Local Plan: The Process

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Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 230

Received: 19/08/2016

Respondent: Mr Simon Hall

Representation:

As stated Colchester is a diverse borough "with ...attractive villages and important natural landscapes". The ambition of the plan in addition to meeting the needs of current and future generations ..."whilst also protecting and enhancing the environment and peoples quality of life". It is difficult to see how the attractive villages and quality of life of the current inhabitants will not be negatively impacted by the proposals for Garden Communities, particularly if the separation of the Communities from the existing villages is not maintained and the transport infrastructure is not fit for purpose

Full text:

As stated Colchester is a diverse borough "with ...attractive villages and important natural landscapes". The ambition of the plan in addition to meeting the needs of current and future generations ..."whilst also protecting and enhancing the environment and peoples quality of life". It is difficult to see how the attractive villages and quality of life of the current inhabitants will not be negatively impacted by the proposals for Garden Communities, particularly if the separation of the Communities from the existing villages is not maintained and the transport infrastructure is not fit for purpose

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 790

Received: 07/09/2016

Respondent: Colchester Cycling Campaign

Representation:

Objection to the role of SELEP and the Local Transport Plan is out of date.

Full text:

1.5 We object to the involvement of SELEP in the planning process. The job of "determining local economic priorities" should be undertaken by a democratically elected and accountable body -- not one that doesn't reply to emails. Far better than SELEP would be a process of web-based co-design, which would involve the wider public rather than give undue weight to an unaccountable section of the business lobby.

1.7 The Essex Local Transport Plan is already out of date. A 15-year life is too long for such a document. The cycling strategy has proved to be next to useless, although we are moderately encouraged by the latest words from the Transport Planning department of ECC.

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 953

Received: 31/08/2016

Respondent: Dedham Vale Society

Representation:

The co-operation with other Essex Borough/District Councils is welcomed in producing a cohesive plan for north Essex. The missing element appears to be the involvement of Suffolk Councils. The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty embraces both Essex and Suffolk and yet the Preferred Options Document makes no mention of co-operation between Essex and Suffolk.

Full text:

The prime consideration of the Dedham Vale Society (DVS) in reviewing the Colchester Local Plan is the protection provided to the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the villages therein. However, developments throughout the Borough, and indeed north Essex and Suffolk, can impact on the AONB.

Policies SP8 and SP9 concentrates the major housing over the period of the Plan in two" Garden Communities" at Salary Brook to the east of Colchester and West/Marks Tey which appears sensible given the heavily built up nature of Colchester after the last two decades of development. This is welcomed as is Policy NCl: North Colchester and Severalls Economic Area - which implies that the boundary for major development to the north of Colchester remains the A12.

Policy SP4: Infrastructure and Connectivity sets out a number of considerations to improve the current largely ineffective transport system. The DVS feels that the impact of the two large communities set out above will impact across the whole of the area - "rat runs" through the northern villages is already a problem, given the number of single track lanes, and will only increase with the employment opportunities in the "greater" Colchester area. DVS would be most concerned about any plans to improve the two major roads which pass through the AONB, the A12 and A134, unless extensive action was taken to limit pollution - noise and lighting.

Policies SS6/8/9/16 appears to limit housing developments in the northern villages to either where a development is incomplete, Great Horkesley, or Neighbourhood Plans are underway, West Bergholt and Eight Ash Green etc and this is welcomed. However, concerns have already been expressed on the plan to build 17 homes, mainly within the AONB, at Dedham Heath - the preferred option of Dedham Parish Council.

SG7: : Neighbourhood Plans - the opportunity for local communities to be actively involved in creating guidance on the development of their community in many ways is welcomed but it needs to be recognised that not all villages have the resources, mainly of personnel, to complete a Neighbourhood Plan and such communities must enjoy protection. The process of producing a Plan is such that there is wide consultation in the community and eventually a referendum in which the community itself has the opportunity to comment on any housing targets set.

Policy OV1: Development in Other Villages and Countryside - is a concern that it appears to support "new infill Developments" which could lead to coalescence between villages e.g. Great Horkesley and Nayland which would be highly damaging to the countryside. The previous Plan specifically excluded such coalescence and the concept of building on garden/back land which could be very harmful to our rural villages.

Policy ENV4: Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Section 5.26 to 5.32 are welcomed as they appear to strengthen existing policies particularly by including areas outside the AONB where developments could have a impact within the AONB. However, specific planning guidance on minimising light pollution across the AONB would benefit the DVS drive towards a "dark skies" initiative in the Vale.

It is also noted that the status of "protected lanes", which appeared in previous plans, appears to have disappeared - this is disappointing as these key lanes in the countryside are a vital part of the rural landscape.

Policy DM7: Agricultural Development and Diversification - this is welcomed particularly in the changed economic environment where the governmental approach to blanket subsidies may well change. However, the countryside is already suffering from lanes, designed for the horse and cart, being used by massive agricultural machines and large commercial vehicles and, therefore the problems of access must be addressed as part of the planning process. The observations from ECC Highways frequently seem to be at odds with practical common sense rules to protect the Vale.

Policy SG 8:Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy - as stated above the impact of the rapid expansion of the Borough will be felt across a wide area not just in those communities immediately affected. Therefore funds raised from development should be spent across the Borough, including in the Vale, to mitigate the problems caused by a rapidly expanding population.

The co-operation with other Essex Borough/District Councils is welcomed in producing a cohesive plan for north Essex. The missing element appears to be the involvement of Suffolk Councils. The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty embraces both Essex and Suffolk and yet the Preferred Options Document makes no mention of co-operation between Essex and Suffolk.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 1251

Received: 13/09/2016

Respondent: Tollgate Partnership Limited

Agent: Barton Willmore

Representation:

The proposed Plan period is 2016 to 2033. There is however some confusion as paragraph 1.2 refers to the Plan covering the period 'beyond' 2033.

Two key evidence base documents, namely the Council's Retail and Town Centre Uses Study (NLP, March 2013) and Employment Land Needs Assessment (NLP, January 2015) ("ELNA"), only cover the period to 2026 and 2032 respectively. Whilst we note the intention to update the evidence base, these documents are not specifically referred to.

As a result, the evidence base documents and the resultant position will need to be updated.

Full text:

Please see enclosed Statement in relation to the Plan Period and Evidence Base.

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 1463

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Ms Susanna Harrison

Agent: Fenn Wright

Representation:

Objection to Part One of the Plan as not being in accord with NPPF policies generally and not providing realistic alternative strategies to meet the Borough's objectively assessed housing need

Full text:

In summary we object to Part 1 of the Plan as while the Council's Strategic Vision is clearly defined, the Plan fails to address the conflicts inherent in the proposed Garden Communities concept when tested against the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) guidance.

The Plan, by reason of the weight given to the Garden Communities does not have the flexibility to respond to rapid change and is not clear as to the method of delivery. As a result the Plan is unlikely to be able to meet the requirements of Para 14 of the NPPF either in terms of balancing the key dimensions to sustainable development or meeting the Council's objectively assessed need.

Many of the Polices in Part 1 are vague and utopian. There is very little information in the Plan that will allow local communities affected by the Garden Communities to form a judgment about the impact of those proposals contrary to Para 154 of the NPPF and very little detail as regards their design and deliverability beyond bold statements of ambition.

It is widely accepted that the deliverability of large scale housing communities cannot be assured. In the case of certain of the Garden Community proposals there is neither a legal framework for delivery of the developments or a lead developer to manage the delivery process. If the delivery of such communities and the infrastructure necessary to support those communities cannot be assured, then the Plan is at risk of being found unsound. (Para 182 of the NPPF).

Finally, it is clear from only a superficial study of the evidence that not all the Garden Communities are viable and deliverable in part or otherwise during the Plan period contrary to para 173 of the NPPF. If so then it is unlikely that the required District wide infrastructure needed to mitigate the impact of those Communities on existing communities will be delivered in parallel with the growth of these Communities.

The Strategic Plan fails to provide genuine alternatives to the Garden Community proposals, lacks credibility and fails to weigh objectively the adverse impacts thereof or enter into meaningful engagement with local people (Para 155).

As a result the Plan does not represent positive planning but rather an exercise in 'wishful thinking'.

Alternative less ambitious housing solutions and policy proposals should be tested against the 12 principles set out in Para 17 of the NPPF to ensure that local people have a genuine choice in terms of "how and where" new housing should be delivered.

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 1593

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Mr Ian Melrose

Agent: Fenn Wright

Representation:

Objection to Part One of the Plan and the North Essex Housing Strategy in general terms by reference to the NPPF

Full text:

In summary we object to Part One of the Plan as while the Council's Strategic Vision is clearly defined, the Plan fails to address the conflicts inherent in the proposed Garden Communities concept when tested against the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) guidance.

The Plan, by reason of the weight given to the Garden Communities does not have the flexibility to respond to rapid change and is not clear as to the method of delivery. As a result the Plan is unlikely to be able to meet the requirements of Para 14 of the NPPF either in terms of balancing the key dimensions to sustainable development or meeting the Council's objectively assessed need.

Many of the Polices in Part One are vague and utopian. There is very little information in the Plan that will allow local communities affected by the Garden Communities to form a judgment about the impact of those proposals contrary to Para 154 of the NPPF and very little detail as regards their design and deliverability beyond bold statements of ambition.

It is widely accepted that the deliverability of large scale housing communities cannot be assured. In the case of certain of the Garden Community proposals there is neither a legal framework for delivery of the developments or a lead developer to manage the delivery process. If the delivery of such communities and the infrastructure necessary to support those communities cannot be assured, then the Plan is at risk of being found unsound. (Para 182 of the NPPF).

Finally, it is clear from only a superficial study of the evidence that not all the Garden Communities are viable and deliverable in part or otherwise during the Plan period contrary to para 173 of the NPPF. If so then it is unlikely that the required District wide infrastructure needed to mitigate the impact of those Communities on existing communities will be delivered in parallel with the growth of these Communities.

The Strategic Plan fails to provide realistic alternatives to the Garden Community proposals, lacks credibility and fails to weigh objectively the adverse impacts thereof or enter into meaningful engagement with local people (Para 155).

As a result the Plan does not represent positive planning but rather an exercise in 'wishful thinking'.

Alternative less ambitious housing solutions and policy proposals should be tested against the 12 principles set out in Para 17 of the NPPF to ensure that local people have a genuine choice in terms of "how and where" new housing should be delivered.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 1840

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Mr Christopher Lee

Representation:

Objection to Sustainability Appraisal

I believe the assessment's made for SP8 in the Sustainability Appraisal for Part One of the Local Plan provided in the Emerging Local Plan's Evidence Base is wrong. Items such as "impacts only on sites of nature conservation interest" are labelled as the development bringing significant wider impacts where they should be labelled with "minor negative impacts and mitigation would be possible". There's a fair argument to make that they're all wrong. Suggest review.

Full text:

In the Sustainability Appraisal for Part One of the Local Plan provided in the Emerging Local Plan's Evidence Base:
5.2.2 Description of 'Significant Effects'
The top rating for the Possible Impact, the basis for judgement is that there is a "strong prospect of there being significant positive impacts".
In 6.10.1, Table 17, the larger part of the impact assessments made are given the top rating of "strong prospect of there being significant positive impacts".
These are wholly wrong.
For example;
2. Impacts - "Acceptable impacts only on sites of nature conservation interest."
The prime agricultural land that the local plan is suggesting to build all over supports masses of local wildlife as a feeding ground especially along the edge of Salary Brook. How can this be described as having significant positive impacts?

Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2202

Received: 15/09/2016

Respondent: Chelmsford City Council

Representation:

Chelmsford City Council welcomes;
the general approach to meet identified objectively assessed needs;
the collaborative approach between North Essex Authorities (Chelmsford is a co-signatory to the Memorandum of Co-operation);

A OAN and SHMA have been jointly prepared (including Chelmsford, CBC, TDC and BDC) providing a common evidence base for the housing market area demonstrating duty to co-operate;

Full text:

Our response relates to Part One, Infrastructure, Housing Needs and Gypsy and Traveller Provision and is as follows and:

1. These responses have been agreed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Chelmsford City Council's Development Policy Committee and the Director of Sustainable Communities.

