......
49 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
AECOM clearly agree: their report says,
 "There is a clear capacity gap on the GEML by 2043 even with Network Rail's identified interventions" and,
 "...it is likely that without radical public transport solutions in the regions, the southern sections of the GEML will continue to be constrained." (Baseline Compendium 1.4)
Other pressures on the GEML may worsen the existing service for mid-range commuters
The competing demands on the GEML are principally:
 Freight - an increase of up to 182%26 is forecast from Harwich and Felixtowe. Although freight trains can often be scheduled to run at non-peak times, they run to a different pattern to commuter trains and sometimes break down causing major disruption. There is an urgent need for infrastructure improvements at Ely and [Haughly] Junction to free up GEML capacity between Ipswich and Stratford. It would be unwise to further overload the GEML until these are scheduled and funded which is not the case at present.
 Norwich in Ninety - high speed trains to Norwich are a high priority. They may be few in number (..... per hour) but they use up disproportionate track capacity as slower trains need to be put into sidings. Dynamic loops between Witham and Chelmsford will help commuters from Norwich, but not those from intermediate towns.
 Suburban services - the Elizabeth line (Crossrail) will significantly increase capacity for suburban commuters when it is fully open in 2019. But extra trains will be run between Shenfield and Stratford and no extra tracks are being built. Mid-range commuters may suffer.
No line improvements are currently scheduled to improve mid-range commuter services to stations such as Colchester, Kelvedon and Marks Tey, and we fear that the competing demands will worsen them.
Conclusion
To meet the 75% forecast increase in peak demand, significantly more radical interventions than those outlined in the Anglia Route Study March 2016 will be required:
 75% more platforms at Liverpool Street? A new station at Shoreditch was mooted in the draft Anglia Route Study but has been dropped. The Study also states that there will be fewer platforms: "Following the introduction of Crossrail services, the number of platforms at London Liverpool Street station is planned to be reduced from 18 to 17. This is to enable Platforms 16 and 17 to be lengthened to accommodate Crossrail trains; Platform 18 will be taken out of commission."
 75% more paths through the signalling system? Much reliance is placed on signalling headway reduction and untested new signalling equipment, but CAUSE's rail consultant questions whether this can deliver what it promises.
26 Source: Essex County Council response to Network Rail Strategic plan 2013. 182% increase in container traffic forecast from 2005 to 2030
50 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 75% more spaces at the car parks? None are listed by Aecom in the infrastructure required at WCGC and the franchise prospectus lists Marks Tey as number three, after Cambridge and Ely, out of 63 stations for occupancy already.
 75% more carriages? Twelve carriage trains across the board will mop up some of the short-term demand. Double-decker trains have been discounted. There is no more scope for meeting the long-term demand through rolling stock.
In reality, nothing short of a new, second line would provide for the projected peak hour capacity increases, hence our comparison with Crossrail costings. CAUSE believes that in practice peak hour demand will be choked off either through unaffordable season tickets, or by severe over-crowding, which will cause great suffering for existing commuters. The solution is clearly to try to build for the local economy, not for London.
In order for externalities of rail capacity improvements to be included in site modelling for WCGC, Network Rail must provide full costings for all interventions required by 2043. Until then WCGC cannot be considered.
Attachments to External Rail Costs Paper:
1. Extract from Anglia Route Study showing increases in demand
2. Calculation of capital cost per extra commuter from Crossrail 2
3. Funding
4. Class 345 trains for Crossrail
5. Crossrail 2 route
Attachment 1 - Extract from Anglia Route Study showing increases in demand
51 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Attachment 2 - Calculation of capital cost per extra commuter from Crossrail 2
Attachment 3 - Funding
Attachment 4 - Class 345 trains for Crossrail
52 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Attachment 5 - Crossrail 2 route
.
53 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 8
Infrastructure & connectivity analysis
By Tim Pharoah, Living Transport
5th September 2016
This report concerns the efficacy of the proposed patterns of housing growth in and around Colchester, as set out in the Preferred Options consultation document, 2016, particularly in terms of transport.
Main points
The preferred options consultation is considered flawed in three respects.
 The decision process leading up to the conclusions has been inadequate;
 The evidence base on which decisions have been made is too narrow, and in some cases of poor quality;
 As a result, the chosen ("preferred") options are not the best available options in terms of either transport sustainability or deliverability.
Preferred Options - a flawed process
[See also Appendix A for more detail]
First, the process by which the preferred options were arrived at is considered to have been inadequate, with insufficient attention paid to the main development objectives set out nationally, through the NPPF, and locally for both North Essex and Colchester itself. The preferred options have been chosen in advance of any clear strategy for the provision of public transport or walking and cycling infrastructure, that will be necessary to avoid heavy reliance on private cars in the growth areas. No information on the scale, form or cost of transport infrastructure has been produced, and so the feasibility and viability of the preferred options cannot be assured. Nor has any indication been provided on the timing or phasing of transport measures in relation to the growth proposals.
The National Planning Policy Framework requirement that "Plans and decisions should ensure developments that generate significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable transport modes can be maximised" (para 34) has not been met. The NPPF states that "All developments that generate significant amounts of
Contents
Main points
Appendix A - Preferred Options - a flawed process
Appendix B - The Ringway Jacobs traffic modelling report (July 2016)
Appendix C - Some comments on AECOM documents
Appendix E - Other public transport issues relating to West Tey
54 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment." Plans and decisions should take account of whether: "improvements can be undertaken within the transport network that cost effectively limit the significant impacts of the development. Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe." (para 32).
Neither a TS nor a TA has been produced for the growth options, and no assessment has been made of whether transport improvements can mitigate the impacts of the developments. Were assessments of the growth options to be undertaken, and were these to indicate cumulative impacts of development that are "severe", this would constitute grounds for refusal. Although "severe" is not defined, it seems likely that the West Colchester will produce severe impacts on both the rail and road system, not all of which may be possible to mitigate.
The Preferred Options consultation process as a consequence is constrained and premature.
