1 Introduction

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Comment

Section 1 - Publication Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 6019

Received: 16/06/2017

Respondent: Mr. Alexander Riley

Representation:

We need to involve other neighbouring authorities, such as Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal, on strategic cross border issues.

Working across functional economic areas is positive, but infrastructure improvements must be a central concern for Colchester and our neighbouring local authorities. We could lobby a weakened government for devolved funding.

Need to implement strategies to attract high value, innovative businesses from London and Cambridge to Colchester - the danger of not doing this and simply focussing on housing is that we become a dormitory town.

Full text:

1. On point 1.3, why is that council not actively engaged with Ipswich Borough Council, and potentially Suffolk Coastal District Council (soon to be part of East Suffolk), on strategic cross border issues? It seems to me that we have far more strategic interest in engaging with Ipswich than South Cambridgeshire or Mid Suffolk for example.

2. Working strategically across functional economic areas is certainly the right way to go, but my concern is that this doesn't address the practical problems that significant area growth brings. Infrastructure was mentioned, but the reality is that major investment is required to improve the road networks, hospitals and schools across the area. Right now the bulk of the funding for this lies with central government, as an offshoot of the Local Plan process it would be useful to organise the group of local authorities within the Haven Gateway (and beyond) to lobby government to have much of this funding devolved. There is an opportunity to do this with a hung parliament. It's all well and good that neighbouring authorities can agree on their proportion of the functional economic area growth to facilitate, but the practical problems that this growth catalyses needs to be addressed in a more systematic and collaborative way - discarding organisational sovereignty and realising the all forms of government are there to work for the good of the people.

3. Colchester's proximity to London and Cambridge is an opportunity as well as a challenge. But the strategic direction that we could fall into, and we need to be aware of in order to avoid, is to simply become dormitory towns for those growing economic centres - where the high value jobs growth and innovation is occurring. What we should instead be doing is looking to expand Colchester as a business-friendly location for those high value innovative businesses, being choked by the overpriced London and Cambridge markets, to relocate to. Housing growth, and hence better affordability, is key to this. But there are other considerations; as mentioned before infrastructure needs a substantial upgrade (both soft and hard), but there could also be policy interventions by the local authorities to attract businesses - e.g. not charging businesses rates for the first two years to high value businesses who relocate to the area.

Support

Section 1 - Publication Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 6156

Received: 08/08/2017

Respondent: The University of Essex

Agent: The JTS Partnership LLP

Representation:

The University of Essex welcomes the collaborative approach being taken by Colchester, Tendring and Braintree Councils towards the delivery of major infrastructure, housing and employment allocations across the North Essex area.

Full text:

The University of Essex welcomes the collaborative approach being taken by Colchester, Tendring and Braintree Councils towards the delivery of major infrastructure, housing and employment allocations across the North Essex area. The University supports the strategic priorities identified at paragraph 1.29 and urges the Council(s) to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is delivered before, or concurrent with, the envisaged housing and employment growth.

The University is located within Colchester, and adjacent to the Tendring boundary, and it supports the joined-up, and cohesive, approach that is being taken to the delivery of development by the North Essex Authorities. The University considers that this approach will better help it achieve its own sustainable growth objectives, whilst also benefitting the staff and student cohort, many of whom live within the Colchester and Tendring areas.

Object

Section 1 - Publication Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 6555

Received: 09/08/2017

Respondent: Mr. Colin Tuckwell

Representation:

The inherent ambition and opportunity within the plans is not nearly matched by the quality of strategic development thinking or understanding of delivery of such programmes. Essential in any programme like this is a clear definition of goals, priorities, dependencies, constraints and structures defining delivery approach and responsibilities. All are absent; delivery has ONE PAGE? Economic development thought is impoverished. The programme's scale would be of interest to people of world class skill, experience and investment credentials. Our communities should demand no less. Current thinking and advisers appear grossly limited for leading/facilitating a programme of this importance and opportunity scale.

Full text:

This representation confirms my input to the consultation process in August 2016. I've had little time to input similar time to your up-dated plans this year, but my observations on major absences of high quality strategic and economic development thinking, experience of delivering very large, highly complex programmes and defining community vision and societal and economic opportunities within this era of rapid change for all stakeholders leads me to high scepticism that those hitherto involved appreciate what they are proposing in design or delivery terms. My observations of August 2016 are attached. My apologies for not having been able to up-date my earlier comments. From briefly reviewing your up-dated plans, I believe them still to be in large part valid comments for very deep consideration in aiding value to added for our community.