General Comments

2. Chelmsford City Council welcomes and supports the general approach of Colchester's Preferred Options Local Plan consultation document as it provides a coherent strategy for the future growth of borough and seeks to meet the identified objectively assessed development needs.

3. The City Council also welcomes the collaborative approach that has been employed in the production of Colchester's Local Plan and the objectives and vision for the three North Essex Authorities (Braintree, Colchester and Tendring) contained within the Shared 'Part 1' Strategic Plan. Although Chelmsford is not directly part of this Strategic Plan, Chelmsford City Council is a co-signatory of a Memorandum of Co-operation on Collaborative Working on Strategic Growth in North and Central Essex with the three local authorities and Essex County Council.

4. As part of this co-operation, a jointly Objectively Assessed Housing Needs Assessment (OAHN) and Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has been prepared with Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils. This has provided a common evidence base for proposed housing numbers across the Housing Market Area (HMA) and demonstrates collaboration under the Duty to Co-operate. In addition, the City Council supports Braintree's approach of making provision for its identified need for Gypsy and Travellers as part of new development and by expansion of an existing site at Severalls.

5. Further work continues to update the OAHN with the latest household projections, and the Essex wide Gypsy and Travellers Needs Assessment (GTAA) is also under-going a refresh in light of the changes to the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS). Any changes in the level of needs arising as a result of these updates will need to continue to be met.

A12/A120 and A130/A131 Strategic Road Routes

6. Chelmsford is a popular employment destination for Colchester Borough's residents. Although Colchester's Local Plan will seek to increase job opportunities, it is very likely that this general trend will continue.

7. In the same way that the A120 between Braintree and Colchester represents a sub-standard link in the strategic road network, the A131/A130 between Great Leighs and Chelmsford (and the A12 Boreham Interchange) suffers similar congestion and capacity issues, particularly at peak hours. This has been recognised by both Essex County Council as Highways Authority and Chelmsford City Council as Local Planning Authority through the safeguarding of a preferred route of a new North East Chelmsford By-pass. This would extend the dual carriageway from the Great Leighs' By-pass to the A12 Boreham Interchange.

8. The delivery of the new North East Chelmsford By-pass is a key cross-boundary strategic infrastructure issue which is omitted from the Colchester Preferred Options consultation document. Specific reference should be made to the proposed NE Chelmsford By-pass in the Strategic Part 1 section of the document.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2221

Received: 15/09/2016

Respondent: Mr Roger Brewer

Number of people: 2

Representation:

Process concerns; (Re-SP9)
Insufficient communication to the Public by the Council and/or the Developers ensuring a proper understanding of the implications on the Community;

Valuable resources being spent on reports / consultations -some are considered to be duplication of previous work;

scant regard by the Authorities of the views of local Residents to this Project;

clarity regarding the roles of Government, Highway Agencies, Developers and local Borough Councils and their interrelation to sponsoring or initiating, the Development / infrastructure improvements created;

methodology and I.T. communication implemented for feedback from Residents as to their comments is convoluted and difficult.

Full text:

Below I list concerns regarding the Garden Communities Consultation for your consideration.
1. * My wife and I have resided in Great Tey for nearly 40 years and I am an ex Parish Councillor.
2. * The Garden Development Scheme/Project has not in our opinion been sufficiently communicated to the Public by the Council and/or the Developers to ensure there is a proper understanding of the implications on the Community.
3. * Whilst it must be acknowledged there is a need for modest housing developments, the existing infrastructure barely meets todays requirements, without the major development that is now proposed.
4. * Valuable resources and money is being spent on Project Evaluations and Consultations, many of which result in conclusions identified in many previous years of Consultations, Reviews and Research.
5. * There is concern that there will be scant regard by the Authorities of the views of local Residents to a Project of this magnitude.
6. * The Process of Consultations and Planning to the 'layman' is not clear nor the timescales involved.
7. * It is unclear as regards the roles of Government, Highway Agencies, Developers and local Borough Councils as regards their interrelation and involvement in sponsoring or initiating, the Development and /or infrastructure improvements created by this Scheme.
8. * The methodology and I.T. communication processes implemented for feedback from Residents as to their comments/views is convoluted and difficult to apprehend.
9. * Some Reports (e.g. Acorn) that have been commissioned by our Borough Council (quite recently) make it clear that infrastructure must come before any approved Development.
10. * There has been a significant increase in the flow of traffic on the A120 since the completion of the dual carriageway between the M11 and Braintree which has become a major route to the Ports resulting in heavy traffic volumes.
11. * The road systems e.g. A120 and A12 are stretched to the limit and are poorly maintained- rarely a day goes by without traffic jams to the Marks Tey Roundabout as you travel East.
12. * Exit to and from Great Tey Road to and from the A120 is already difficult and dangerous.
13. * Already we see our small side roads used by heavy traffic as drivers seek to bypass bottlenecks at Marks Tey. The Development will by its very nature result in building vehicles usage on our existing road Networks.
14. * Our Railway Network would crumble under the influx of vast increase in Commuters.
15. * The N.H.S. is currently unable to meet targets and resources are inadequate - Surgeries are at maximum capacity - the influx of 20,000 will be needed to be addressed before the Development is implemented.
16. * If the Development includes 'Affordable Housing' then this will see the acquisition of properties by young families with children and how will their educational needs be addressed?
17. * We see less actual Policing, as supposed to camera detection, and Police resources are being diminished - but a Development of this magnitude will necessitate a 'new ' Policing initiatives
18. * How will the cost of new policing be sourced when Councils are reducing their spend.
19. * We live in a small rural village but the Development proposed will engulf our Village with a loss of identity and will become part of another Urban Sprawl.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2223

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Mr SD Cox

Number of people: 2

Representation:

Objects to proposed Local Plan with general comments on the following areas:
Protection for greenfield sites
Lack of infrastructure
Lack of health capacity
Protect wildlife
Too much building
Support a local referendum to find out what the people of Colchester want before proceeding.

Full text:

Dear Sir,

I am writing to object to the proposed local plan.

My reasons, in no particular order, are as follows:-

All Greenfield sites should be protected. It has been proved that we all need access to open space and woodland areas both for exercise and to protect our mental health.

We all appreciate the need for housing but Colchester is saturated already and the time to stop, is NOW!

The infrastructure cannot cope now, even without future building. Our roads are not in good repair and are already hugely congested. Regularly, even after moderate rainfall roads flood which in turn leads to more wear and tear of the fabric of the road surface - leading to the further increase to our well publicised populations of pot-holes and the inherent dangers and costs that they incur.

Our doctors' surgeries and schools are already under great pressure and are on the verge of not coping with great demand. The QCC (Quality Care Commission) has judged our hospital as inadequate in many aspects. By all accounts this seems to be down to the huge demand and not the caring nature of staff. How can the hospital possibly be expected to cope with such a huge increase in the local population? Already we need another hospital in the area, has this been considered, I wonder?

Another major consideration should be our wildlife. With over building and the loss of habitat, it has already been proved that many species are under threat of extinction. To continue with these proposed massive developments is sealing their fates. Do you really want to be responsible for this?

Already, our Council has allowed considerable over building and has destroyed the fabric of our town. Please do not allow these developments to proceed and completely ruin Colchester both now and for future generations.

The decision is in your hands please do the right thing and consider the above points and reasons before continuing with these developments.

Perhaps it may be a thought to have a local referendum for what the people of Colchester would like before proceeding. It is a good idea to ask for residents views but I do not feel it has been widely publicised, as yet.

Yours Sincerely

Mr SD and Mrs B Cox

Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2261

Received: 21/09/2016

Respondent: Essex County Council

Representation:

ECC supports preparation of Colchester Local Plan. ECC has assisted CBC in duty to cooperate by commissioning joint evidence base documents; meeting with relevant authorities as required; development of memoranda of understanding with North Essex districts; pre-consultation on plan. Specific references to relevant ECC plans noted.

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)

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2298

Received: 21/09/2016

Respondent: R F West, Livelands & David G Sherwood

Agent: Andrew Martin Planning

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal

The SA draws no conclusions on a preferred direction for growth within the broad area identified.

Full text:

See scanned copy

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2521

Received: 16/09/2016

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal - SA needs further commentary on SSSI'S, potential impacts on them. from proposed development and mitigation.

Amend SA framework to include objective to conserve and enhance Protected Landscapes.

Add objective for Green infrastructure
Proposals included for new indicators about Protected Species, BAP habitat and Landscape Character and Quality

Full text:

Natural England is a non-departmental public body. Our statutory purpose is to ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced, and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.
Habitats Regulations Assessment
To date Natural England has not been consulted upon the Habitats Regulations Assessment Report (HRA). We note that you have undertaken a HRA Screening exercise and concluded that there are likely significant effects due to the amount of growth proposed and therefore the plan will need to be subject to the appropriate assessment stage. We may therefore need to amend our advice in light of any future HRA work. We would like to request to see a copy of the screening report and would also advise that you liaise with Natural England as soon as possible (and before the next formal consultation stage) to agree the methodology, sites to be included and the issues and policies which will be subject to the appropriate assessment.
PART ONE: SHARED STRATEGIC PLAN
Strategic Objectives paragraph 2.29 - Natural England advises that to ensure the Local Plan is consistent with paragraph 156 of the NPPF it should include a high level strategic objective / priority which addresses the need to protect and enhance the natural environment, including landscape, and the challenges surrounding climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Policy SP1 - SP1: Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development - does not refer to para 119. The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where development requiring appropriate assessment under the Birds or Habitats Directives is being considered, planned or determined.
Policy SP4 Infrastructure and Connectivity - This policy proposes the dualling of the A120 between the A12 junction and Braintree A120 / A12 junction. Marks Tey Brickpit Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is in close proximity to these proposals and we would not wish to see any adverse impacts on the SSSI as a result of these proposals. We would also recommend that the policy could be expanded to ensure that any road transport schemes incorporate biodiversity
enhancements and the creation of habitat corridors where possible. We would expect the Sustainability Appraisal to identify any potential impacts and any mitigation measures which may be required. Natural England has been engaged in initial meetings around the dualling proposals and will continue to be involved in discussions around the issues and options for the scheme.
SP5 Place Shaping Principles - Natural England generally supports this policy but would recommend that the policy should be strengthened to ensure that new development also incorporates biodiversity creation and enhancement into its design.
SP6 Spatial Strategy for North Essex - Natural England generally supports this policy pending the HRA findings. We would welcome early consultation on the mater plans.
Policy SP7 Development and Delivery of New Garden Communities in Essex - Natural England welcomes the planning principles in this policy, particularly the requirement for all garden communities to be subject to master planning and to ensure green infrastructure is incorporated and the natural environment is to be celebrated as part of the approach. The policy could be further strengthened by requiring these new communities to deliver green infrastructure which is in line with Natural England's Accessible Natural Greenspace Standards (ANGsT). Please see Annex 1 for further information on green infrastructure and NE's ANGst standards
We have not yet been consulted on the HRA Report for Colchester Local Plan, therefore we may require this policy to be strengthened or amended to include any mitigation or avoidance measures to address potential adverse impacts on European protected sites. This also applies to Policies SP8, SP9 and SP10.
Policy SP 8 East Colchester/West Tendring New Garden Community Strategic Growth Areas & New Garden Communities - Natural England welcomes the fact that a considerable amount of the Garden Community will be green infrastructure and a country park. We would also like to see this policy make specific reference to the need to enhance and incorporate biodiversity into the design of the Garden Communities to specifically deliver some of the priorities / targets in the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan. The location of the proposed Garden Community doesn't appear to impact directly on any statutory designated sites or protected landscapes but they are in close proximity to a few SSSI's namely Bullock Wood, Ardleigh Gravel Pit, Wivenhoe Gravel Pit and Upper Colne Marshes. We would expect the more detailed design of the Garden Community to avoid any indirect impacts (such as recreational or water related impacts) and we would therefore like to see the policy strengthened to address this issue.
Policy SP9 West of Colchester/East of Braintree New Garden Community - Currently, the approximate location of this garden community is overlapping the boundary of Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI. We would not wish to see any development proposals (housing or transport proposals) have an adverse effect. We would expect the more detailed design of the Garden Community to avoid any impacts on this site and we would therefore like to see the policy strengthened to address this issue. In the Other requirements section, point 20. Should also include protection and enhancement of geological assets, alongside the heritage and biodiversity assets. We do however welcome the approach taken with this policy in relation to the commitment to ensuring green infrastructure is integral to the Garden Community and to protect and enhance biodiversity assets.
SP10 West of Braintree New Garden Community - Natural England welcomes the commitment to ensuring green infrastructure is integral to the development of the new Garden Community as well as the requirement for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity assets.
PART TWO - LOCAL PLAN FOR COLCHESTER
Objectives - 3.14 Natural Environment