Inadequate evidence
[See also Appendix B for critique of the traffic modelling report]
Second, the evidence regarding transport does not include adequate information about the public transport services and transport infrastructure required to support the proposed developments. No indication is provided of the impact of infrastructure requirements on development viability. Nor is any indication given about the relative performance of the alternative locations for growth in terms of the quality of place, or quality of life outcomes. The traffic modelling report is too narrowly conceived and poorly executed to throw light on these crucial aspects. The AECOM report contains potentially useful information, but also provides misleading assumptions regarding, for example, the mode split for travel in the growth areas [see also appendix D]. In any case, it is not clear whether the decision on preferred options has taken any account of the AECOM report, which is not mentioned in the consultation document.
CONCLUSION: West Colchester: the worst location for major growth
West Colchester (Marks Tey) is the location least capable of having sustainable transport outcomes, by virtue of its distance from Colchester and other established major centres, its position on the GEML attracting commuting to London, and the absence of any significant prospect for upgrading bus services to Colchester.
The option for a new "Garden Community" at West Colchester is likely to generate a significant increase in commuting by rail to London, requiring additional peak hour capacity that is neither committed nor funded, and which may in any case be difficult to deliver at reasonable cost. Dependence on London commuting also increases the need to travel.
The identified West Colchester site west of Marks Tey is further from Colchester than either the eastern or northern flanks of Colchester, and would thus result in a greater need to travel than those alternatives. There is no prospect of a significant amount of travel to Colchester
55 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
being made by rail, and there are no proposals for rapid bus services. Unlike East and North Colchester growth options, no rapid bus service route to link with Colchester has been identified, let alone developed. Travel other than to London from West Colchester will therefore be heavily dependent on the private car. The A120 between Braintree and the A12 is under heavy traffic pressure and would require upgrading and re-rerouting to enable major development West of Marks Tey to take place without being severed by a major road. There are suggestions of relocating Marks Tey station. In total, the cost of infrastructure requirements at West Colchester could undermine development viability, but no assessment of this risk has been made.
According to the Ringway Jacobs traffic modelling report, development at West Colchester Garden Community produces higher levels of traffic delay than the east and north Colchester alternatives [see Appendix B].
It should be noted that neither Colchester nor the other districts in north Essex have policies that unambiguously aim for a reduction in the rate, let alone the number, of trips made by car. This is true of both existing urban areas and the growth areas. Existing high rates of car trips in north Essex appear to be regarded as acceptable provided they don't cause traffic congestion and delay. No emphasis is given to the adverse impact of increased traffic on the quality of life. It appears that transport sustainability is not a driver of the emerging local plans. It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that the growth options have not been assessed for their relative ability to deliver sustainable transport outcomes. This leaves the ambitious mode split targets in the AECOM report, requiring car use in the growth areas to be less than half current levels, looking fanciful.
Overall, the Preferred Options consultation provides little insight or evidence on the relative strategic merits of the different growth locations. Below, by way of example, is a broad brush assessment of the relative merits in terms of some key transport indicators, as perceived by CAUSE from the limited evidence available. A more rigorous and evidence-based assessment along these lines could and should have been undertaken for CBC in advance of the preferred options consultation.
Intuitive (sample) assessment of Colchester growth options (CAUSE)
See attachments for formatted readable table.
Appendix A
Preferred Options - a flawed process
This appendix argues that the transport component of the emerging local plans for Colchester (and Tendring and Braintree) is inadequate to enable proper assessment of different options for growth.
The Colchester objectives most relevant to transport are:
 Sustainable growth "Ensure new development is sustainable and minimises the use of scarce natural resources and addresses the causes and potential impacts of climate change, and encourages renewable energy." "Focus new development at sustainable locations to create new communities with distinctive identities whilst supporting existing communities, local businesses, and sustainable transport." "Focus development at accessible locations which support public transport, walking and cycling, and reduce the need to travel." "Secure infrastructure to support new development."
 Places
Improve streetscapes, open spaces and green links to provide attractive and accessible spaces for residents to live, work and play.
Because of the all-pervasive impact of traffic and transport activity, transport objectives should not just be about the mobility and accessibility function, but should also include quality of life indicators. Examples are impacts of traffic, parking and road infrastructure in terms of noise, air pollution, road safety and the attractiveness of streets and other public spaces. These are implied in the "Places" objectives in the Preferred Options report, though they are not explicit.
The objective of "securing infrastructure to support new development" is important in ensuring the deliverability of planned development. The extent, form, cost, feasibility and desirability of such infrastructure are critical in determining development viability and risk. As a consequence, the necessary infrastructure must be specified, at least in broad terms, before development options can be tested against the objectives.
(Reference: DCLG "Guidance Local Plans: Preparing a Local Plan"
Paragraph: 018 Reference ID: 12-018-20140306
"How can the local planning authority show that a Local Plan is capable of being delivered including provision for infrastructure?")
57 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
The information provided is insufficient for a proper assessment to be made of the merits or otherwise of the various development options. It follows that the Preferred Options have been selected by CBC without full regard to the relative merits of the wider range of development options.
The options have been selected:
 Without identifying the type, form, extent, feasibility, or desirability of infrastructure necessary to ensure the development will have high quality outcomes in terms of quality of life;
 Without specifying whether or in what ways the infrastructure requirement would differ as between the different growth options;
 Without identifying the costs of such transport (or other) infrastructure;
 Without identifying sources of funding for the infrastructure, and how this would impact on development viability;
 Despite the traffic impact evidence from the Jacobs modelling report, which suggests the West Colchester option is the worst performing option;
 Without any estimate being made of the transport modal split in new developments, and hence of the degree of transport sustainability likely to be attained;
 Without any target mode split for all travel generated by the growth option alternatives, or any assessment of the relative ability to meet such targets.
Even taking into account the very limited indicators in the Jacobs modelling work, West Colchester was selected despite the probability of worse traffic performance than North Colchester, which has been rejected. (See Appendix B)
It is noted that CBC proposes monitoring travel and transport outcomes of the growth strategy only in terms of the journey to work via the National Census (see page 211 on monitoring) and traffic levels on "key routes". This is inadequate to assess the performance of the growth options in terms of the factors that influence quality of life, which involve travel for all journey purposes, not just work, and the impact of traffic levels on streets where people live as well as "key" routes. Moreover, the Census is undertaken only ever 10 years, and only one set of results is likely to be available during the life of the Local Plan.