Support

Section 1 - Publication Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 6725

Received: 11/08/2017

Respondent: Marks Tey Parish Council

Agent: PJPC Ltd

Representation:

The strategic approach regarding the Garden Communities is supported and visionary / forward looking, However as they are extremely ambitious and potentially costly their viability must be proven. There should be clear indications that they will support and enhance existing communities through full collaboration and that they will provide fully sustainable settlements at each stage of development. Clear parameters / principles must be enshrined within the plan to guide development now and in the future to avoid uncertainty,

Full text:

Marks Tey Parish is a community of some 2,500 residents and some 120 different businesses, consisting of the village of Marks Tey and the separate hamlet of Little Tey, both situated and divided by the A12 and A120 trunk roads which divide the community into 5 definable separate areas. Marks Tey has a main line station into London, is the start of a single line rail connection to Sudbury in Suffolk, and is on Junction 25 of the dualled A12. Work is currently being planned on widening the A12 (in the current roads programme) and of rerouting and dualling the A120 (for a future roads programme). Both Marks Tey and Little Tey has a church, but Little Tey St James the Less Church is parochially linked with the neighbouring village of Great Tey not with St Andrews Church Marks Tey. The whole area of Marks Tey Parish is (uniquely of all parishes in the Braintree/Colchester/Tendring authorities) totally covered by the zone identified in the LP for one of the Garden Communities.

MTPC supports the general approach of the North Essex authorities in meeting the strategic needs of the area. In particular, it is considered that the principle of seeking to accommodate a significant amount of the growth needed to meet the objectively assessed needs of the area partly within a number of Garden Communities, to be a visionary and forward-looking approach. However, it is an extremely ambitious and potentially costly approach which needs to be based on a proven and realistic, achievable strategy. If these can be demonstrated, then MTPC would support the principle provided they provide advantage to existing/involved communities in the short, medium, and long term.

This approach is also supported if it means that it has the potential to deliver a level of housing greater than the assessed need as this will provide some flexibility in housing delivery should other sites not come forward - however, that of course depends on the garden communities themselves being viable.

Following on from various consultations that have taken place thus far, it is unclear how large these communities might actually grow and thus the consequences for and effects on existing communities such as those in Marks Tey Parish are uncertain and therefore difficult to assess and this uncertainty could exist for 30 or more years.

It is noted that the general approach of providing new standalone sustainable communities is a strategy being considered throughout the country to meet the significant level of housing need, MTPC find it surprising that the draft plan itself does not clearly set out the principles that such developments are based on and seek to achieve. These are clearly identified in the relevant TCPA documents which are taken forward through the Garden Communities Charter. It is suggested that these should form the basis of the specific section dealing with the garden communities.

Whilst MTPC support the principle of the Garden Communities subject to the comments made (as above), there is concern that alternative strategies may not have been fully considered. MTPC note that the justification for this given by CBC is that this is the only way to defend against scattered developer led development, which in the past has not led to promised facilities being delivered, and changes to the original plans. MTPC is not against this, as all the local landowners have advanced plans to develop their land, and it is likely that Marks Tey Parish could be extended by developers in a less planned way, without appropriate facilities, if not controlled with an overall plan for the area, as we have seen elsewhere.

The full response of MTPC is set out in the attached statement.

Support

Section 1 - Publication Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 6802

Received: 11/08/2017

Respondent: Dedham Parish Council

Representation:

Dedham Parish Council feel the Local Plan is Legally Compliant, they have complied with their duty to Co-operate, and the plan is Sound. In respect to the issues we raised regarding downsizing, Dedham Parish Council's views (as submitted at the last consultation) have been represented in the Settlement Boundary Review (updated June 2017) as part of the New Local Plan Evidence Base.

Full text:

Dedham Parish Council feel the Local Plan is Legally Compliant, they have complied with their duty to Co-operate, and the plan is Sound. In respect to the issues we raised regarding downsizing, Dedham Parish Council's views (as submitted at the last consultation) have been represented in the Settlement Boundary Review (updated June 2017) as part of the New Local Plan Evidence Base.

Object

Section 1 - Publication Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 7285

Received: 18/09/2017

Respondent: Bloor Homes

Agent: Strutt & Parker

Representation:

Officer Comment - In relation tot he SA / SEA
______________________________________________________________
The NPPF requires decisions to be justified and based on proportionate evidence (p.182) the SA/SEA does not consider an alternative to the currently drafted SG8. As such, it is necessary for the SA/SEA to consider an alternative scenario for SG* which considers housing delivery through neighbourhood plans as a minimum and not for the proposed dwelling numbers to be treated as a ceiling.