Natural England welcomes this objective, particularly the bullet point to 'Protect and enhance landscapes, biodiversity, green spaces, air and water quality, and river corridors'. This could be strengthened by also including the protection and enhancement of designated sites, geodiversity and soils.
SG8 - Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy - Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 need to include provisions for strategic mitigation for impacts to coastal designated sites, as may be appropriate.
5. Environmental Assets Policies
Para 5.2 - Natural England would welcome early conversations regarding "the river's recreation and nature conservation values".
Para 5.3 - Should be rephrased to "likely to have a significant effect on..." in line with the Habitats Regulations.
Para 5.4 - We advise adding the word appropriate: "supported by appropriate ecological surveys" and amending the paragraph wording:
"Where there is a confirmed presence, or reasonable likelihood, of a legally protected species or Species of Principal Importance, on an application site, (or where present on adjacent land), and where the species is likely to be affected, the applicant will be required to demonstrate that adverse impacts upon the species have been avoided, and where they cannot be avoided adequately mitigated."
Para 5.9 - We advise including the following wording: "accommodating future flood waters and inter-tidal habitats through managed realignment projects..."
Policy ENV1: Natural Environment
We are pleased to see this policy aims to conserve and enhance the natural environment, protected sites and species. The Colne Estuary SPA, Blackwater Estuary SPA and Essex Estuaries SAC are specifically cited within this section, however Abberton Resevior SPA, Ramsar and SSSI are not referred to. For the avoidance of doubt, all designated sites should be listed within the policy.
The second paragraph of the policy should also be amended to include Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI'S), as well as N2K sites and AONB's. It should also include impacts upon the setting of the AONB: "In particular, developments that have an adverse impact on Natura 2000 sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest or the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or its setting will not be supported".
It is not clear from the proposals map if Local Wildlife Sites have been included. We advise clearly marking on the map all statutory and non-statutory sites to assess if there would be a direct impact from allocation proposals. For example, as outlined above the West of Colchester/East of Braintree New Garden Community is partly within the Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI. Paragraph 110 of the NPPF states that plans should allocate land with the least environmental or amenity value, having sites clearly marked on the map will help to avoid detrimental impacts to them when choosing the location of sites.
Natural England advises that this policy is either expanded or an additional policy is added for protected species, which includes the following:
 Include policy seeking to create a network of wildlife corridors and avoid fragmented and isolated pockets of habitat.
 Inclusion of a more specific policy requiring specialist design features in new development to provide habitat and thereby improve bio-diversity.
 Inclusion in policy of measures to identify and protect species rich and local habitats of importance, including irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodlands.
This would ensure the plan is compliant with paragraphs 114 and 117 of the NPPF.
Point I: should also be amended to "reason to suspect the presence of (and impact to) protected species".
An amendment is also required to the line: "proposals likely to have a significant adverse effect on SPAs.... Will require a full appropriate assessment in line with...."
This policy may also need to be amended to reflect any impacts on European protected sites which are identified in the Habitats Regulations Assessment. We will provide a separate response to this once we have been consulted.
Coastal Areas Policy
Para 5.12 - We advise caution around use of the term "irreplaceable" in relation to natural assets (i.e. coastal habitats). This may imply that inter-tidal habitats (especially saltmarsh) cannot be replaced, and this does not align with the aspirations of the Shoreline Management Plan (one major aim of which is to replace lost saltmarsh, which cannot therefore be regarded as "irreplaceable"). We suggest that a different term is used to express the importance of coastal habitats.
Para 5.13 - with reference to the wording "obligations to protect the important natural and cultural assets have to be balanced against the wider socio-economic needs of the Borough's coastal communities", NPPF para 119 (the presumption in favour of sustainable development not applying for development requiring Appropriate Assessment) suggests that the term "balance" in this context may be inappropriate. Natural England accepts the principle of the wording, and is committed to finding solutions where competing coastal interests come into apparent conflict.
Policy ENV2: Coastal Areas
This policy includes landscape character of the coast, however, this could be strengthened to include the seascape as well.
We would like to see some policy support for the England Coast Path and we would be happy to work with you to develop appropriate wording for inclusion in the policy. Please refer to further information in Annex 1.
Policy ENV3: Green Infrastructure
Natural England welcomes the policy for green infrastructure. Provision of green infrastructure can provide recreational opportunities and may also relieve damaging or disturbing impacts on sensitive locations. Good design should enable communities to access permanent green corridors using non-motorised means of transport. Natural England produced an analysis of the adequacy of open space provision for the whole of Essex, with further details set out for each district. The report is available here: greenspace. Natural England advises that this analysis is included within the evidence base. Please see Annex 1 for more details on Green Infrastructure and Greenspace.
Policy ENV4: Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
This policy should include a point that major development proposals within or in the setting of the Dedham Vale AONB will require a Landscape Visual Assessment at the time of submission.

Policy CC1: Climate Change
We welcome the aspiration of this policy, that planned development should take account of and minimise vulnerability to climate change impacts. We note that paragraph 5.39 recognises the role of green infrastructure in aiding climate change adaptation, however, this is not included within the policy itself. We would recommend reviewing this, to include the natural environment as well as the built environment in the delivery of measures to reduce the effects of climate change. Green Infrastructure and resilient ecological networks play an important role in aiding climate change adaptation. The Authority should embrace the opportunities for climate change adaption through Green Infrastructure as part of the master-planning of the proposed 'new garden communities'. For more information, see PPG on Climate Change and Natural England's climate change risk assessment and adaptation plan (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/216300
6. Places
Sustainable Settlements
The following allocation sites fall within Natural England's Impact Risk Zones (IRZ's) and all direct and indirect impacts to designated sites need to be assessed, for impacts such as recreational disturbance, water quality, water dependency and direct land take of functionally linked land. This should be fully covered in the SA, which have commented on below. The policies may need to be amended after the findings of the HRA. Many of the SSSI's such as Tiptree Heath and The Roman River are open access and already show signs of being under pressure from visitors. Green infrastructure provision is essential to reduce impacts from recreational disturbance at these sites. Some sites are also within or in the setting of Dedham Vale AONB and will need an appropriate landscape assessment.
 SS6 Dedham Heath Housing Sites - within or adjacent to the AONB. IRZ for Cattawade Marshes SSSI
 SS11 Langham - allocations at closest point 0.6km from AONB.
 SS12 Layer de le Haye - IRZ for Abberton Resevoir SPA, Ramsar, SSSI.
 SS13 Marks Tey - IRZ for Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI. This policy should make reference to the Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI ("including an appropriate buffer area"), in view of the concerns in this location.
 SS14 Land to the south of Battleswick Farm, Rowhedge Road - Colne Estuary SSSI, Essex Estuary SAC, Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) SPA and Ramsar. Upper Colne Marshes SSSI.
 SS15 Tiptree - Tiptree Heath SSSI.
 SS17a Mersea Housing and Employment - Colne Estuary SSSI, Essex Estuary SAC, Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) SPA and Ramsar. Blackwater Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 4) SPA, Ramsar, Blackwater Estuary SSSI.
 SS17b: Coast Road - Colne Estuary SSSI, Essex Estuary SAC, Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) SPA and Ramsar. Blackwater Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 4) SPA, Ramsar, Blackwater Estuary SSSI.
We advise that the final paragraph regarding "houseboat proposals for new moorings" should be clarified to explain that "proposals for houseboats on vacant historic moorings may also be acceptable, subject to an installation method statement which avoids impacts to saltmarsh habitats."
 SS17c: Caravan Parks - Colne Estuary SSSI, Essex Estuary SAC, Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) SPA and Ramsar. Blackwater Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 4) SPA, Ramsar, Blackwater Estuary SSSI.
Para 6.230 - We advise the wording could be improved by inserting "appropriate" before reference to "mitigation measures".
 SS18: Wivenhoe - Colne Estuary SSSI, Essex Estuary SAC, Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) SPA and Ramsar. Upper Colne Marshes SSSI.

7. Development Management Policies
Policy DM11: Gypsies, Travellers, and Travelling Show people
This policy seeks to allocate the remaining requirement of pitches, (outside of Severalls Hospital Development), within the garden communities. Consideration needs to be given to any impact this could have on protected sites, particularly within the Marks Tey area which is within/adjacent to the SSSI.
Soil and land quality
There is currently no policy for the protection of soils. Natural England advises the inclusion of a policy which aims to protect soil quality during development to protect good quality land and to protect the ability of soil to allow water penetration by avoiding compaction, should be undertaken.
The Plan should recognise that development (soil sealing) has a major and usually irreversible adverse impact on soils. Mitigation should aim to minimise soil disturbance and to retain as many ecosystem services as possible through careful soil management during the construction process. The Authority should refer to the Defra Code of practice for the sustainable use of soils on construction sites. Please see Annex 1 for further details on Soils.
Best and Most Versatile Agricultural land (BMV)- The plan should safeguard the long term capability of best and most versatile agricultural land (Grades 1, 2 and 3a in the Agricultural Land Classification) as a resource for the future in line with paragraph 112 of the NPPF.
We therefore advise that the plan take a holistic approach to the assessment of sustainable development sites in respect of agricultural land quality. We recommend the inclusion of a specific Policy on Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land. Retaining higher quality land enhances future options for sustainable food production and helps secure other important ecosystem services. In the longer term, protection of BMV land may also reduce pressure for intensification of other land.
We would request that reference is made to the information in the Sustainability Appraisal regarding the impacts on soils to support the statement in para 8.28 "Whilst the Council will seek to develop poorer quality agricultural land, it is inevitable that due to the significant increased housing provision requirement, this will lead to unavoidable development on 'best and most versatile agricultural land', as there are insufficient brownfield sites to meet this demand.". It would also be helpful if the plan could confirm that the selection of sites has been undertaken using a sequential test to develop the poorer quality agricultural land. For more information, see the PPG on Soils and agricultural land
Sustainability Appraisal (SA)
Natural England's comments for the Local Plan Part 1 SA relate only to Colchester.
Part 1 Local Plan SA
 4.3.4 Landscapes - we recommend using the National Character Areas which divide England into 159 natural areas, each defined by a unique combination of landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity and economic and cultural activity. The new NCA profiles provide an integrated, locally specific evidence base that can be used for making decisions about the natural environment. The NCAs highlight the significant opportunities in each area and therefore provide a useful planning tool that can help guide the design of projects so that they are appropriate to the locality and deliver the maximum benefits for the natural environment. Colchester falls within NCA Profile: 86 South Suffolk and North Essex Clayland, NCA Profile:111 Northern Thames Basin, and NCA Profile: 81 Greater Thames Estuary.