The Colchester options document para 2.60 says in relation to the A120 "The scale of new development envisaged will also need to deliver public transport improvements, including improved rail infrastructure and potential for rapid transit services into Colchester." The word "potential" confirms that no detailed plan or commitment is being offered at this stage. It is therefore not possible to judge whether transport sustainability - as measured by high proportions of travel undertaken by walk, cycle and public transport - can be delivered. Moreover, because of the lack of information about the types of transport to be provided, it is not possible to assess which of the development options are "more sustainable" or "more deliverable" than others. All of the options seem to rely on a generic assumption that walk, cycle and public transport facilities can be provided with the new developments, and that people will choose to use these modes in each case. In effect, therefore, transport sustainability criteria cannot be brought to bear on the choice between development
58 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
alternatives, because there is insufficient information to enable any distinction to be made between them.
Appendix B
The Ringway Jacobs traffic modelling report (July 2016)
The modelling undertaken was inadequate in many respects, as set out below. Setting aside the limitations of the modelling exercise, the outputs indicate that scenario 2a (West Colchester only) despite having fewer dwellings, produces a worse outcome in traffic terms than scenario 3a (East and North Colchester), and that is despite the extra car trips attracted by the A133-A120 link road included in the east and north Colchester scenarios.
The report describes an exercise that is inadequate in the following key respects:
1. The modelling report does not answer the question of which growth scenario is most likely to enable a sustainable transport solution. The SATURN is unsuitable for informing strategic planning questions;
2. The model confines itself to delays to general traffic, congestion and network traffic speeds. The latter is given only for the entire CBC road network. No indices are provided that would assist in assessing the quality of place and quality of life outcomes on the road network (such as bus service journey speed and reliability, pedestrian and cyclist safety and convenience, air quality, noise, landscape and townscape). The model therefore is of limited use in assessing the growth locations against the national (NPPF) and local objectives.
3. The model assumes that people's first choice for trips will be the car (trips are not transferred to public transport in the model until the road network becomes unacceptably congested). This runs contrary to national and local policy, which is to ensure that development and transport policies prioritise and promote public transport and active travel modes. The modelling approach reflects the out-dated and much criticised "predict and provide" approach to transport planning.
4. The modelling exercise appears to bear no relation to the AECOM North Essex Garden Communities Concept Feasibility Study.
5. The model transfers trips away from car to public transport in order to produce a workable result in terms of traffic congestion. However, nothing is said about the ability of public transport services to accept such increases in passengers, or what improvements might be needed to enable them to do so.
6. The impact on traffic conditions of the allocated housing (12,263 dwellings) will far outweigh the impact of the tested scenarios, since these include 2,500-5,000 additional dwellings. Therefore, by excluding the impact from allocated housing from the tests, and in presenting (page 12) fairly modest reductions in average traffic speeds (2-3 kmph), the report is giving a falsely optimistic impression of the traffic impact of development up to 2032 compared to today.
7. The scenarios tested have differing assumptions about the number of new dwellings to be built, limiting the direct comparisons that can be made (despite the purpose stated in paragraph 1.2).
8. The modelled area is mostly confined to the CBC area, when the traffic impacts of the proposed new developments will extend well beyond the Borough boundary, especially west of Marks Tey and east of Colchester;
59 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
9. The "reference case" is hypothetical since it includes the currently committed or allocated housing growth. It therefore is not possible to compare the model outputs (for example in terms of traffic speeds, and indicators of congestion and delays) with the present day;
The report was not made available to the public until July 2016. It would appear from the AECOM Baseline report (page 21), however, that the work was complete in January 2016.
Critique in more detail
Limited outputs
It is claimed in para 1.2 that "The modelling was commissioned to give a strategic context for potential spatial options". The outputs of the model in fact give a very limited indication of the impact of different growth options, and do not justify the term "strategic context". The traffic speed and congestion outputs are only "strategic" in the sense that they apply to the entire road network. There is no indication of other important strategic aspects that should in form the choice of growth locations, such as the environmental quality of roads and streets, the operating environment for and the degree of priority afforded to bus services, conditions for walking and cycling, and the relative journey times by different modes of travel.
Deterioration in traffic and environmental quality ignored
The model identifies only links and junctions with a capacity problem (para 1.2). No account is taken of the fact that the additional traffic would not only overload certain links and junctions, but would result in a general deterioration in the conditions experienced on many other parts of the network. Busier roads in general make life more unpleasant, and can have a direct negative impact on the use of the sustainable modes, especially walking and cycling.
By excluding the traffic impact of allocated housing, the report gives an impression of negative impacts that are much more modest. The deterioration in traffic conditions that would be experienced in 2032 compared to todays conditions, would be very much worse than those presented in the report. The number of dwellings (12,263) on allocated land excluded from the test results far outweighs the 2,500-5,000 dwellings included in the three tested scenarios for 2032.
Non-work travel ignored
Only the peak hours were modelled (para 1.2). The journey to work accounts roughly for only a fifth of all trips, and so deterioration in conditions for the other trip purposes and at off-peak times are ignored. In fact, with suppression of peak hour car trips due to limited network capacity, proportionately the degree of deterioration could be greater at off peak times than during the peak hours.
Confusing dwelling numbers
There is a discrepancy in the housing numbers between the bulleted scenario descriptions on page 5, and Table 1. There is also a discrepancy within para 2.1, with text referring to "an additional" 9,000 and 20,000 dwellings respectively for east and west Colchester, but the bulleted descriptions referring to these figures as the "total" number of dwellings. Also, on
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page 36, it is stated that Scenario 2a includes "up to 1,600 dwellings in East Colchester (which come forward but not as a Garden Community, and without a link road)." This is not mentioned in the scenario descriptions in 2.1.
Inconsistent trip rates unexplained
The number of "additional" trips generated by each of the scenarios is described in para 4.1, but these imply different trip rates for the different scenarios. For example, the same number of additional trips are given for scenarios 1a, 2a and 3a, despite the fact that scenario 2a has half the number of new dwellings of the other two scenarios. Presumably either the number of dwellings in 2a or the stated number of additional trips is a reporting error. Moreover, the trip rates for the additional dwellings in the 2017 scenarios (1b and 3b) are lower than for the 2032 scenarios, but the reason for this difference is not explained.
