Thursday, 14 August 2014

Comments on Latest 'Focus on Longridge' Newsletter from Lib Dems

A few comments from me on the piece titled 'The Salary Brook Valley' in the Summer 2014 'Focus on Longridge' leaflet from the Colchester St. Anne's Lib Dems:

Tendring Council and the 'Salary Brook Valley'...

Tendring Council are putting forward some possible development in the 'Salary Brook Valley' - to the West of Wall's Wood - but by far the majority of their proposals of possible development are near the top of the ridges or over the other side. This can be seen in the maps referenced in my 12 and 15 July 2014 posts, and also by comparing with the Ordnance Survey map available on Bing Maps (Click Here for Bing Maps of the area), where the contour lines of the valley can be seen. The reason for this is that the Tendring Council part of the 'Salary Brook Valley' is partly-covered by Churn Wood and Wall's Wood, which are ancient woodland and cannot be developed.

Most of the undeveloped part of the Salary Brook Valley which might be developed - near Greenstead and Longridge Park, and North of Bromley Road - comes under Colchester Council, according to the maps referenced above.

So asking Tendring Council not to develop in the valley is not asking them to change too much!

Dual objections...

Some strong objections may need to be made to keep any Tendring Council developments out of their part of the 'Salary Brook Valley', and further away from it. However, having seen the maps referred-to in my 15 July 2014 post, it seems Colchester Council may be an equally, possibly more, important focus of objections, if and when the time comes.

Re-assuring statement comment...

I think the statement in the newsletter 'The above suggestion seemed well received both in Colchester and Tendring' is a vague statement to make, at this stage, when there is potentially so much work still to do. It gives the general impression things are going well, and people can sit back and relax! Does it mean 'well-received' by Colchester and Tendring Councils, or the residents of those areas? Have the planning departments officially received it well?

Wording comment...

I think the wording of all objections needs to be thought about very carefully. For example, the newsletter talks about 'possible future house building in the Salary Brook Valley' and 'residents...who oppose building houses on the Salary Brook Valley'. Actually, the Colchester Council part of the 'Salary Brook Valley' is subject to the possible building of a technology park - maybe not houses! Reference: maps referred-to in my 15 July 2014 post. (Obviously a technology park could be good for Colchester, but an appropriate location needs to be found.)

Direct 'ready for action' needed...

The proposals by Tendring and Colchester Councils are still in their early stages, but I think the newsletter should have directly given a 'ready for action' call to residents of Greenstead and Longridge Park, describing what they may need to do, rather than just online contact details.
Given the number of new houses these councils need to build, it is likely that action will be needed!
There are two public consultations scheduled for next year regarding the new Tendring District Local Plan, but these are not mentioned.
Colchester Council will also have public consultations regarding the new review of the Colchester Local Plan.
I think it is vital that as many people as possible object during these public consultations, if necessary, so I think they should have been mentioned.
The Lib Dems seem to be saying 'look at what we have done', when actually 'what you may need to do' directly in the newsletter is needed as well.

Definition of 'Salary Brook Valley'...

The term 'Salary Brook Valley' or whatever term is used in objections needs to be precisely defined, maybe more in line with the title of this blog, at the top of this page. The definition should clearly exclude all unwanted development - for example, the possible development around Churn Wood is very close to Colchester, but is not technically in the 'Salary Brook Valley' according to Bing Maps.

Link Road...

The newsletter does not mention the possible link road between the A133 and the A120. This new road would ideally be much further away from current built-up areas than any new development of houses or buildings.

Comments welcome!

Colchester East Action Group (CHEAG)

This post updated: 15,16,17 August 2014.