 Natural England is generally supportive of the Sustainability Objectives used in the SA of the Part 1 Local Plan.
 The assessment of GCWC1 needs to acknowledge the proximity of Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI to the road and dualling proposals around Marks Tey and the potential for significant impacts on the SSSI.
 Policy SP4 - Infrastructure and Connectivity - has identified 0 for Sustainability Objective 5, however this has not taken into account the impacts to Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI.
 Table 18: Impact on Sustainability Objectives: Policy SP9 states that, paragraph 6.11.2 Significant and Temporal Effects states that - 'Despite requirements ensuring the protection and/or enhancement of biodiversity assets within and surrounding the site including the Domsey Brook and Roman River corridors, there will be only minor impacts associated with impacts on sites of nature conservation interest; this is due to no specific mention of Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI. Any site option explored in Policy SP6 would have some degree of impact on this designation, as indicated by being in the SSSI's Impact Risk Zone (IRZ) which requires consultation with Natural England.' Natural England disagrees with the assessment of only minor impacts, due to no specific mention of the Marks Tey Brickpit SSSI. The allocation has been located partially within/in very close proximity to the SSSI. This needs to be appropriately assessed. GCWC1
 Indicators - we would not recommend using SSSI condition as an indicator, a better indicator would be impacts (direct and indirect) on designated sites.
From the information provided the strategic locations for growth in Colchester appear to be broadly located in areas which are likely to have the least impact on nationally and internationally designated sites and landscapes.
Part 2 Local Plan SA
Natural England would expect further commentary on the SSSI's in the area. The SA should identify all SSSI's, what the impacts will be to each and what mitigation will be required to avoid impacts, or if there isn't an impact, it should identify which ones are low risk.
Natural England advises the Table 4: The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Framework Objectives should be strengthened to include an objective which aims to conserve and enhance protected landscapes. Currently the Assessment Criteria only says 'Will it maintain and enhance the landscape character of the borough?' Which doesn't take into account Dedham Vale AONB.
Green Infrastructure - The lack of a specific green infrastructure (GI) objective is disappointing and we strongly suggest one is included in the report. Natural England considers that the environmental SA Objectives, and some of the social and economic objectives could be improved by emphasising the importance of GI and its multifunctional benefits, which would assist in the delivery of a range of SA topic areas, e.g. biodiversity, landscape, health and wellbeing and climate change. This would assist in ensuring that GI is an integral, cross-cutting theme. Good quality local accessible green space, ecosystems and actions to manage them sustainably offer a range of benefits, e.g.
 Access to local greenspace can reduce health inequalities
 Increased and improved accessibility to greenspace can help increase
 physical activity
 Contact with greenspace can help improve health and wellbeing
 Green space contributes to functioning ecosystem services that can have a positive influence on health. Ecosystem services can assist in adapting to the extremes of climate change, e.g. green areas have less heat-island effect than built up areas.
 Greenspace can also help improve air quality and respiratory irritants. Function ecosystem services can also mitigate the risks associated with flooding from extreme rainfall events.
Indicators - along with the advice above to look at impacts to designated sites rather than SSSI condition, we also recommend the following:
 Protected species - Quantified data might include numbers of applications where protected species are considered, numbers with conditions imposed to ensure working practices and works to protect/ enhance protected species, and numbers of planning applications which result in need for protected species licence in order to be carried out . This will indicate that protected species are being given appropriate consideration within the planning system and begin to build up information on their occurrence within the plan area. Updated information following the publication of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 is available from our website.
 BAP habitat - created/ managed as result of granting planning permission (monitored via planning obligations) and which meet Biodiversity Action Plan targets.
 Landscape Character and Quality - Indicators/targets could be established from assessing changes in landscape character for National Character Areas (as measured by Countryside Quality Counts data).
We would be happy to comment further should the need arise but if in the meantime you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us. We would also be happy to meet with you in particular to discuss the Habitats Regulations Assessment of your plan, as well as any other issues which we have raised in this response.
For any queries relating to the specific advice in this letter only please contact Kayleigh Cheese on 02080 260981. For any new consultations, or to provide further information on this consultation please send your correspondences to consultations@naturalengland.org.uk.
We really value your feedback to help us improve the service we offer. We have attached a feedback form to this letter and welcome any comments you might have about our service.
Yours faithfully
Miss Kayleigh Cheese
Essex Local Delivery Team

ANNEX 1
Green Infrastructure
ANGSt aims to address the spatial distribution of natural greenspace, its accessibility at different size limits and the hectarage of Local Nature Reserve per head of population with the aim of securing access to natural greenspace close to where people live. These standards recommend that people living in towns and cities should have an accessible natural greenspace: (ANGST): two kilometres of home; on
More information on the Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard can be found http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/40004
Soils
The plan should give appropriate weight to the roles performed by the area's soils. These should be valued as a finite multi-functional resource which underpins our wellbeing and prosperity. Decisions about development should take full account of the impact on soils, their intrinsic character and the sustainability of the many ecosystem services they deliver. Soils of high environmental value should also be considered as part of ecological connectivity
England Coast Path
We do not believe that the Essex stretch of the England Coast Path has been mentioned in the Local Plan preferred options. Natural England is charged with implementing the England Coast Path, which is due for completion as a whole project by 2020. This new long-distance trail will eventually allow people to walk around the whole English coast. Work on the Colchester section of the Path is currently underway with our team of coastal path advisers, and Natural England would seek to achieve Policy support for the Coast Path in the Council's Local Plan.
The England Coast Path is possible because of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. As well as a long-distance walking route, there may be areas of 'spreading room' beside the route where people can explore, relax and admire the view. The Act also means that for the first time, where existing footpaths erode into the sea, a replacement route can be quickly put in place - securing people's right to walk around the coast forever. The new path will avoid certain areas such as private houses and gardens, major ports and in some locations, areas that are important for sensitive species.
Designating the route as part of the England Coast Path will bring more support for local services like shops, hotels and pubs through increased visitor spending where additional visits are made, and therefore aligns well with the Council's proposed approach to tourism. As we have already commented above, the Coast Path does present challenges in certain locations, where access to the coast may cause recreational disturbance to some of the interest features of sites designated for their nature conservation interest. The Path will be subject to the same tests of the Habitats Regulations, and will therefore seek to achieve consistency in its approach to safeguarding sensitive features of these sites as any other plan or project. We would be pleased to discuss this with you in more detail should you wish. Colchester Borough covers both the Salcott to Jaywick and Mersea Island England Coast Path stretches. Further information can be found in the following links:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-salcott-to-jaywick
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-mersea-island

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2575

Received: 15/09/2016

Respondent: Mr L. Charlesworth

Agent: Lawson Planning Partnership Ltd

Representation:

Objection to Sustainability Appraisal

The SA was published in 2 parts, which is a flawed approach.

The SA states that all reasonable alternatives have been considered, however only RNE15 is the only alternative in the SA. Sundowne has not been subject to SA. CBC has not undertaken a thorough and fair assessment of each of the sites.

Full text:

See Lawson Planning Partnership Ltd statement and appendices dated September 2016 as submitted via email and post.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2695

Received: 13/09/2016

Respondent: RSPB

Representation:

As a full, up to date HRA has not been presented at this stage, which is a fundamental element to such a strategic approach, the RSPB considers the plan is not consistent with national policy or justified given that the evidence is currently absent and therefore cannot be considered to be sound at this time. We therefore request the opportunity to comment again before submission of the final AA.

Full text:

1. Introduction - Local Plan: the process
Para. 1.21 states that Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) screening has been carried out, with a full Appropriate Assessment (AA) to be published alongside the submission version of the plan. The HRA screening does not appear to be available as part of this consultation, although para. 1.22 states that all evidence is publically available.

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) ('the Habitats Regulations') local authorities have a duty to ensure that Local Plans have no adverse effect on sites of European importance - Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) (collectively known as Natura 2000 sites). It is government policy that the internationally important Ramsar sites are also considered within a HRA.

At this stage of the Local Plan process, we would expect to see a full, up to date HRA that assesses all proposed policies - unfortunately this has not been presented for consultation. This fails to demonstrate that adverse effects on Natura 2000 sites will be avoided. The benefit of HRA at this stage is that it also objectively assesses the council's preferred options and identifies amendments now to strengthen the policies where appropriate and ensure that the most appropriate policies will be taken forward to the submission stage (i.e. policies will be justified and effective).
Critically, it is important to ensure that the evidence base for an HRA is available, specifically with regards to visitor use of particular areas to understand recreational pressure. Where evidence gaps exist this may require survey work to be undertaken.

As a full, up to date HRA has not been presented at this stage, which is a fundamental element to such a strategic approach, the RSPB considers the plan is not consistent with national policy or justified given that the evidence is currently absent and therefore cannot be considered to be sound at this time. We therefore request the opportunity to comment again before submission of the final AA.

SP5: Place-shaping principles
After "Provide public open space or larger scale green infrastructure", we recommend the addition of the following: "which contributes to the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity", in line with paras. 109 and 114 of the NPPF.

SP6: Spatial Strategy for North Essex
We note the statement that "Beyond the main settlements the authorities will support diversification of the rural economy and conservation and enhancement of the natural environment." Whilst we welcome the support for conservation and enhancement of biodiversity beyond the main settlements, we consider that certain measures would be possible within the main settlements. There are three bird species which have undergone steep declines in numbers (Starling, House Sparrow and Swift)1 whose breeding success and conservation is intimately linked to the built environment. Simple measures as part of the green infrastructure (GI) network, can be incorporated within an SPD to benefit these species (and many species of bats and hibernating insects). We refer you to Appendix 2 of Exeter City Council's award-winning residential design SPD.2

SP7: Development and delivery of new garden communities in North Essex
We welcome principle xi, "Secure a smart and sustainable approach that fosters climate resilience and a 21st century environment in the design and construction of each garden community to secure net gains in local biodiversity, highest standards of technology to reduce impact of climate change, water efficiency (with the aim of being water neutral in areas of serious water stress), and sustainable waste and mineral management." We consider that this principle would be more fully reflected in the subsequent site-specific policies (SP8, SP9 and SP10) if the requirement within those policies to protect and/or enhance biodiversity assets were reworded to require the protection and enhancement of biodiversity assets.

SP8, SP9 and SP10 regarding Garden Communities
In addition to the above, we recommend that the sections on masterplanning specify that green infrastructure provision should be described at this stage.
We also recommend that the clause requiring "appropriate and sustainable long term governance and stewardship arrangements for the new garden community including provision for management and maintenance of the public realm and community assets" should include reference to the need to secure management of biodiversity assets.

SG8: Developer Contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy
We recommend that this policy (and subsequent development of SPDs) should include provision for developer contributions to a strategic mitigation package for recreational disturbance impacts on Natura 2000 sites. Councils in Suffolk are currently developing a package of measures to address in-combination impacts identified by HRAs at the Plan and individual project level on the Stour and Orwell Estuaries SPA and Ramsar site which would be funded through developer contributions. As allocations within this Plan have the potential to affect Natura 2000 sites (the Colne Estuary SPA and Ramsar, Blackwater Estuary SPA and Ramsar, Abberton Reservoir SPA and Ramsar, Stour and Orwell Estuaries SPA and Ramsar and the Essex Estuaries SAC) through increased recreational pressure, we would advocate that the Council should take a similar approach. We would be pleased to offer further advice if this would be helpful.

5. Environmental Assets Policies: Natural Environment Policy
We recommend rewording para. 5.3 to reflect the protection afforded to internationally designated conservation sites more fully, for example as follows:
Plans or projects which may have a likely significant effect on a European site will require appropriate assessment under Reg. 61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) ('the Habitats Regulations'). Accordingly, local authorities can only consent plans or projects where it can be ascertained that they will have no adverse effect on the integrity of a European Site, unless the exceptional requirements of Regs. 62 and 66 of the Habitats Regulations relating to the absence of alternative solutions, imperative reasons of overriding public interest and provision of compensation have been met.

Para. 5.9 states that "A major threat to the low lying coastal and estuary areas is rising sea levels as a result of climate change. This will be addressed through increasing the network of green corridors and sites to aid the dispersal of species that will need to move as climate change renders their existing habitat unsuitable." We query how the Local Plan will achieve this; what evidence has been used to identify vulnerable species and the necessary corridors to enable them to disperse and how will developers will be able to contribute to such measures?

ENV1: Natural Environment
We welcome point iv), that development will only be supported where it "Incorporates beneficial biodiversity conservation features and habitat creation where appropriate."

For clarity, we recommend that the statement that "Proposals likely to have an adverse effect on Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Ramsar sites will require a full assessment in line with European legislation" should be amended in line with our recommendations for para. 5.3, above.