Results do not support the preferred options
In section 4.2.1, the summarised outputs indicate that scenario 2a (West Colchester only) - despite having fewer dwellings - produces a worse outcome in traffic terms than scenario 3a (East and North Colchester). "It indicates that highway trips from West Colchester result in a greater level of delay compared to the other scenarios." It is not stated whether this is due to longer average trip distances from West Colchester compared to north and east Colchester.
Lack of integration in planning approach
The modelling exercise appears to bear no relation to the AECOM North Essex Garden Communities Concept Feasibility Study. The AECOM report (Vol 3) puts forward extremely ambitious mode split targets for the Garden Communities, but the traffic modelling report provides no information that would throw light on the feasibility of these targets, or how they might be achieved. The AECOM Garden Communities report takes a normative stance, assuming that development and infrastructure plans should lead to more sustainable transport outcomes. The traffic modelling report by contrast assumes a "business as usual" future in which car use is limited only to the extent necessary to keep congestion to acceptable levels. It is therefore more aligned to the discredited 20th century "predict and provide" approach to transport and traffic planning.
The Colchester modelling report is mostly limited to the CBC area. A sub-regional modelling approach could have been more useful in assessing the impacts of North Essex growth as a whole. The AECOM Baseline report (page 21) refers to Jacobs having provided modelling support to Tendring as well to Colchester, which might have provided more insight on the east Colchester growth option. However, The Tendring modelling report does not appear to be available on their local plan portal website.
False or missing assumptions
There are no assumptions given on transport investment in the area (road, public transport, walking, cycling, parking), and the affects that such investment would have on road network capacity. The exception is the proposed A133-A120 link road east of Colchester. The model outputs otherwise assume that there would be no investment in transport during the period(s) being modelled, either to mitigate the modelled increase in congestion, or to bring about a more desirable mode split outcome. This is unrealistic, and also reflects a very limited view of capacity as motor vehicle capacity on the road network, rather than a more
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integrated view in terms of people capacity of all the transport networks, and is not helpful in devising a sustainable transport strategy.
Impact of mode shift ignored
The variable demand model identifies road links with excess traffic volume over capacity, and "transfers" excess trips to other modes, other destinations, or from peak to off-peak. The report gives no information on what transfers would be likely, or what the impact of these transfers would be on, for example the public transport network. In particular, there is no information provided on the relative ease or costs of accommodating the modelled transfers, and hence no possibility of comparing these costs as between the different spatial options.
Appendix C
Some comments on AECOM documents
(North Essex Garden Communities Concept Feasibility Study, Vols 1, 2 and 3, 2016)
Mode split
A fundamental indicator of transport sustainability is the mode split of all trips made by residents. Unfortunately, AECOM was not able to supply the current mode split in Colchester (because the data do not exist). The AECOM options report gives expected peak hour (but not total) trips generated for each growth option, but gives a standard mode split target for all of the sites:
AECOM Target Mode Split for Growth Areas
Car 30%
Public transport 30%
Walk/cycle 40%
For comparison, the mode split for journeys to work in the constituent authorities (2011 Census) are:
Colchester
Car 67%
Public transport 15 %
Walk/cycle 18%
Braintree
Car 75%
Public transport 12%
Walk/cycle 13%
Tendring
Car 75%
Public transport 9%
Walk/cycle 16%
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Looking at these comparative data, it is clear that the expectations by AECOM for the outcome mode split in the garden community options are fairly heroic. They expect car use to be less than half that achieved in existing settlements (30% as opposed to 63-75%). Concomitantly they expect public transport use and walking/cycling to be more than double existing norms.
Unrealistic transport and development expectations
I am surprised that in adapting/modifying the TCPA transport principle for garden cities, the phrase "most attractive" has been retained by AECOM: "walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport" (AECOM Vol 3 options report pages 11 and 12). The phrase also appears in the North Essex SA (objective 4, page 17). If this policy objective were to be carried through to the letter, then logically cars would not be used at all for local transport. Why would anyone choose anything other than the most attractive forms of transport? We must assume, therefore, that the term "most attractive" is not to be taken literally, but to mean something like "more attractive than usual".
However, it is noted that none of the three Districts has included this principle in the consultation documents.
The Options and Evaluation report (Vol 3) explores possible ways of providing high quality public transport at each of the potential growth locations. These are mainly based on the provision of segregated bus ways within the sites themselves. However, the report is very sketchy in terms of how such busways would plug into the existing road network in Colchester.
Further comparison can be made looking at the method of travel used (mode split) for all trip purposes for different location types in England and Wales, as given by the National Travel Survey (2013-14).
The mode split for "rural town and fringe" locations is:
Car 74%
Public transport 5.5%
Walk/cycle 21%
The mode split for all trips in "Urban city and town" locations in England and Wales (2013-14) is:
Car 63%
Public transport 7%
Walk/cycle 23%
The mode split for the East of England is:
Car 69%
Public Transport 7%
Walk/cycle 21%
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The suggestion of a regional tram-train network does not appear to have been tested in terms of feasibility. It relies heavily on the use of the GEML, where any capacity improvements are likely to be fully taken up in accommodating levels of demand already expected.
Flawed Transit Oriented Development (TOD) concept
The Options and Evaluation report (Vol 3) claims to promote TOD, but with 800 (10 min walk) catchments this is not feasible. A 10 min walk is unrealistic as a catchment for bus-based public transport, which would apply to most of the development at East, North and West Colchester. 800m is acceptable for rail, however, and so would include part of the area for development around Marks Tey station.
The structuring of development around Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is inconsistent between the sites:
 East of Colchester, the catchments can be 400m
 North of Colchester also 400m
 West Tey (West Colchester) - up to 800m
 West of Braintree - up to 800m
There are no proposals that would boost non-car use other than infrastructure within and adjacent to the sites. Such infrastructure is likely to be expensive and difficult to deliver in advance. Nothing is said about other measures that could help to achieve the desired mode split outcome, such as limiting and pricing parking in the nearby centres, or prioritising public transport on the road system, or limiting the supply of road space for general traffic, or reallocating road space for walking and cycling. Crucially, nothing is said about restricting car-based developments off-site, although mode outcomes will be heavily influenced by this. To the contrary, the main off-site proposals put forward are road enlargements, which will generally enable and promote car use, and encourage proposals for car-based developments.