Full text:

1. Introduction and Background
1.1 These representations to the Colchester Borough Publication (Regulation 19) Draft Local
Plan (the PDLP) are submitted by Strutt & Parker LLP on behalf of Bloor Homes, who are
actively promoting the residential development of land at Maldon Road, Tiptree (SLAA
reference C104/ TIP09). Representations have been submitted previously to the Preferred
Options Local Plan (2016) (Regulation 18).
1.2 Land at Maldon Road, Tiptree represents a sustainable and deliverable site capable of
accommodating new homes to help meet local housing need and to support the community
of Tiptree. The site measures approximately 10 hectares and is capable of delivering up to
250 dwellings. The site is situated to the north west of Maldon Road, on the western side of
the village, adjoining the existing settlement boundary of Tiptree. The site is well located
relative to existing village services and is in single ownership; The site accords with National
Policy deliverable criteria set out at paragraph 47 and is available, suitable location and
achievable. A plan showing this site is provided as Appendix 1 to this submission.
1.3 Bloor Homes is one of the largest house builders in the UK. They have a proven track record
of delivering new homes across a range of sites, with a local East Anglian team designing and
building homes in the area. Bloor Homes' current developments are located locally at Earl's
Garden Sible Hedingham, Kingswood Heath Colchester and Rowhedge Wharf, Rowhedge.
They are also taking forward strategic developments in Chelmsford, Halstead and elsewhere
across the County, working successfully with local authorities.
1.4 Bloor Homes has been actively promoting the site through the Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan,
in addition to the Borough's emerging Local Plan. A copy of the Concept Statement
submitted to the Tiptree Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Call for Sites in July 2017 has
been provided at Appendix 2.
1.5 In respect of the PDLP, whilst the general approach to Tiptree as a sustainable settlement is
strongly supported, we are of the view that the emerging Local Plan is not sound or legally
compliant in its current form and some alterations are required to address these defects.
This representation sets out the elements of the Local Plan that are supported, as well as the
specific elements considered unsound/ not legally complaint; detailing why; and setting out
proposed solutions to ensure the Local Plan is sound and legally compliant.
The format of our written representations comprise this Written Representation Statement,
completed response forms for each relevant policy, site location plan and Concept
Statement submitted to the Neighbourhood Plan consultation. These representations focus
on policies SG2, SG8 and SS14 and provide comments on the effectiveness of the Plan; the
justification of the Plan and policies; and whether the Plan accords with national policy. We
therefore consider the PDLP does not satisfy the tests of soundness, as set out by Paragraph
182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
2. Representations
Policy SG1 - Colchester's Spatial Strategy
SUPPORT
2.1 Section 12 of the PDLP sets out a settlement hierarchy. We support the principle of a
settlement hierarchy identifying the Borough's main settlements and its use as a framework
for the distribution of development and site allocations.
2.2 Paragraph 12.9 and Table SG1 identifies Tiptree as a Sustainable Settlement. We strongly
support the appropriate identification of Tiptree as a higher order, sustainable settlement
within the Borough's settlement hierarchy. Tiptree is a District Centre supported by a
number of key services and community facilities, such as two supermarkets, 4 primary
schools, a secondary school, a community centre and a range of shops, cafes and
restaurants.
Policy SG2 - Housing Delivery
OBJECT
2.3 Whilst we support the settlement hierarchy, it is important that the Local Plan does not
adopt an overly prescriptive approach to the distribution of housing. We encourage the
Council to identify an appropriate balance of small, medium and large sites which can
maintain a consistent delivery over the plan period. Sites within sustainable settlements,
such as land north of Maldon Road, Tiptree, are capable of delivering housing in the short
term given they are not exposed to long lead-in times.
2.4 The proposed spatial strategy for North Essex and Colchester is focussed on delivering
significant strategic development over the plan period, reliant on the delivery of
infrastructure and investment. As part of the spatial strategy additional growth will be
delivered in sustainable settlements. The NPPF highlights the importance of ensuring
strategies are deliverable (paragraph 182), and that a constant five-year housing land supply
is sustained over the plan period (paragraph 47). The NPPF also requires the strategy for
meeting objectively assessed housing needs to be sufficiently flexible to respond to change
(paragraph 14). We therefore consider that Policy SG2 of the PDLP is amended to emphasise
the need for deliverable sites across the plan period.
2.5 Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework seeks to boost significantly the