We also consider that provisions should be made within this policy to address para. 117 of the NPPF regarding the need for planning policies to promote ecological networks:
"To minimise impacts on biodiversity and geodiversity, planning policies should:...
o identify and map components of the local ecological networks, including the hierarchy of international, national and locally designated sites of importance for biodiversity, wildlife corridors and stepping stones that connect them and areas identified by local partnerships for habitat restoration or creation;
o promote the preservation, restoration and re-creation of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of priority species populations, linked to national and local targets, and identify suitable indicators for monitoring biodiversity in the plan;..."

ENV3: Green infrastructure
This policy (and the preceding section) refers to the Colchester Orbital route as a key element of the Council's green infrastructure network. We are concerned that this is limited in geographical scope as well as having a strong focus on access, without sufficient recognition of the other functions of green infrastructure. We recommend that greater reference is made to the potential for green infrastructure to contribute to ecological networks (see our comments on ENV1 above). This policy should also be used to address the aims in para. 5.9; to use green corridors as a method of aiding the dispersal of species in response to climate change.

We welcome the provision to require developer contributions to provide additional green infrastructure, but we also consider that reference could be made to the potential for provision of green infrastructure as mitigation to reduce recreational pressure on designated sites, with links made to the findings of the HRA. As above, we also recommend that new provision by developers is aimed at providing multiple benefits (for wildlife and people) rather than having a sole focus on access.

Climate Change Policy
This section should make reference to para. 5.9, which explains how impacts of climate change on the ability of species to disperse can be mitigated through the green infrastructure network. Para. 5.39 discusses climate change adaptation through green infrastructure, but omits any reference to biodiversity. We recommend that this paragraph, and Policy CC1: Climate Change incorporates the measures described in para. 5.9.

Para. 5.41 explains that renewable energy projects would be supported provided there are no adverse effects on a Natura 2000 site or AONB. Whilst we welcome this statement, we recommend that this should be extended to include SSSIs, in line with the guidance in para. 118 of the NPPF, that development likely to have an adverse effect on a SSSI should not normally be permitted.

WC4: West Colchester
We support the policy regarding the development of an Ecological Management Plan and Mitigation Plan to enhance the ecological value of the orchard and recommend that provisions are made to secure the long-term ecological management of the site.

SS1 Abberton and Langenhoe Housing Sites
It should be acknowledged that these sites will require screening under the Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended) due to proximity to the Abberton Reservoir SPA and Ramsar site, and that, if required, mitigation for in-combination impacts could be provided through developer contributions to a strategic mitigation scheme (see comments on SG8, above).

SS2 Land East of Birch Street
It should be acknowledged that the site will require screening under the Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended) due to proximity to the Abberton Reservoir SPA and Ramsar site, and that, if required, mitigation for in-combination impacts could be provided through developer contributions to a strategic mitigation scheme (see comments on SG8, above).

SS6 Dedham Heath Housing Sites
It should be acknowledged that these sites will require screening under the Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended) due to proximity to the Stour and Orwell Estuaries SPA and Ramsar site, and that, if required, mitigation for in-combination impacts could be provided through developer contributions to a strategic mitigation scheme (see comments on SG8, above).

SS12 Layer de la Haye
It should be acknowledged that the site will require screening under the Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended) due to proximity to the Abberton Reservoir SPA and Ramsar site, and that, if required, mitigation for in-combination impacts could be provided through developer contributions to a strategic mitigation scheme (see comments on SG8, above).

SS17a-c Mersea Island
Para. 6.215 acknowledges that Mersea Island is situated at the confluence of the Colne and Blackwater Estuaries. Both of these estuaries are internationally important wildlife sites, designated for their breeding little terns, wintering waders and wildfowl, saltmarsh habitats and invertebrates and are potentially vulnerable to increased recreational disturbance resulting from housing development in the area. We recommend that their designations as SPAs and Ramsar sites should therefore be referenced in the text.

Policy SS17a Mersea Housing and Employment also lacks reference to the Natura 2000 sites. Due to the potential for development to result in increased recreational pressure on these sites, reference should be made to both the findings of the HRA for the Plan and the need for HRA at the project level for both these allocations. As mitigation is likely to be required for these allocations for recreational disturbance impacts (from the projects alone and/or in-combination), reference should also be made in this policy to the need for developer contributions towards a strategic mitigation scheme (as discussed under policy SG8, above).

Policies SS17b Coast Road and SS17c Caravan Parks should also note the requirement to screen projects with regard to the Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended).

DM15: Design and Amenity
Point i) refers to the integration of built/landscape/heritage assets - we recommend this is expanded to include biodiversity assets.

DM24: Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
We are supportive of the policy promoting the use of SuDS and recommend that opportunities are sought to enhance biodiversity through this provision.

DM25: Renewable Energy, Water, Waste and Recycling
We suggest that the following should be reworded to better reflect the protection afforded to Natura 2000 sites:
"Within internationally designated sites and nationally designated landscapes (Dedham Vale AONB) renewable energy schemes, will only be supported in exceptional circumstances..."

This could be amended as follows:
"Renewable energy schemes with potential for adverse effects on internationally designated sites or nationally designated landscapes (Dedham Vale AONB), will only be supported in exceptional circumstances..."

We would be happy to discuss any of the issues we have identified, specifically regarding biodiversity and protected areas. We look forward to seeing a copy of the HRA at the earliest opportunity and would be pleased to meet to discuss its development.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2757

Received: 05/10/2016

Respondent: City & Country

Agent: Strutt & Parker

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal

The site is assessed in the SA as having a negative impact in relation to landscape/AONB. It is unclear on what basis this conclusion has been drawn.

Full text:

See attached statement.

Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2769

Received: 05/10/2016

Respondent: Trustees of the Noble Settlement

Agent: Strutt & Parker

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal

We agree with the site summary (paragraph 15.11 page 392).

Full text:

See attached statement.

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2789

Received: 05/10/2016

Respondent: Sally Minns & Associates

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal

Criterion 1 should be green like the preferred sites because it can accommodate the identified housing need.

The visual impact of my client's site scores much better than the Council's preferred option.

Full text:

See attached statement.

Support

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2808

Received: 05/10/2016

Respondent: Tollgate Partnership Limited

Agent: Strutt & Parker

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal

We are pleased to see that the site has been subject to SA and is the most sustainable site compared to the alternatives.

Full text:

See attached statement.

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2842

Received: 05/10/2016

Respondent: Colchester Natural History Society

Representation:

The HRA regarding adverse effects on a European habitat site is noted (para 1.21). CNHS believes similar habitat assessments should be applied to all sensitive local wildlife sites and areas.

Full text:

See attached statement.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2869

Received: 06/10/2016

Respondent: Mr Mike Lambert

Representation:

Sustainability Appraisal

There is an inadequate assessment in the SA part 1 of the options for the scale of growth in terms of what is appropriate or sustainable at WCEBGC.

Full text:

See attached statement.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 2919

Received: 11/10/2016

Respondent: Pegasus Group

Representation:

Objection to Sustainability Appraisal

The SA report was not included as part of the Local Plan committee papers. SA is an integral part of plan making process. How can LP Ctte members make a decision when they do not have the necessary evidence before them to make such a decision.

I question the content & assessment process used & whether a SA was carried out prior to decision making. Did an appraisal genuinely inform proposed allocations.

Full text:

See attached letter to Councillor Smith & representation.

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 3102

Received: 14/10/2016

Respondent: Marks Tey Parish Council

Representation:

The overall Local Plan Preferred Options document itself presenting this
information, together with its plethora of Evidence Documents, is extremely
complex, confusing, and mechanistic, and completely unsuited to the wide public
consultation that presumably was intended. Forensic concentration is needed to
weave between the relevant documents which grew in number over the
consultation period. Not helped by seeking consultation over the summer
holiday months nor the lack of detailed synchronisation of the release of
documents and decision dates across the authorities. Lack of detailed coordination between authorities at this stage does not bode well for future efficient management.

Full text:

Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 1
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Consultation on the Borough Council
Local Plan Preferred Options
Marks Tey Parish Council offers the following response to Colchester Borough
Councils Consultation on its 2017 to 2033 Local Plan Preferred Options. It does so
in general terms both noting our support and our concerns under four broad
headings of:
1. introduction and overall comments page 1
2. detailed comments on part one page 3
3. detailed comments on part two page 5
4. detailed comments on delivery concerns page 7
5. Conclusion page 8
.
1. Introduction, Summary and Overall Comments
1.1 Marks Tey Parish Council considers the proposal to absorb the growth
required of the local authorities within new Garden Communities proposed within
the Local Plan Preferred Options to be visionary and forward-looking. However, it
is extremely high risk with no identification or mitigation of the economic or delivery
risks. Also, at least in the short term, it is very detrimental, uniquely, to the
community of the parish of Marks Tey, again with no stated proposed mitigation.
1.2 Thus, as presented, Marks Tey Parish Council cannot support the
proposals as they are unlikely to be successful. This lack of support is also due to
the likelihood that it may be harmful to the Marks Tey community without
significant alteration in the approach..
1.3 The overall Local Plan Preferred Options document itself presenting this
information, together with its plethora of Evidence Documents, is extremely
complex, confusing, and mechanistic, and completely unsuited to the wide public
consultation that presumably was intended. Forensic concentration is needed to
weave between the relevant documents which grew in number over the
consultation period. This was not helped by seeking consultation over the summer
holiday months nor the lack of detailed synchronisation of the release of
documents and decision dates across the authorities.
1.4 Such a lack of detailed coordination between the three authorities at this
stage does not bode well for the efficient management of such a large project.
1.5 Whilst recognising the highly technical nature required to prepare a Local
Plan, little empathy seems to have been shown to the community who are funding
the Plan and for whose betterment it is presumably intended. This is shown by the
minimal community consultation (at least with the Marks Tey community) prior to
presenting the Preferred Options. This resulted in Marks Tey Parish Council
presenting its own unsolicited representation to CBC. Seeking public contribution
to the Local Plan Panel where contributions were sought either for or against
proposals that where only just introduced did not help, but did not seem to inhibit
the contributions (because everyone ignored it). Also in currently seeking
Consultation contributions based on specific Policy numbers in the document, the
process seems more geared to professional efficiency and constraints rather than
the public. These are not documents and approaches seeking contributions by the
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 2
public rather ones seemingly constructed to prevent it or at least presented for
professional efficiency. Marks Tey Parish Council has neither the professional skill
nor the resources to employ the required talent to respond in this way and thus
offers a community based view and critique of the proposals in broad terms.
1.6 Marks Tey itself has been significantly mis assessed and misrepresented in
the document in that the effects of the A12 and A120 on the community are
underrepresented and whilst the community is well provided with facilities, most of
these facilities are sustained by people outside of Marks Tey via proximity to
Junction 25 on A12. Movement around Marks Tey whether by local vehicles,
pedestrians or cyclists is severely compromised fragmenting the community with
the added imposition of noise vibration and pollution. At the same time the
community have reported through contributions to the Neighbourhood Plan that
what is good about Marks Tey is it smallness of size and access to the
countryside. The intention is to capture these existing community and
environmental strengths in our emerging Neighbourhood Plan, but whose forward
view of our community is rendered blind by lack of any clarity for the future in the
proposed Local Plan to which the evolving Neighbourhood Plan has to conform.
1.7 Marks Tey Parish Council Principal Recommendations
a. For future community consideration and consultation, a plain English
summary of the proposed Local Plan should be prepared including heavy
and effective referencing to the many other documents and policies. It
would be helpful if this summary document was available electronically and
the references linked automatically to the relevant documents.
b. Future iterations of the Local Plan the three authorities synchronise the
release of information and their political decision-making and effect an
electronic notification for town and parish councils and other interested
parties for key dates and information publication.
c. The affected communities get full involvement in the development of the
proposals and that the Marks Tey parish community get a full say in the
size of any surrounding development. How such community involvement in
the development of the Communities is to be effected should be
crystallised and stated in the Local Plan in order to improve on the vague
comments contained within the document.
d. Whilst it is accepted that further examination is required into the Garden
Communities, measurable undertakings should be given regarding this.
This should include specific details of this further examination plus fixed
timetables for what will be undertaken in this examination and by when.
Such undertakings should be included in all proposal documents (and
within the Local Plan itself if work is still outstanding) to give assurance and
security to all affected communities, particularly Marks Tey.
e. As Marks Tey is so affected by the Garden Community proposals no
changes to the parish/settlement should be proposed in Part 2 from what
currently exists, pending clarity on proposals for the Garden Community.
Also that innovative ways be sought in the same timescale to integrate the
evolving Marks Tey Neighbourhood Plan into the wider strategic plans to
form a Neighbourhood Plan 'Plus' that reflects the innovation intended for
the development of the Garden Community itself.
f. Due to the significant and underestimated affects of the A120 as a local
distributor to en route communities, investigations should be undertaken to
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 3
see if the release of land for residential development within the proposed
local plan initial period can also provide temporary early relief to the effects
of the A120 on Marks Tey, Coggeshall, Feering, and Kelvedon. No new
development should be occupied prior to the provision of such highway
improvement or an alternative. A clear and unambiguous statement should
be included within the Local Plan to this effect.
g. Assessment of the significant economic and delivery risk needs to be
undertaken for the Local Plan, together with contingency proposals to
overcome or reduce these else the provision contained within the Local
Plan, particularly Part 1, will only be aspirational and likely to fail. If Part 1
under achieves or fails then this is likely to cause failure of Part 2 due to
existing communities needing to pick up the additional housing load.
These points and more are covered in more detail in the following submission in
some cases with lengthy explanation where the CBC document seems to have
missed the point but in most cases with a suggested recommendation to mitigate
the identified issue.
2 Detailed comments on Part 1 - Shared Strategic Plan
2.1 Marks Tey Parish Council is still, as previously stated, supportive of new
communities to solve Colchester's growing need, of taking a 15 year view of how
this is to be provided and avoiding the 'spread' and merging of other communities.
We agree that this needs to be effected by innovative means with forward funding
and forward provision of infrastructure needs. Marks Tey Parish Council also feels
that some expansion of Marks Tey is needed if this solves Marks Tey's current
significant highways problems and deficits, but before any significant new housing
is added. Such development should add to Marks Tey's sense of place, providing
that this also protects the communities view of what is important to the community
as reflected in its developing Neighbourhood Plan.
Recommendation
* Relief from current significant highway problems, enhancement of Marks
Tey sense of place, and protection of current locality strengths as
expressed through the emerging Neighbourhood Plan are the factors that
should be used as the success measures on how the wider strategic
proposals or any significant growth affect the Marks Tey parish community.
2.2 The Garden Community approach, however, has the implication, of in effect
of imposing two Local Plans on the affected areas of which Marks Tey is the only
one involving the proposed inclusion of an existing 2,500 population community.
The Plan states that these Communities will take limited growth in the 2017 to
2033 period, with much more significant development after this (to possibly 20,000
dwellings in the case Marks Tey). Such an imposition on the community of Marks
Tey without clarification is unique and unfair.
Recommendation
* With Marks Tey as the only Colchester, Braintree, or Tendring community
likely to be fully absorbed within a proposed Garden Community, and in
effect the first phase of one of these Garden Communities, that its
community representation should be integrated into the ongoing process for
managing the development of the Garden Communities ideas and
implementation.
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 4
2.3 There is no examination in the Proposed Options document nor easily
found within the Evidence Documents, of the viability of forward funding for
needed considerable infrastructure development nor of the delivery options to
provide these, which are of course all innovative and new and for which none of
the authorities have any significant previous experience.
Recommendation
* Significant delivery risk examination needs to be undertaken (see detailed
comments on deliverability concerns below).
2.4 There has to be grave suspicion about the economic viability of a proposed
Garden Community sited around Marks Tey (SP9) which does not have the
established employment generators of Stansted Airport nor the University of Essex
as with its western and eastern proposed counterparts. Yet SP9 is proposed
ultimately to be the biggest of all three proposed new communities. No significant
additional employment related land use allocations are mentioned within the Local
Plan period to 2033 and those that do exist are suggested to be diluted (mixed use
of Andersons site). This risks the new Community becoming a larger commuter
community or even failing. However the A12/A120 location is good, the
examination and timing of improvement of the A12 and A120 and planned capital
investment in the A12 are all well suited for fitting in with the proposed Local Plan,
and this could enhance employment generation by providing an early opportunity
to provide possibly temporary new highway access from a new junction to relieve
the infrastructure deficit and access new employment land.
Recommendation
* It would seem prudent to make early investment for employment
generation. The option should be investigated for bringing forward into the
current local plan period 2017 to 2033, additional employment land in Marks
Tey accessed from immanent A12 highway improvement.
2.6 The differing sizes of the new Communities are illogical and no evidence
given to support the relevant sizes. The 7 to 9000 of east Colchester seems
contrary to the stated self-sustaining principals. The potential of 20,000 dwellings
for Marks Tey, the least economical of the sites, swamps the existing community
and threatens Coggeshall.
Recommendation
* Even sizes of self-sustaining new communities would seem more logical
and some statement be given on the relative priority of each Community or
whether these are to be simply commercially driven.
2.7 The Parish Council would like to have an active involvement in the
proposals going forward not only to help to advance and communicate the vision
as it has been trying to do throughout the Consultation period, but also to deliver a
community view into the development of the new Communities as the only
community so far fully engulfed by the proposals. The Parish Council are surprised
that given the implications on Marks Tey that the Borough Council had not
consulted or discussed these issues prior to publication and that all initiatives to
seek discussion have come from the Parish Council.
Parish Council involvement would seem a useful offer particularly as the CBC
approach to date does not seem community aware. If the new communities are
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 5
established and start to grow, those communities are likely to be fully involved in
their development. Marks Tey is in effect proposed to be the first phase of a new
Community. It seems illogical for the University of Essex to be a member of the
Project Board developing the Garden Communities initiative and deciding on
things that will affect Marks Tey but not any community interest from Marks Tey
itself. The Parish Council have repeatedly pressed CBC for involvement but so far
to little effect.
Recommendation
* That a Marks Tey Parish Council, community representative or a
representative of any heavily affected community be invited to join the
Project Board to give community context.
3 Detailed Comments on Part 2 - Local Plan for Colchester
3.1 The CBC Settlement Boundary Review (comments already sent to CBC by
MTPC) as it affects Marks Tey is weak and subjective. The Local Plan proposals
pick arbitrary and non evidenced issues to be undertaken by the Neighbourhood
Plan some based on wrong information for which there has been no prior
discussion with Marks Tey. However, the proposed Local Plan and a proposed
new Garden Community has a huge and significant effect on Marks Tey but
without clear detail or procedures and timescales. This lack of detail is hugely
prejudicial to the community of Marks Tey and to its formulation of its
Neighbourhood Plan, more so than any other settlement within the Colchester
Borough. Thus to treat Marks Tey's evolving Neighbourhood Plan the same as any
other community is illogical and ignores the pressures upon it. Similarly, the parish
being treated in the same way as other Colchester's settlements is unfair and
there is neither recognition of these pressures within the document nor any
proposals to take them into account. With this in mind there is no point in
allocating provisions within SS13 just for the sake of it and the removal of the
settlement boundary around Little Tey is nonsense while so much is over
shadowing the area.
Recommendation.
a. The Policy for Marks Tey (SS13) should be unchanged from existing until
further clarity on the wider strategic implications are clear and a fixed date
should be given for the latter.
b. Investigation should be undertaken to explore innovative ways by which
the evolving Neighbourhood Plan can link into the wider strategy to form a
Neighbourhood Plan 'Plus'.
3.2 The Options document seriously under assessment the current
infrastructure deficit/highway problems in Marks Tey, an issue that unites most of
the residents of Marks Tey. The A120 currently performs two separate functions,
both badly:
* it is an overloaded strategic trunk road carrying through traffic from
Braintree to the A12;
* it is also a local distributor serving the communities of Marks Tey and
elsewhere on its route.
On the latter it has a disastrous effect on community life from the point of view of
noise, vibration, and pollution, to the curtailment of movement through the
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 6
community, for the numerous adjoining roadside properties, and severely limiting
local vehicle, pedestrian, and cycling movement fragmenting the community.
Even the A120s use as a trunk road is compromised by traffic wanting to go south
on the A12 forming a "rat run" through Coggeshall and Feering/Kelvedon. Current
attempts to get future acceptance of an A120 improvement in the 2020 to 2025
road building programme (a significant risky assumption) will not produce a new
road available to traffic and to relieve any current problems within the next 10 to 15
years and could be longer. Localised en route improvement is unlikely to aid the
local distributor problems and could have negative environmental effects on
existing communities that might undermine environmental improvement that is
sought in the longer term through the current Plan. Thus whilst consultees may
say that there is potential with local improvement to increase strategic trunk road
capacity on the A120 such a move would be catastrophic to the existing en route
communities yet the Preferred Options document suggests that residential
expansion is possible.
Recommendation
* The Local Plan should commit to exploring in conjunction with the imminent
A12 upgrade, and the decision on a route for an improved A120, for early
options to release the effects of the A120 on Marks Tey (and Coggeshall
and Kelvedon/Feering) and should not commit to any occupation of new
dwellings before the existing infrastructure deficits have been overcome.
Again, clear and unambiguous statements should be included within the
Local Plan to this effect.
3.3 Marks Tey is currently a largely commuter settlement with a lot of local
people living in the estate and using the railway. With increasing traffic and danger
to pedestrians and cyclists on the A120 the once heavy number of pedestrians
walking or cycling to the rail station has greatly reduced with these people now
presumably driving or getting a lift. This is an assumption being tested in our
Neighbourhood Plan but it is a trend that is totally contrary to what CBC is seeking
to achieve in its Policies.
Recommendation
* Ways are sought within the Local Plan 2017 to 2033 to enhance footpath
and cycleway provision through Marks Tey, to aid mobility and connectivity
through the fragmented community. This will, no doubt also be picked up in
the evolving Neighbourhood Plan.
3.4 There is a general need to apply transitional arrangements to many of the
Preferred Options document individual Policies i.e. Sustainable Transport,
Changing Travel Behaviour, Parking. Many of these policies are written with an
assumption that when they are introduced they are effective. Evidence from the
likes of Park and Ride shows the changing behaviours takes time and that for
instance new development can be flooded with parked cars because reduced
provision has assumed different behaviours from the start. The same need for
transitional arrangements will apply to the new Communities and recognition and a
view should be presented on this in the Local Plan.
Recommendation
* The Local Plan needs to address this transitional issue with, for instance,
interim highway provision pending more permanent solutions or in the case
of parking in new developments perhaps a fixed short-term use of amenity
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 7
land to be used for additional parking while the landscape provided for the
area develops and alternative transport options takes over. This would
seek to avoid policies failing from the start.
4 Comments on Delivery Concerns
4.1 The delivery of the Local Plan as written is high risk with delivery of Part 1
and the Garden Communities very high risk. The Local Plan assessment of risks is
confined to ecological and environmental and Local Plan Policy monitoring. Little
or no consideration is given to the risk factors for the delivery of the Local Plan
itself or the Garden Communities in particular. These risk factors are economic,
political, and professional capacity issues amongst others.
Recommendation
* With the Preferred Options document having been prepared to cover all of
the professional areas and policies required of a Local Plan that additional
effort be put in to ensure its practical delivery, the risks to this, and
mitigation of these risks.
4.2 On the economic factors, putting aside the risk of increased or decreased
demand for housing growth as predicted in the Local Plan, there is considerable
economic uncertainty over the 15 to 30 year period that the Plan envisages. The
economic effects of BREXIT are not likely to be known for the next two to three
years at the earliest, the World economy is at best volatile, and the effects of these
are likely to have an influence on the growth and viability of the new settlements.
Recommendation
* Each phase of any new development or of the new Communities is made
self sufficient so that it adds to existing communities, has it's own
economic viability and employment provision and can be both an end in
itself if circumstances require it to be so as well as contribute to a greater
vision..
4.3 On the political aspects, the Local Plan timescale encompasses many
political cycles both locally and nationally. Colchester Borough Council is a
coalition administration between the two smaller parties with the majority party
excluded. CBC plans for the development at Tollgate have met political resistance
and have been the subject of fierce politic debate within CBC and wider. This must
indicate considerable political risk to the Local Plan.
Recommendation
a. Mitigation of this might be to secure all political parties commitment to the
Local Plan in each Authority and to secure the continued partnership
commitment and funding of both the County Council and of Central
Government to the plan and its continuous monitoring.
b. The other mitigation would be to secure the development proposals by Act
of Parliament, or other statutory means, much as the New Towns were
effected previously, or as Essex and Kent CC did for the second Dartford
Tunnel.
4.4 Relative to professional risk and resource capability, the three new
communities, encompassing some proposed 49,000 new dwellings all in north
Essex, are an untried initiatives on many levels. Such large scale new community
provision is not happening anywhere else in the UK and is the largest since the
Marks Tey Parish Council Response to Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Page 8
creation of the New Towns. Current Garden Communities, Ebbsfleet, and Bicester
are single communities of around 15,000 dwellings being developed independently
of each, other and Cranbourne and Poundbury are significantly smaller at 3,000
and 2,500 dwellings respectively. Colchester's experience to date is with 5 year
duration Local Plans and some of the longer scale planning that has been
undertaken, i.e. the Hythe and town centre Vinyard St development, have been
subject to economic uncertainty which has resulted in these plans not realising
their objectives as quickly as envisaged and leaving the environment in the mean
time in a state of obvious partial completion or worse. Braintree have pursued
some of the garden community principles (through the Essex Design Guide) with
the Notley Village and Black Notley developments, but again these are only of
5,500 residents (say 2,000 dwellings) and 2 to 300 dwellings respectively. The
new Garden Communities initiative put the authorities in the national spotlight and
requires a national level of excellence and commitment.
4.5 All of this again indicates political and resource risk that could equally apply
to the new Local Plan. None of this of course diminishes the vision contained
within the Local Plan, but without recognition and mitigation of the risks being
included as part of the Local Plan, the Local Plan becomes aspirational and rather
meaningless.
4.6 Whilst the risk is largely to the Garden Communities (i.e. Part 1 of the
proposed Local Plan) these communities are proposed to carry a significant part of
the 2017 to 2033 identified housing growth (17%) so that if they fail this would
need to be transferred to the existing communities within each Authority and this in
itself threatens the viability of Part 2's plans for those existing communities.
4.7 Even at "Preferred Options" stage it is illogical not to examine and state the
practical delivery risks and to indicate to the public how it is intended to mitigate
and minimise these risks.
5 Conclusion
Marks Tey Parish Council recognises that there is good in the Preferred Options
proposals but not at any price and the proposals create much worry and concern
for residents. No attempt has been made to address issues in any of the other
Evidence Documents, and the Parish Council have many issues, i.e. with AECom
Ltd's Garden Community Concept Feasibility Study. MTPC would seek to discuss
these with CBC and, of course, more information and ideas can be provided on
the issues that the Parish Council mentions above. The Parish Council wants to
stay fully engaged in the process as the proposals have so fundamental an effect
on the future of Marks Tey (and the Borough) and look to the Borough for active
and meaningful discussions on a way forward.
Allan Walker MBA, BSc(Hons), Dip Arch.
Chairman, Marks Tey Parish Council
01206 211424
chairman@marksteyparish.org.uk
For Marks Tey Parish Council - 16th September 2016