[Note: Car-based developments are defined here as developments that depend for their viability on high levels of car access, for example large supermarkets, leisure facilities or other attractors drawing on large "drive time" catchments and with large car parks. These are car-based whether or not they are served by public transport.]
Planning with 800 m public transport catchments is totally inappropriate. Accepted standard max in 400m. (AECOM charter pdf page 10). Apart from this, there is no emphasis on PT orientation or structuring of development. The example of "well structured" development illustrated is in fact car-based (p18). Diagram on p9 shows 800m "walking zones", but these bear no relation to a transit route(s). Also the 800m could refer to the diameter, not the radius, which may have translated into an error in saying planning within 800m catchments. Either way, it all displays a lack of understanding of TOD.
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Garden Communities Charter (AECOM June 2016)
Scale - the authorities and AECOM see scale as important to deliver range of homes and employment and facilities (see AECOM charter pdf page 4). But scale can also work against deliverability, because of having to coordinate everything in one place, and being dependent on the early delivery of infrastructure, with potentially heavy up-front costs.
Self containment - The suggestion of self-containment in the garden communities seems very ambitious. Comparable developments such as in Bicester (Oxfordshire) and Kings Hill (Kent) have found it very difficult to achieve a reasonable degree of self-containment. In Kings Hill, for example, only 15% of the 3,000 or so homes has someone working at the adjacent business park (source: Kings Hill Brochure).
Appendix D
Other public transport and infrastructure issues relating to West Colchester Garden Community
The site(s) identified west of Marks Tey as an option for major growth is unsuitable, and also less suitable than the CAUSE Metro option, for the following reasons:
 It requires heavy investment in transport infrastructure, and much of it in advance of major growth taking place. This includes: - Relocation of Marks Tey railway station - Consequential building of a new railway link to the Sudbury branch - Consequential widening and rebuilding of the A120 railway overbridge - New road link(s) between the "triangle" site and the A12
 It will rely heavily on London (i.e. long distance) commuting, and as principally a commuter settlement it will struggle to produce community cohesion;
 To the extent that it forms part of an economic axis (as presented by AECOM) between Stansted and Harwich, this axis is entirely road based, and so high levels of car traffic generation can be expected, compared to new communities that are based on linkages to town centres (such as Colchester and Clacton) which provide a degree of traffic limitation.
Cycle-ways and walk ways
West Colchester is considerably further from Colchester town centre (8-13 kilometres crow-fly distance) and it would be considered too far for regular cycling by most people. Also, there is almost no cycle provision on the London Road (B1408) corridor, and re-configuring the 5 mile route to accommodate safe cycling as well as BRT would be expensive and challenging, if not impossible, as it is built-up for most of its length.
Mass rapid transit
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It may be concluded that for linkages between new developments and Colchester town centre, the main option for sustainable travel would be public transport:
North Colchester BRT (already planned in part)
East of Colchester BRT (already planned in part)
West of Marks Tey BRT (plus limited rail* hourly service)
"Colchester Metro" (CAUSE) Rail* (infrastructure already exists)
* Rail is considered to be to Colchester Town. Colchester North station requires bus interchange to reach the town centre, and thus would be unlikely to compete with direct BRT in terms of time, convenience and cost.
In addition, as was concluded by Jonathan Tyler earlier, the use of parts of the GEML for frequent (10 minute interval) local journeys between Marks Tey and Colchester is not realistic without major and very expensive upgrades. Marks Tey (either existing or relocated) is therefore mostly about providing for peak hour commuting towards London. Development around Marks Tey is therefore likely to be characterised more as a commuter suburb of London than as an integrated component of a North Essex sub regional economic area. Local public transport to link so-called West Tey to Braintree and Colchester centres will for the most part be BRT, with rail performing a secondary role to Colchester.
AECOM have put forward aspirational rail and tram-train options. There are numerous practical, financial and operational difficulties to overcome before these can be considered realistic. In the absence of the an Infrastructure Delivery Plan it is not possible to comment.
In the absence of an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) it is impossible to test the viability of the Park & Ride proposal.
Marks Tey station relocation
To improve the accessibility to rail services from the proposed development, it has been suggested by AECOM (Vol 3, p 58) to move the station to a more central area of the development.
Moving the station would involve:
 Building a new single track line from the existing Sudbury branch line, via a new London-facing chord, to a third platform at the new station;
 Building the new station itself, with interchange facilities (bus, taxi, car park), and pedestrian and cycle paths, and cycle parking;
 To accommodate this new line, rebuilding and widening the bridge carrying the A120 over the railway would be required. (This would be required anyway if the A120 were to be widened to dual carriageway on its current alignment, although not if the enlarged A120 were to join the A12 further west);
 Land acquisition and possible demolition of 6-12 existing dwellings that sit adjacent to the railway at this location;
 Closure of the existing station, and probable removal of the existing Colchester-facing chord (releasing land for other purposes);
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 Building new access roads and paths to the station, involving a road either through the development to the north of the station to the existing A120, or from the A12 to the south of the station, or more likely both, and involving a new road bridge over the railway.
 A "land bridge" has been suggested by AECOM to link development north of the railway with development south of the A12. Such a link would seem to be essential if a cohesive development were to be sought both north of the railway and south of the A12, whether or not a new relocated station is built.
 The cost of the station and land bridge alone are estimated by AECOM to cost £35m.
 Operationally, there may be problems arising from the relocated station being only around 3.5 kms from Kelvedon station.
 AECOM have suggested that the existing station could be retained as the terminus for the Sudbury branch. This would leave the Sudbury branch with no interchange with the GEML, thus cutting it off from the majority of its passengers. (There is no possibility of trains stopping at both a new and the existing Marks Tey stations.)
Large transport infrastructure requirement
The west of Marks Tey development option carries with it a large transport infrastructure requirement, and hence a high burden of costs to be included in the overall viability calculation. The items can be summarised as follows:
Acknowledged by the development consortium
 An upgrade for Marks Tey station
 Upgrade of the A120 to dual carriageway (on current alignment)
Included in AECOM report
 Upgrade to strategic road junctions in vicinity of Marks Tey station
 Segregated busway (BRT) with "green" pedestrian and cycle route
 Upgrade of pedestrian bridge over the A12 for cycles as well
 "Land bridge" to overcome severance of GEML and A12
 Possible tram-train conversion of Sudbury branch, (with electrification, or use of dual motive power system) and its extension through the development west of Marks Tey.