supply of housing. As such, housing targets should not be considered as a maximum
requirement or a ceiling for an area and should instead represent a minimum. Policy SG2
apportions 600 new homes to the settlement. Whilst we support the principle of additional
dwellings at Tiptree, it is suggested that the wording of the policy is amended to express this
new level of development as a minimum for sustainable settlements to encourage and
boost the delivery of housing in the Borough.
2.6 Proposed amended policy wording:
Policy SG2-Housing Delivery
The Local Planning Authority will plan, monitor and manage the delivery of at least 14,720
new homes in Colchester Borough between 2017 and 2033. The housing target is based on a
robust Objectively Assessed Housing Need figure of 920 homes a year and provides
alignment with the targets for the delivery of employment land.
The overall distribution of new housing, as shown in Table SG2, is guided by the settlement
hierarchy set out in the Spatial Strategy and Policy SG1. New housing development will be
focused on the following key areas:
 Colchester urban area (Place policies for Central, North, South, East and West
Colchester)
 Tendring / Colchester Borders Garden Community (Section 1 Policy SP8)
 Colchester / Braintree Borders Garden Community (Section1 Policy SP9)
Detailed decisions on the location, type and level of development to be carried out in the
Garden Communities will be made through joint plans to be agreed with the relevant local
planning authority, either Braintree (west) or Tendring (east), as outlined in Section1 of this
plan.
To maintain the vitality and viability of the Borough's smaller towns and villages, an
appropriate level of new development will be brought forward in Sustainable Settlements to
support new homes and economic and social development across the plan period. Details on
those allocations are provided in Policies SS1- SS16 (Sustainable Settlements) and expressed
as minimum targets.
Policy SG8 - Neighbourhood Plans
SUPPORT
2.7 The PDLP seeks to encourage towns and villages to plan for the specific needs of their
communities by developing Neighbourhood Plans. We are strongly supportive of the
preparation of Neighbourhood Plan for Tiptree settlement.
Policy SG8 - Neighbourhood Plans
OBJECT
2.8 Whilst we are supportive of the principle of neighbourhood planning, we do consider that
Policy SG8 should be amended to expressly state the need for neighbourhood plans to boost
the delivery of housing provision. Recognition that housing targets should not be seen as a
ceiling to delivery, as referenced at paragraph 2.5 of this Statement, will assist to achieve the
PDLP's sustainable growth, natural environment and places objectives and National Planning
Policy (paragraph 47).
2.9 The spatial strategy for North Essex and Colchester relies on a significant number of
dwellings to be delivered as large strategic allocations, reliant on the provision of extensive
infrastructure which is time-consuming prior to housing delivery. Beyond these large
strategic sites sustainable settlements will prepare neighbourhood plans to direct growth in
their areas. As a result, the Local Plan relies on significant number of homes coming forward
later in the plan period. It is therefore requested that the policy is amended to encourage
the delivery of homes through neighbourhood plans across the plan period to ensure that a
constant five-year housing land supply and delivery is sustained over the plan period
(paragraph 47).
2.10 The NPPF requires decisions to be justified and based on proportionate evidence (paragraph
182). The SA/SEA does not consider an alternative to the currently drafted Policy SG8. As
such, it is necessary for the PDLP to consider housing delivery through neighbourhood plans
as a minimum and not for the proposed dwelling numbers to be treated as a ceiling.
2.11 Proposed amended wording:
Policy SG8: Neighbourhood Plans
Towns and villages are encouraged to plan for the specific needs of their communities by
developing Neighbourhood Plans. The Local Planning Authority will support Parish and Town
Councils and Neighbourhood Forums (in unparished areas) to prepare Neighbourhood Plans
containing locally determined policies to guide land use and meet future development needs
in their areas early in the plan period. Neighbourhood Plans will include policies relating to
housing delivery which will boost the delivery of housing for their areas. Neighbourhood
Plans are being prepared for Eight Ash Green, Marks Tey, Stanway, Tiptree, West Bergholt,
Wivenhoe and West Mersea.
In cases where a Neighbourhood Plan fails at any time prior to being made, responsibility for
all planning policy matters within that plan area will revert back to the Local Planning
Authority.
Neighbourhood Plans have been made for Boxted and Myland and Braiswick and these now
form part of the Development Plan for Colchester.
Policy SS14 -Tiptree
OBJECT
2.12 Supporting text to the Tiptree section of the PDLP (Paragraph 14.216-7) acknowledges that
Tiptree is a highly sustainable settlement, well served by a high number and range of key
services, including supermarkets and educational facilities. Paragraph 14.219 also states that
it has been agreed with the Neighbourhood Plan Group that Tiptree will deliver 600 new