Comment

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 3119

Received: 14/10/2016

Respondent: Barton Willmore

Representation:

The proposed Plan period is 2016 to 2033. There is however some confusion as paragraph 1.2 refers to the Plan covering the period 'beyond' 2033.
Two key evidence base documents, namely the Council's Retail and Town Centre Uses Study (NLP, March 2013) and Employment Land Needs Assessment (NLP, January 2015) ("ELNA"), only cover the period to 2026 and 2032 respectively. Whilst we note the intention to update the evidence
base, these documents are not specifically referred to. As a result, the evidence base documents and the resultant position will need to be updated.

Full text:

20638/A3/AI/PN 13th September 2016
COLCHESTER LOCAL PLAN - PREFERRED OPTIONS CONSULTATION
REPRESENTATIONS BY THE TOLLGATE PARTNERSHIP LTD
Introduction & Background
1. We act on behalf of The Tollgate Partnership Ltd ("TPL") and have been instructed to submit representations in relation to the emerging Colchester Local Plan - Preferred Options Consultation Document ("the Plan").
2. TPL is a key stakeholder and investor in Colchester and specifically Stanway and therefore welcomes the opportunity to input into the evolution of the Plan.
3. Having reviewed the Plan we are concerned that, as currently drafted the Plan:
 is not robust;
 is not based on a meaningful and up-to-date evidence base;
 is inconsistent with the NPPF and the supporting PPG; and
 is inconsistent with itself in many places.
4. Rather than identify all detailed matters, our objection focus on three key issues, namely the:
 robustness of the evidence base;
 the employment policies; and
 the retail policies
5. Against this background, we set out our comments on the emerging Plan below.
Representations
Part 1
Plan Period / Evidence Base
6. We note that the proposed Plan period is 2016 to 2033. There is however some confusion as paragraph 1.2 refers to the Plan covering the period 'beyond' 2033. This should be clarified.
7. It is also important to note that two key evidence base documents, namely the Council's Retail and Town Centre Uses Study (NLP, March 2013) and Employment Land Needs Assessment (NLP, January 2015), only cover the period to 2026 and 2032 respectively. Whilst we note the intention to update the evidence base, these documents are not specifically referred to. This should be clarified.
8. As a result, the evidence base documents and the resultant position will need to be updated.
Policy SP3 - Providing for Employment
9. The Policy sets out a requirement for 55.8ha of employment land in Colchester over the Plan period to 2033. This is based on Scenario 3 (Higher Past Completion Rates) as set out in Table 7.2 of the Employment Land Needs Assessment. In its Assessment, NLP recognise that Scenario 3, as well as Scenario 2 (Past Completion Rates) are less robust as they relate to the inclusion / exclusion of one single firm's relocation within the Borough (paragraph 7.8).
10. Scenario 1 (Baseline Job Growth) shows a requirement for B Class space of 29.8ha, whereas Scenario 4 (Labour Supply) shows a requirement of 22ha. Based on the available employment space of 76.9ha set out in the Assessment, these would result in a surplus of B Class land of between 47.1ha and 54.9ha.
11. At the recent Stane Park Inquiry (CBC refs: 146486 and 150945), in allowing the Appeals the Inspector found that the Council has a 65 year supply of employment land (which was agreed by
CBC) and recognised that the Assessment identifies a requirement of between 22ha to 29.8ha of land to 2032 (i.e. Scenarios 4 and 1 set out above). It is therefore clear that there is no justification for adopting the higher employment land requirement. We comment on individual allocations in more detail below.
12. No justification has been provided by the Council for adopting its current approach and discounting the more robust scenarios.
13. On the basis of the above, we therefore object to overall quantum of B Class land identified for Colchester as this is not justified against the evidence base. We recommend that this is reviewed, including an update to ensure needs cover the Plan period and reflect the findings of the robust scenarios in its evidence base and the recent Stane Park appeal decision.
Part 2
Policy SG3 - Economic Growth Provision and Centre Hierarchy
14. The Policy sets out the requirement for at least 55.2ha of B Class Land up to 2033. For the reasons set out above, this is not considered sound.
15. Supporting Table SG3 allocates 21.4ha of land for 'primarily' B Class Use at Stanway Strategic Economic Area. This is the highest individual SEA allocation. Such an approach is at odds with the Employment Land Needs Assessment which recognises that Stanway:
 Currently lacks critical mass as an employment location and market appeal appears limited. The area accommodates more than a third (35% / 26.8ha) of available employment land, although it seems unlikely that the full scale of provision would be required to meet business needs over the plan period. Sites with the greatest prospect of coming forward for employment development in the future - notably Stane Park - should provide the focus for continued allocation.
 Employment development has been slow to come forward and it lacks any significant critical mass and does not have a strong profile as a key Colchester business location, particularly in the face of strong competition / established sites elsewhere such as Colchester Business Park (para 8.46).
 In light of the surplus of employment land it would be difficult to justify retaining the full extent of undeveloped allocations from both a quantitative and qualitative market perspective (para 8.48).
16. We do not therefore consider that there is justification for the allocation of 21.4ha of land at Stanway, particularly in the context of the overall requirement for between 22-29.8ha set out in the employment evidence base.
17. The Policy then sets out a Centre Hierarchy, but has removed all of the existing Urban District Centres in Colchester from the hierarchy. There is no justification for this approach and it would not accord with NPPF paragraph 23 which requires LPAs to define a network and hierarchy of centres, that is resilient to anticipated future economic changes. In undertaken this approach,
the Plan would offer no policy protection to existing retail facilities in these locations, which would otherwise be the case.
18. We therefore object to the Policy on this basis as it is not consistent with the NPPF, is not justified and cannot be considered sound.
Policy TC1 - Town Centre Policy and Hierarchy
19. We support the proposed threshold of 2,500 sq m for undertaking a retail impact assessment. It is however unclear why a retail impact assessment would be required for proposals in District and Local Centres (which we assume relates those outside centre of the Colchester urban area),
as this is not consistent with the NPPF.
Policy TC2 - Retail Frontages
20. Policy TC2 refers to the Town Centre Primary Shopping Area. However, the Proposals Map Key does not identify a Primary Shopping Area, but does show a Town Centre Main Shopping Area.
It is unclear if they are intended to be the same, but for the avoidance of doubt the Key should be updated to refer to the Primary Shopping Area.
Policy TC3 - Town Centre Allocations
21. The Policy sets out the need for 36,730 sq m net (i.e. sales) additional comparison goods floorspace over the period to 2026, derived from the 2013 Retail Study. It refers to evidence
being updated to inform specific allocations, but it is unclear whether this will comprise a new Retail Study. In the absence of an up to date evidence base to cover the Plan period, the Policy cannot be found sound.
22. Notwithstanding this, the Policy allocates Town Centre sites for development (St Botolphs,
Vineyard Gate, Priory Walk) although does not specify the quantum of retail floorspace they could accommodate. NPPF paragraph 23 requires needs to be met in full and Plans should identify and allocate sites in accordance with the sequential approach, in order to meet this need.
23. The Retail Study figure of 36,730 sq m net, excluding 9,000 sq m net at Vineyard Gate referred to in the Study, would still leave circa 28,000 sq m net floorspace. It should be recognised that Vineyard Gate has been identified for over 15 years and is still yet to come forward.
24. The Plan does not set out how this quantum of floorspace can be accommodated on the remaining sites and we do not consider that the remaining Town Centre sites referred to are capable of accommodating this level of need. Therefore, the Council is required to undertake sequential assessment to assess sites in edge and then out of centre locations in order to meet identified needs in full. No such assessment has been undertaken. It should be recognised here
that the Retail Study sets out that if longer term comparison goods growth (beyond 2016) cannot be accommodated in the Town Centre, the Council should consider the potential to expand Urban District Centres or the provision of new shopping destinations in the urban area.
25. The sequential assessment should include existing Urban District Centre sites (noting that the removal of such Centres from the hierarchy is considered to be unsound). This would include land north and south of Tollgate West (also known as Tollgate Village) and which is a part-in /part edge-of-centre location to the existing Tollgate District Centre and could contribute to meeting identified needs.
26. On the basis of the above, the Policy is not sound as it not positively prepared, is not justified against the evidence base, and not consistent with the NPPF.
Policy NC1 - North Colchester and Severalls Strategic Economic Area
27. We are concerned that the Policy seeks to allocate land at Zone 2 for new leisure floorspace, with reference to the 2006 planning permission. It should be recognised that the permitted
Class D2 leisure component of that scheme has been delivered by way of the new David Lloyd health and fitness centre. The permission does not allow any other Class D2 leisure floorspace and therefore cannot be used to justify other D2 class uses in this location.
28. As with the Town Centre retail floorspace set out above, a sequential assessment is required under NPPF paragraph 23 for leisure uses. This should assess in Centre, then edge of Centre and finally out-of-centre locations. No such assessment has been undertaken and the allocation for leisure use cannot be considered sound on this basis. Land north and south of Tollgate
West, Stanway represents a sequentially preferable location (in relation to the existing Tollgate District Centre) for such use against the terms of the NPPF.
29. Therefore, on the basis of the above, the Policy is not sound as it not justified and not consistent with the NPPF. The reference to leisure use in this location should be removed and sequentially preferable sites / locations assessed in order to accommodate such use.
Policy WC1 - Stanway Strategic Economic Area
Zone 1
30. We object to the identification of land north and south of Tollgate West for B Class employment use in Zone 1. It is clear from the Council's Employment Land Needs Assessment, as detailed above, that there is a substantial oversupply of employment land in the Borough and that land at Stanway is appropriate for release.
31. The Assessment shows that this land (Sites 9 and 10 in the Assessment) have a total score (against various assessment criteria), of 20. Higher rated sites have available / undeveloped land of circa 51ha, which is clearly more than sufficient to meet the needs under Scenarios 1 and 4 of the Assessment and would still leave a substantial oversupply. There is no justification set out in the Plan or evidence base for the allocation of this land for B Class purposes. It is
clearly not required to meet the identified need for future B Class Land as set out in the Assessment.
32. Further, the criteria based approach in the Policy does not allow for flexibility against the terms of NPPF paragraph 22, which seeks to avoid the long term protection of employment sites, where they are no longer needed for that purpose.
33. Notwithstanding the above, the Policy also refers to Main Town Centre uses not being permitted in Zone 1. This would preclude B Class offices and therefore appears to be at odds with itself.
Zone 2
34. This comprises land currently identified in the adopted Development Plan as Tollgate Urban District Centre. We hereby object to the proposed removal of this designation as it is not justified and not consistent with the NPPF. It is unclear how the Plan intends to 'safeguard' this area in the absence of a Centre designation which would otherwise afford policy protection from competing development. The only justification appears to be the reference (para 6.67) to this
and other former District Centres no longer meeting the 'commonly understood definition of a district centre'. We can find no evidence in the Plan as to what this 'commonly understood' definition is and have serious concerns with the Council's approach on this basis. If there is such a definition, it is unclear what has changed in the Centre since the current Development Plan was adopted and allocated the existing District Centre.
35. Notwithstanding the above, the reference to a sequential and retail impact assessment in such locations is not consistent with NPPF paragraphs 24, 26 and 27. This equally applies to Policy SP5.
36. For the sequential test, the Policy suggests this relates to sites 'closer' to the Town Centre. This is not consistent with NPPF paragraph 24 which requires town centre, followed by edge, then out-of-centre locations. It states that for edge and out of centre sites, preference should be given to accessible sites, well connected to the centre. In relation to impact, the NPPF clearly sets out that the 'test' is whether proposals for retail development outside of centres would be
likely to have a 'significant adverse impact' on Centres against the paragraph 26 criteria. The proposed policy wording, referring only to 'adversely', is not consistent with the NPPF.
37. As it stands we do not consider that the Policy is sound as it is neither justified nor consistent with the NPPF.
38. Arising from the above, and for the reasons set out at paragraphs 22 and 25 above, land north and south of Tollgate West should be identified for leisure and retail use, in order that the Plan can meet identified needs in the next most sequentially preferable location after the Town Centre.
Summary & Recommendations
39. Arising from the above and in order to be found sound, the Plan should be amended as follows:
 Evidence base documents will need to be updated to assess needs for retail and B Class use over the plan period to 2033. The Plan will then need to be updated accordingly.
 There is a substantial oversupply of employment land in the Borough and the Plan should be updated to refer to the most robust scenarios for B Class requirements, as set out in its evidence base. There is no evidence based justification for the allocation of land north and south of Tollgate West for B Class Use in Policy WC1.
 The Plan has not established how identified comparison goods needs can be met in full.
It is clear that identified Town Centre sites cannot meet the identified need for
additional comparison goods floorspace and a sequential assessment of edge and out of centre sites has not been undertaken. It is therefore not consistent with NPPF paragraph
23. Land north and south of Tollgate West represents the next most sequentially
preferable location for such use and should be allocated accordingly.
 There is no justification for the de-allocation of existing Urban District Centres in Colchester, and this approach is not consistent with NPPF paragraph 23 which requires LPA's to identify a network and hierarchy of centres. This includes the former Tollgate District Centre which should be identified as such in Policy WC1.
 The sequential and impact tests at Policy WC1 and SP5 are not consistent with the NPPF.
 There is no justification for allocating land at north Colchester for leisure use. Land north and south of Tollgate West represents a sequentially preferable location.
40. We trust that these representations will be taken into account and would welcome the opportunity to discuss them with the Council in more detail.
BARTON WILLMORE LLP

Object

Preferred Options Local Plan

Representation ID: 3234

Received: 15/09/2016

Respondent: Mr Philip Jellard

Representation:

The general public have not been properly advised by Braintree District ( BDC) and Colchester Borough Councils (CBC) of their plans for this new town previously known as West Tey. Both Councils did not widely circulate the Call for Sites information. Even at 5 public meetings organised by CAUSE in March - May 2016, again about 30% of the 600 attendees had not heard about West Tey until receiving a leaflet inviting them to the meeting. I have twice tried to register but have never received confirmation that I registered successfully nor were my comments registered on your portal.

Full text:

Section 1-3 email dated 26/8 further comments received email dated 15/9 for Section 1
1 Getting the Public Input as required by NFPA Clause 155 and other Clauses

The general public have not been properly advised by Braintree District ( BDC) and Colchester Borough Councils (CBC) of their plans for this new town previously known as West Tey. Both Councils did not widely circulate the Call for Sites information. The evidence behind this statement is that when a Petition organised by CAUSE from July 2015- November 2015 was conducted knocking on doors of houses in villages surrounding the West Tey area, of those people who answered, some 40% had not heard of West Tey including some whose houses/ gardens actually were immediately adjacent to the Call for Sites land ( FEER 231, FEER 231 OUT and FEER 511 OUT) A staggering 96% of people who answered readily signed the Petition which now stands at over 7620 signatures. This shows how deeply unpopular West Tey is. Even at 5 public meetings organised by CAUSE in March - May 2016, again about 30% of the 600 attendees had not heard about West Tey until receiving a leaflet inviting them to the meeting.

BDC very wisely sent all residents in its area a pamphlet advising them of the Public Consultation Period and the various Drop In Sessions. CBC did not send any similar leaflet or notification to its residents which I am very surprised about and raises significant questions as to whether CBC are being sufficiently open with its residents. In mid April 2016 I sent a copy of a letter I sent to the Essex County Standard about your Council "not listening to the local residents for planning matters" after attending your Local Plan subcommittee meeting in early April when this was the theme mentioned at several 3 minute talks from the public . I was disappointed but I had to send this same letter 5 times to your Council including twice to your Chief Executive until I got a reply from your Laura Chase on 31 May. Several friends of mine and myself attended some of these Drop In sessions and were dismayed to find how little information was actually on display about West Tey. For BDC Drop In Sessions, a larger version of the pamphlet was displayed only and at CBC sessions there were 2 posters about Garden Communities but not with any substantive information. At the Earls Colne Drop In Session 28 June, I asked the senior representative there how could the public be expected to give their opinions on West Tey when there was so little information displayed and it is completely unreasonable to expect the public to plough through thick reports on your website. He did not disagree with me. I asked him how many houses were planned to be built after the end of the Plan Period and he did not even know that nor could he give me any indication. This demonstrates how little information was known by Council staff at these Events. I was at the Earls Colne Village Hall for about 30 minutes yet only one other person from the public arrived. The Aecom report was not visible. At the Kelvedon Drop In session, I had to ask to see the Aecom Report which was in a box under a table; this was the same at the Colchester High Street Market Stall 15 July and at Eight Ash Green . I spoke with your Laura Chase at the Colchester Market Stall as she had written to me about the Petition and she confirmed CBC would consider, as part of this Consultation, all comments received before the start of the formal Consultation on 15 July. At Coggeshall , which included a representative from CBC, the room was so small in the Church that it was not easy to see anything.
The Councils kept no obvious records of public attendance at these Drop In Sessions nor was there the facility for the public to offer comments there. This approach is not conducive to encouraging public consultation. Overall, the Consultation was perfectly fine for the local fields selected for building near villages but completely unacceptable for new towns such as Garden Communities/ West Tey due to lack of information.
The Drop In Sessions in CBC area we attended were :
Coggeshall - we estimated maybe 150 attended
Wakes Colne - we estimated about 30 people attended
Stanway - we estimated about 50 people attended
Eight Ash Green - we estimated about 80 people attended and very few had even heard of West Tey
Marks Tey - we estimated 200 people attended maximum compared with 400 adults attending the Marks Tey primary school fete at the same time. This is a key village impacted by West Tey but yet the Drop in Session
was for only 4 hours on a Saturday mid morning compared with other BDC sessions that were weekdays for 5 hours until the early evening so commuters could attend.
The above shows a low attendance level probably due partly to lack of CBC notifying its residents about the Draft Local Plan.

2 Inadequate Information available to the Public to allow proper Consultation
The amount of information available to the public about West Tey was pitifully little. No information on exact location, on costs or schedule, new hospitals and schools were available. At best, the information would be described as not even a conceptual proposal. I worked all my life in the Oil Industry and had I proposed such a major Project as West Tey with a Capital Value of billions of pounds (including house building costs and land acquisition) to the main executive board of the oil company I worked for using the limited information you have given the Public for West Tey, quite rightly I would have lost my job. Frankly the information given in the Draft Local Plan is completely unsuitable for any Public Consultation or Decision Making Process about West Tey and you should stop this section of the Draft Local Plan and go out for Public Consultation again when you have more thorough information.

3 Conflicting information between the Draft Local Plan SP7 , SP9 and the Aecom Report
Your draft local plan mentions 2500 houses total for CBC and BDC at West Tey before 2033 and rising to 15,000 - 20,000 total after 2033. Yet the Aecom report which was not on easy display at the Drop In Sessions since it was normally in a box of papers under the table has options about up to 28,000 houses . This is in complete contradiction to the Aecom report unless you have dismissed the Aecom Option with up to 28,000 more houses. However as the Draft Local Plan mentions a rapid transit system and relocation of the Marks Tey railway station, these items are only more economic with the maximum number of houses indicating you may have not dismissed the 28,000 house option. This potential lack of factual accuracy by CBC is unacceptable and some people would say CBC are not being open with the Public. If you are seriously considering the 28,000 house option, this will cause complete selling blight of houses in the area . This is just creating confusion. The figure/picture 3.3 on page 41 of the draft local plan shows the West Tey town to be all north of the A120. This is incorrect and again shows confusing information

ADDITONAL COMMENTS FOR SECTION 1-
Getting the Public Input as required by NFPA Clause 155 and other Clauses

a) Colchester Council have now received the CAUSE Petition with 7623 signatures. It shows how deeply unpopular West Tey is with local residents. Colchester Council have erected signs on the Mill Road Sports Ground saying that they have carried out a survey with local residents about a particular topic and as a result of the majority of residents being concerned, CBC are implementing action concerning this topic. On this basis, you should take the opinion of 7623 people objecting to West Tey into serious consideration and do not allow it to proceed.

b) Braintree Council prepared a paper form that the Public could submit their comments on. Colchester Council did not do this and actively discouraged people from commenting by any means apart from using the online portal system. When people sent their comments to local.plan@colchester.gov.uk they often heard back telling them to submit their comments on the online Portal System. I have twice tried to register but have never received confirmation that I registered successfully nor were my comments registered on your portal. Numerous people have complained about this Portal system. Some people gained the impression that they could only submit 100 words. All of this is not conducive to encouraging the public to submit comments.