 Relocated Marks Tey station to within the new development (with possible tram train extension to serve it).
While the total costs may not be accurately assessed, it is clear that the infrastructure burden to create a large scale successful and sustainable development would be considerable. More importantly, growth elsewhere (East or north of Colchester, or Colchester Metro) is likely to require infrastructure support that is much less expensive and easier to deliver than that set out for west of Marks Tey.
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Appendix 9
Healthcare planning to support the proposed garden communities
September 2016
North Essex Authorities: Strategic Part 1 for Local Plans sets out proposals for 2,315 new dwellings per annum across Braintree, Colchester and Tendring, with three garden cities in the pipeline, to commence in the Plan period. Beyond the Plan period the growth of the garden cities will see thousands more homes, with West Colchester Garden Community options under investigation containing up to 28,000 additional dwellings.
A review of Part 1 and supporting documents gives cause for concern about the lack of strategic planning for healthcare provision given the anticipated scale of housing growth and therefore extra demand on health services.
Inadequacy of Local Plan with regards to Healthcare provision
The lack of high level healthcare planning to support the proposed garden communities is striking:
 Mark Prentice, Head of External Relations, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been unable to provide any planning information, other than to state that the North East Essex CCG will take the lead in assessing the health needs of the population. No provider based planning appears to have been initiated. Without it, the additional capacity required will not be met at Colchester hospital.
 James Archard, Deputy Director of Transformation & Strategy, NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, has confirmed that there is no internal documentation available (as at August 2016) relating to ANY analysis of the impact on healthcare provision of new garden communities. This is despite a statement in Colchester's Preferred Options (4.58) stating that the Infrastructure Delivery Plan will identify the needs of the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group;
 Whilst there are general references to the need for "necessary infrastructure" and community services in the Local Plan Strategic Infrastructure Policy (p74 Colchester Preferred Options) there is no specific reference to healthcare, let alone to the need for strategic planning for hospital beds etc;
 In SP4 (Infrastructure & Connectivity), SP5 (Place-shaping principles) and SP6 (Spatial strategy) there is one mention of healthcare, however, it refers only to provision within a development: "Ensure that essential healthcare infrastructure is provided as part of new developments of appropriate scale in the form of expanded new doctors' and dentists' surgeries.";
 AECOM CONCEPT FEASIBILITY STUDY deals only briefly with the issue of healthcare:
o "There is an overall deficit in provision of GPs across the wider 5km buffer. This is a theoretical assessment and the actual pressures are potentially more pressing. There is only one facility with a strong GP to patient ratio."
o "Colchester healthcare infrastructure projects in the pipeline have 'been abandoned, so at present there are no identified healthcare needs'"
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It appears that healthcare provision is considered relevant only on a development-by-development basis at planning application stage. Whilst this may be appropriate for primary healthcare, the sheer scale of development proposed by this Local Plan requires a more strategic approach to healthcare provision for the area since the lead time for planning and delivering investment in expansion of acute services will be several years if not decades. AECOM has estimated a requirement of up to 164 additional hospital beds (Concept Feasibility Study - Vol 3), but no business plan to provide these seems to be available from the NHS Local Health Economy.
Part 1 requires a focus on healthcare implications for the area of beds needed, A&E and other acute services, together with implications for the non-acute services including mental health and community services.
The highest level NHS planning document is currently the "NHS Five Year Forward View" published in October 2014 by Department of Health. This includes:
"New town developments and the refurbishment of some urban areas offer the opportunity to design modern services from scratch, with fewer legacy constraints - integrating not only health and social care, but also other public services such as welfare, education and affordable housing."
In July 2015, NHS sought registration of interest in the "healthy new towns" programme with a closing date of September 2015. This programme was part of putting the "Forward View" into action and ten demonstrator sites were established, including Ebbsfleet Garden City, Kent (up to 15,000 new homes).
Unfortunately, the garden community's development was not included in the programme and the local health economy seems to have missed the opportunity.
Current acute healthcare situation in North Essex
 Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has two main sites: Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital. The Trust provides healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex and south Suffolk. It has around 619 beds.
 Overall, the Trust is rated "Inadequate" by CQC, despite being in "special measures" for over two years.
 Statistics for June 2016 (latest available at time of writing) show that Colchester failed its A&E target (86.2% seen within 4 hours against a target of 95%). This is of particular relevance when planning for local population growth because A&E is a local service which cannot be outsourced by the CCG. The problem of overstretched A&E services will clearly get worse as the population increases and if no mitigating actions are taken by NHS acute providers.
 The Trust is in deficit of £22.3 million and recently applied for cash support from Department of Health. There is therefore little prospect of the necessary self-generated capital funds to provide required additional capacity.
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 Trust income last year rose only £0.9 million against upward operating costs of £16.5 million.
 Borrowing for Capital investment is restricted by Monitor setting a Prudential Borrowing Limit. As a Foundation Trust, borrowing (including working capital) is capped at around 40% of the asset base and then only if its Monitor rating is at its highest level (currently at its lowest level). A PFI option for centralising services on Colchester hospital site with 70 additional beds has been explored in recent years but was abandoned at a late stage in the bidding process due to the scheme not meeting economic tests.
 A partnership agreement with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust has been established because of inadequate improvement during the "special measures" phase. The Board of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust is now effectively overseeing Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust. Capital investment decisions will be led by Ipswich, and services are likely to be reconfigured at the two Trusts to save money and improve services. This raises a question about the additional traffic on the A12 between sites and longer journeys for patients, particularly given the ambitious North Essex growth plans.
 Whilst acute services form the lion's share of commissioners' budget and will feel the greatest impact of population growth, there will also be demands on non-acute services including mental health and community services.
Assumptions on acute healthcare in the AECOM report
AECOM's feasibility study makes the same assumption about acute healthcare provision for all locations. It assumes 1 new acute bed for every 267 dwellings (Source: volume 3 project lists). It has nothing about where or how the beds will be provided. On this basis another 164 acute beds will be needed during the 15 year plan period, rising to 260 if all three garden settlements are completed (using option 1s). These figures take no account of any current shortfall in acute service provision.
The conclusions from AECOM's crude figures are alarming. A significant increase in capacity is required, implying new buildings on new hospital sites. 164 extra beds is a very significant number, equivalent to 26% of the beds currently available to Colchester General. It is
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recognised that they are crude estimates prepared for a feasibility study, but disappointing that no better forecasts or plans appear to be available.
Conclusion
There appear to be no plans in place to meet the majority of the additional healthcare demands that would result from the "North Essex Garden Communities" project proceeding.
Furthermore, if plans were formulated that required capital investment; the Local Health Economy does not seem ideally placed to either fund this themselves given the current deficit, or borrow given Monitor's prudential borrowing limit at Colchester.
In these circumstances it is hard to regard the plans for North Essex Garden Communities as sustainable.
Paul Aitchison
MBA CEng MCIBSE
Short Form CV "Paul Aitchison has held senior positions within the private sector equity investment and service provider arenas across public sector areas, including healthcare. He was Director PFI for Sodexho Ltd (1998-2003) and represented Sodexho in the Business Services Association (chairing the Public Sector Market Group). He also gave oral evidence on PFI at HM Treasury Select Committee. He has provided PFI-related facilities management advice to the Department of Health (PFU lead adviser on FM issues (2003-2007)), and served as the Commercial Director on the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust Board procuring services under a PFI scheme (2007-2012). Paul also currently acts as a Care Quality Commission Specialist Advisor in healthcare facilities management and estates matters"
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Appendix 10
CAUSE analysis of Aecom 'Concept Feasibility Study': Suitability for deciding the location of new settlements
AECOM's four-volume feasibility study contains useful data but does little to inform the choice of location, concluding vaguely that four locations are "capable of becoming viable". In particular:
1. It largely ignores the key differentiators of location - high value jobs and infrastructure constraints
2. It ignores CAUSE's Metro Plan
3. There is no viability appraisal (just assumptions), and no infrastructure plan
4. It was prepared before the transport modelling was done, and makes no reference to it
5. Differences between infrastructure cost per dwelling calculated by AECOM are spurious and should be ignored because:
 They don't compare like with like. The cost of external road upgrades for West Tey are excluded, but included for East of Colchester.
 They are based on round sum estimates without paying attention to the characteristics of each location
 They ignore all external infrastructure, in particular the cost of providing increased GEML capacity for extra commuting from Marks Tey27.
We understand that DCLG gave the Boroughs £640,000 to develop a joint strategy. The AECOM report was a missed opportunity to take a genuine strategic overview.
CAUSE once again requests a meeting with AECOM to avoid wasted time at the upcoming planning enquiry.
Infrastructure cost per dwelling
AECOM's report indicates that infrastructure cost per dwelling is significantly lower at West Colchester. This implies West Colchester is more viable than other locations. CAUSE asserts that no such conclusion can be drawn from the figures and that AECOM are right to be cautious on them.
27 The report points to capacity constraints on the GEML but does nothing to quantify them.
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Source - AECOM volume 3 page 123
CAUSE has analysed the infrastructure cost per dwelling for the 10 options in volume 3 of the AECOM report. The red dots on the graph below show the infrastructure cost per dwelling excluding road and rail cost. They are very similar in all locations, because most inputs are calculated on a per dwelling basis: for example the report assumes a cost of £7500 per dwelling for education without defining how many schools will be built or where.
The gentle downward slope hints at scale economies from building larger settlements: if there were genuine scale economies Great Tey would be favoured because it is the largest of the settlements. However on closer examination the scale economies turn out to be spurious. The differences arise
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because £14m of round sum fixed costs have been inserted for all settlements irrespective of size or location:
Country Park Landscaping
£10m
This assumes that the same sized country park will serve settlements from 6661 dwellings to 27841 dwellings
Potable water costs - 5km trunk mains on primary routes and distribution mains from Ardleigh Reservoir for water supply
£4m
Assumes the same water deliver cost irrespective of settlement size or location. No supporting engineering analysis. North and East Colchester are located near Ardleigh Reservoir and might be expected to have significantly lower costs
Any suggestion that there are scale economies from larger settlements is unsupported in the AECOM report, and should be ignored.
The remainder of the cost differences arise due to different road and rail assumptions, and the conclusions here are equally flawed. The main difference arises because the EC models all assume expenditure on the A120 / A133 link road and associated junctions, whereas all external roads are ignored in WC perhaps because the improvements are all to the A120/A12 trunk roads. CAUSE believes that the sites should be appraised including like with like, and that arbitrary road classifications should not determine the location of settlements.
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Appendix 11
Viability appraisal assumptions
Background
The viability appraisal behind the AECOM report appears to have been prepared by chartered surveyors Cushman & Wakefield using the Atlas appraisal methodology. CAUSE has requested a copy of the appraisal but this has been refused. Our only indicators of viability are:
1. The lack of any conclusion from Cushman & Wakefield (page 122 of volume 3)
2. The cautious observations (not conclusions) by AECOM that all four settlements are capable of becoming viable
3. The cost and income assumptions stated on pages 122 to 133 of volume 3 of the AECOM report
Cost assumptions
Many of the assumptions are confusing and mean little without seeing the appraisal. However, they appear to be significantly more optimistic than the assumptions normally used by major house-builders. For example:
Land costs: the viability appraisal assumes that land can be bought for £100,000 per acre. Although this exceeds agricultural value by a multiple of 10x, it is below accepted development land values which are judged to be £242,000 per acre for purposes of the Colchester's proposed CIL calculation.
It may well be that 'new' or 'virgin' land can be acquired at this price, but the land at West Tey in particular has been optioned and expectations will be high. Landowners can wait indefinitely, and the threat of CPO on such a large scale is hollow. Even if a CPO was successful, landowners will be able to prove high "pre-scheme" values on land that has been optioned and discussed for years.
Land acquisition costs: page 123 states that no SDLT or other land acquisition costs have been allowed for. Normally these would be 6-7%.
Housing construction costs of £99psf contingency are unrealistically low. Including external works, garages and driveways £125psf would be realistic. CAUSE has knowledge of a development where the equivalent figure is £166psf.
There is no allowance for levelling, piling or treating land contamination. There is nothing for major utility diversions. This is highly imprudent, even for greenfield land. There are always problems to deal with, and no commercial developer would ignore these costs. The 10% contingency gives partial comfort, because its higher than the 5% norm.
External infrastructure costs are ignored completely. No upgrades for reservoirs for the water supply or sewerage treatment works for foul water discharge are included. Nothing for external road or rail costs which should be the key differentiators between locations.
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Finance costs: page 123 quotes a discount rate of 2.5%. It is not clear what this refers to: is it envisaged that the land will be bought by a public body? The Local Plan has nothing about this.
Page 124 quotes a finance rate of 6.5% which is more realistic, but still below the 7.5% used by our big four house-builder. House-builders need to charge developments at their weighted average cost of capital, not just their cost of borrowing.
Developer profit is taken at 17.5% of GDV which is on the low side and only realistic if a development corporation has done the master planning and removed most of the public sector risk (planning permission, master planning, infrastructure provision). 20% is normal, to cover developer office and overhead costs, and the cost of risk taking. CAUSE knows of a major big four house-builder which won't shift below 23%.
Conclusion
It is clearly too early to draw conclusions on either viability or location: and there is an element of wishful thinking in the studies done so far. Some of the assumptions behind the viability study appear to be optimistic to the point of recklessness. The extreme caution shown by both AECOM and C&W in their conclusions suggests that there are problems.
Choosing the location of settlements and incorporating them in three Local Plans is a serious long term decision, and it is quite inappropriate to make it until realistic appraisals are publicly available.
76 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
Appendix 12
Community engagement - North Essex garden communities
The NPPF requires 'meaningful' engagement and consultation, and the DCLG garden communities prospectus makes it very clear that community engagement is paramount. Paragraphs 17-18 and 55-56 state that proposals should set how the local community is being, or will be, engaged at an early stage, and strategies for community involvement to help ensure local support.
The level of community engagement on the important strategic issue of where to locate growth on the scale proposed by the North Essex authorities is inadequate and has not been meaningful. There is no local support for West Colchester Garden Community and there has been no attempt to engage with local people.
CAUSE has made strenuous attempts to influence debate in a positive way by organising a half day conference in November 2015, attended by over 100 people, to discuss what 'good development' looks like. Internationally-recognised urban designer, and Wolfson Economics Prize-winner, Dr Nicholas Falk, was our key-note speaker. He is at the forefront of thinking on garden communities, having beaten 260 firms in their attempts to win the Wolfson prize.
CAUSE's team of urban designers, transport consultants and planning consultants prepared a vision for North Essex based around principles of transit-oriented development, which was unveiled at the conference. This has been dismissed by the North Essex local authorities whilst simultaneously being recognised in urban design circles outside Essex as truly visionary. All information available at www.cause4livingessex.com .
The consultations are not fit for purpose for settlements of 2,500 dwellings, let alone the options up to 28,000 dwellings. The process to date does not meet with garden city principles on community participation, nor the local authorities' own new garden communities charter. In the article from The Planner, below, Colchester's Ian Vipond expressed frustration about the difficulties of engaging with local communities yet CAUSE has made three requests to meet with Mr Vipond in order to gain a better understanding of the North Essex authorities' strategy, all of which were turned down.
Engagement by CAUSE with the community
CAUSE, a group run by volunteers, has made rigorous efforts to fill the void left by our local authorities. To stimulate engagement with local people and to raise the level of debate, CAUSE activities have included:
 January 2015 Flyer drop to 2000 houses to advertise Issues & Options consultation;
 Summer 2015 onwards, online petition against a new town at West Tey and door-to-door petitioning. During the door -to -door petitioning, we estimated 40% of people had not heard of West Tey. Over 7,600 people have signed. The Petition was given to Colchester Council on 8 September 2016
 November 2015 'Visions for Growth' conference attended by over 100 people. 80 local councillors invited, 7 attended. Two council officers from the three North Essex authorities involved in the garden communities project attended;
 November 2015 CAUSE Metro Plan unveiled and subsequently submitted to local authorities and Aecom. Meetings with Aecom and Atlas refused. No discussion or engagement to ensure understanding of our proposal. Metro Plan rejected on spurious grounds (dealt with separately in this consultation response)
 Six village meetings held to explain the garden communities project to local people; about 600 hundred attended;
77 CAUSE Response to Strategic Part 1 for North Essex Authorities Local Plans, September 2016
 PR Campaign including Facebook page, Twitter feed, website and press coverage/letters to press to raise awareness of garden community proposals;
 Summer 2016 13,000 home flyer drop to advertise Preferred Options consultation and regular attendance at local authority drop-in events and local fetes etc;
 Formal CAUSE responses to Issues & Options for Braintree, Tendring & Colchester; to Air Quality Action Plan for Colchester; to Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Colchester; to DCLG Local Plan group consultation.
Preferred Options Consultation:
Information available during consultation period:
 Dwelling numbers are inconsistent. The Preferred Options refer to 15,000- 20,000 houses but yet the Aecom report is up to 28,000 houses;
 The information contained on the CBC website/ draft Local Plan gives no concise information on West Colchester Garden Community and key items of the evidence base are missing.
 The 'blob' map shows West Colchester Garden Community in the wrong location.
 Braintree has sent a flyer advertising the consultation to every household whilst Colchester's Policy Manager stated, at a Local Plan Committee meeting, that there was no plan to advertise the consultation.
 Those emailing their objection to the advertised address (local.plan@colchester.gov.uk) are told to register online. The portal is cumbersome and off-putting, thus restricting the number of responses;
 In some cases comments have been inaccurately added to the portal by Colchester;
 BDC on the other hand are accepting email comments to localplan@braintree.gov.uk and have generally published comments in full very soon after receiving them;
 Many people wrote in advance of the consultation period to raise concerns about West Colchester Garden Community but these concerns are not being taken into account;
 The consultation is being held over the summer period.
 No records of attendance are being made at 'drop-in events' and there is no means of leaving comments at the events. The amount of information on West Tey is very limited and buried in a folder.