dwellings over the plan period, and that this quantum is considered an appropriate level of
growth for Tiptree. This has informed Policy SS14 'Tiptree'.
2.13 Whilst we do not object to development being directed to Tiptree we consider that Policy
SS14 should be amended to encourage the delivery of a minimum of 600 dwellings. If a
subsequent Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan were to fail to treat this figure as a minimum not
only would this be contrary to Policy SG2 of the PDLP, there is also risk that the flexibility of
the Borough's strategy to meet housing need and its ability to respond to changing
circumstances would be undermined, and it may result in a disproportionate level of housing
growth being directed to less sustainable settlements. Further clarity that this number is to
be treated as a minimum should be provided to ensure the Local Plan is effective, positively
prepared and deliverable, as required by the NPPF (paragraph 182).
2.14 Further to this in the event the Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan is not produced and made in a
reasonable time, sites in the settlement should still come forward. Provisions should be
made for this, ensuring housing delivery in sustainable settlements contributes to the
Borough's housing need.
2.15 We recognise the need to identify a range of sites to meet the Borough's housing need.
However, we also recognise that medium sized sites in sustainable settlements play an
important role in delivering greater benefits to the wider community than small or
piecemeal development. The delivery of development of a sufficient scale will deliver a
quantum of development capable of securing community benefits through planning
obligations. The PDLP does not acknowledge this in Policy SS14. Land north of Maldon Road,
Tiptree would provide development of a sufficient scale to achieve the delivery of new
homes to the Borough and wider community benefits supported by an appropriate s.106
package.
When considering the inter-relationship between local plans and neighbourhood plans,
paragraphs 183 to 185 of the National Planning Policy Framework (which sets out the
Government's objective for neighbourhood plans) should be carefully considered. Paragraph
184 states that "Neighbourhood planning provide a powerful set of tools for local people to
ensure that they get the right types of development for their community". However, it also
states that "The ambition of the neighbourhood should be aligned with the strategic needs
and priorities of the wider local areas." The current approach taken in this Local Plan does
not provide sufficient certainty.
2.16 Proposed amended policy wording:
Policy SS14: Tiptree
Within the broad areas of growth shown on the Tiptree policies map, the Tiptree
Neighbourhood Plan will:
(i) Define the extent of a new settlement boundary for Tiptree;
(ii) Identify specific sites of sufficient scale to achieve the delivery of a minimum of 600
dwellings, supported by an appropriate s.106 package;
(iii) Set out any associated policies needed to support this housing delivery i.e. housing mix,
type of housing and density for each site allocated for housing;
(iv) Set out the policy framework to guide the delivery of any
infrastructure/community facilities required to support the development;
(V) Consider strategic cross boundary issues e.g. A12 junction improvements
(vI) Identify other allocations in the Parish, including employment and open space.
Proposals for development outside of the identified broad areas and the settlement
boundary for growth will not be supported. This policy should be read in conjunction with the
generic Neighbourhood Planning policy SG8, policy SG3 and policies in the Tiptree
Neighbourhood Plan, once it has been adopted.
Policy SS14 Inset Map (Broad Areas of Growth)
SUPPORT
2.17 The identification of land at Maldon Road, Tiptree as a broad area of growth is supported.
This area of the settlement benefits from a lack of physical constraints that would prohibit
the development of homes. It is not subject to any environmental, ecological or heritage
designations that would restrict development.
2.18 The direction of growth to the south western boundary of the village provides an
opportunity to deliver new homes in a location where the strategic highway network is
easily accessible. Development within this location may also provide the opportunity to
contribute towards a strategy to provide better north-south links to the west of the village.
2.19 The factors that render the area in which this site sits as a suitable and sustainable broad
area of growth (as per Policy SS14 and the accompanying Policy Map) all apply directly to
this site, and this site is ideally placed to be able to realise potential benefits of development
in this location.
2.20 This site is being actively promoted by an established house-builder with an excellent track
record of delivery high-quality homes in the area, and can be brought forward to help met
housing need in the short/medium term.
2.21 Further, the site is in single land ownership and can come forward early in the plan period.
2.22 We enclose the Concept Statement submitted to Tiptree Parish Council's Neighbourhood Plan Call for Sites process at Appendix 2 for information and inclusion as part of these representations.

Attachments: