Saturday, 7 February 2015

Suggested Response to Colchester Local Plan Public Consultation, 16 January - 27 February 2015

1. Deadline

The deadline for responses to Colchester Council is 5pm, 27 February 2015.

It will really make a difference if you help by spreading the word to friends and neighbours.

2. Background

This consultation is about important issues to be decided for the future of the Colchester area. I suggest people read the following page:

Colchester Council: New Local Plan 2017-2032
Click Here

There is a lot of detail in the public consultation - the important thing for us is to just send some comments to the Council, we don't need to get bogged-down in all the information and issues.

The public consultation is described here:

Issues and Options Consultation (16 January - 27 February 2015)
Click Here

Please email me if you have any comments on what I have written here, there is an email button available from the 'View my complete profile' link under 'About Me' on this internet page.

3. Suggested Responses

There are two main ways to send comments to the council.

3.1 By Email (or Post)

Send your email to
This email address is on the consultation page linked above.

(Or send by post to: Spatial Policy Team, Colchester Borough Council, FREEPOST RLSL-ZTSR-SGYA, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1ZE.)

Suggested text of email (or letter) follows - please check that you agree, and edit as appropriate. You can just add any other ideas or opinions you have, they don't have to be answers to the questions listed.

(For anyone interested, the last part of the answer to question 29 below is adapted from the text of Appeal Ref APP/J1535/A/13/2201035 from The Planning Inspectorate, Point 16, regarding a separate planning application elsewhere in Essex.)

[Start of Email (or Letter)]

" re Colchester Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation, 16 January - 27 February 2015

Here are my answers to selected questions from your online questionnaire.

Please personally send me confirmation of receipt of this email and display my comments, without my personal details, on your web site.

29.Which option do you think would form the most appropriate strategy for the growth of the Borough and why?

Options 2A and 2B, which do not involve new development to the East of Colchester, are most appropriate because the East is already well-developed, and has some well-used and important green open spaces nearby which are valued by the public, and are important for wildlife. These green open spaces, stretching to a distance of at least 1.5km away from existing development, should be untouched by new development. Too much new development directly on the Eastern border of existing developed areas of Colchester would create an unpleasant and unmanageable urban sprawl. Please also see my answer to question 32.

Furthermore, Colchester Council, by introducing a significant amount of residential or other development into the countryside to the East of Colchester, would materially harm the character and appearance of the rural area contrary to the objectives of national policy (National Planning Policy Framework, 2012, paragraph 17, 5th bullet point; paragraph 109; and paragraph 81 is also related, although paragraph 81 is specific to Green Belts). This may also contravene local planning policy.

Local and national policy should collectively recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, seek to enhance the rural landscape and visual amenity of any Green Belt or general green land, and prevent development conspicuous from within any Green Belt or general green land which would have an excessive impact on rural character.

32. Should we look to have high densities if possible, if so, where do you think higher densities would be appropriate and why?

If there is to be new development to the East of Colchester, there should be a buffer of green, completely undeveloped land of 1.5km around Salary Brook.
This protected 'Salary Brook Valley' would include the Salary Brook itself, plus currently-undeveloped land 1.5km either side of the brook, along its entire length between Ardleigh and where the brook meets the River Colne.

25. Do you have any further comments to make on design and heritage related issues?

Many modern housing developments are a mishmash of different styles, often side-by-side. This looks awful. More control should be placed on housing developers, so that estates have a uniform, attractive appearance.
Heritage of all kinds, including architecture, is a very important part of Colchester, and utmost importance should be placed on preserving it.

28. Do you have any further comments to make about issues related to the Natural Environment?

The natural enviroment is a very important resource for Colchester, its people and its wildlife, and should be preserved as much as possible.

Please do not display my personal contact details on the internet.

Please let me know if you need more information from me.

Your name.
Your postcode.
Your contact telephone number.
(Plus your full address if you want to send it)."

[End of Email (or Letter)]

If you have time, check that your response is included when the consultation results are published.

3.2 Using the Online Questionnaire

Find the text 'Complete the Issues and Options questionnaire.' in the 'Issues and Options Consultation (16 January - 27 February 2015)' web page linked above - you will need to 'Page Down' to find it because it is quite far down the web page and will probably not be shown on the first page of text you see after clicking-on the link.

Answer the questions as suggested above in the 'By Email' section, or as you see fit.

Just leave answers blank in the questionnaire where you don't have any comment - the council expect this.

I advise adding any ideas you think are relevant in your answers, even if you don't have time to fully check the council documents.

Colchester East Action Group (CHEAG)

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