Monday, 21 September 2015

Tendring Council Issues and Options 2015 Consultation

Deadline: Tuesday 13 October 2015.

Tendring Council are currently running a consultation on their 'Local Plan Issues and Options 2015' document, starting Tuesday 1 September 2015 and ending on Tuesday 13 October 2015.

The possible 'Colchester Fringe' development to the East of Colchester is mentioned.

The consulation is described here:

Tendring District Local Plan: Issues and Options 2015

I have put together a draft response (below), which can be emailed to:

Please see the above-linked webpage for more details on other ways to respond, and other information.

Please feel free to amend my answers to fit your views, and add other answers if you read the document from the web page linked above. You might want to highlight parts of your answers different from mine below, to be sure the council take note of them.

Anonymous responses will not be accepted, so you must include your contact details. The council will publicly publish responses, but I assume contact details will not be included - please check the web page above, or contact Tendring Council if you are worried about this.

By email (or post):

[Start of email or letter]

Email Subject: Response to Tendring District Local Plan: Issues and Options 2015 Consultation

To: The Planning Policy Manager,
Planning Department,
Tendring District Council,
Council Offices,
Thorpe Road,
CO16 9AJ

From: [Your name here]
[Your Address Here]
Email: [Your email address here]
Telephone: [Your telephone number here - this may not be necessary]

Dear Sir/Madam,

Here are my answers to selected questions from your Issues and Options 2015 document.

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

Question 1

Do you agree that creating the conditions for economic growth and creating new jobs should be a top priority for the Local Plan?

It should be a priority, but it has to be balanced against the other equally, or more, important priorities of conserving heritage and the natural environment.

Question 5

Do you agree that we need to plan for the right number of new homes, of the right size, type and tenure to be built and in the right locations for current and future generations?

The council should also think about why so many new homes are needed, and whether there are any policies which could be put in place to reduce the number needed in future, perhaps by co-operating with national government.

Question 7

Do you have any other comments or suggestions about housing development?

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.

The following extract from an email to a Colchester East Action Group member from the Department for Communities and Local Government, received this year, states that good design of external appearance can be required by councils:

"The [NPPF] Framework also states that local and neighbourhood plans should develop robust and comprehensive policies that set out the quality of development that will be expected for the area and that planning policies and decisions should aim to ensure that developments are visually attractive as a result of good architecture and appropriate landscaping. It also encourages local planning authorities to consider using design codes where they could help deliver high quality outcomes."

This information has been sent on to Tendring Council planning department.

Also, the NPPF states that planning should always seek to secure high quality design and adds at paragraph 56: "Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, is indivisible from good planning." and at paragraph 64: "Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area.."

The new local plan should include provisions for requiring high-quality external appearance of new buildings and the developments they are in.

Question 13

Do you agree that protecting and enhancing the environment is an important issue for this Local Plan?

Yes, it is very important. The environment is crucial for education, cultural development and general wellbeing.

Heritage assets should all be preserved and well maintained.

Question 14

Do you have any thoughts about how the Council, through the Local Plan, should go about addressing this issue?

Wildlife habitats and landscapes should all be protected through appropriate designations, to prevent them being spolit in any way.

Question 17

Do you agree with the vision for the future of Tendring set out above?

Regarding the 'Colchester Fringe' development, when is comes to be considered:

The East side of Colchester is already well-developed, but 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, as described later in this answer. Too much new development directly on the Eastern border of existing developed areas of Colchester would create an unpleasant and unmanageable urban sprawl.

Furthermore, Tendring 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.

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.

One of the Colchester community groups organised an e-Petition with Colchester Council called 'Save Salary Brook Valley' which has nearly 800 signatories.

Please also take into account all objections to the 'Colchester Fringe' proposals received during your 6th January 2014 to 17th February 2014 public consultation.

Question 22

Are these the right planning policies to help the Council deliver sustainable development?

Green gaps of significant size between developments are very important, both for people and wildlife.

Green gaps of, say, at least 2km between developments per 1,000 dwellings in each development should be considered.

Question 26

Are these the right planning policies to help the Council plan for people?

Green infrastructure and green gaps are very important, both for people and wildlife.

Question 28

Are these the right planning policies to help the Council plan for places?

Regarding heritage, all listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled monuments should be preserved and maintained at all costs. Other heritage assets should be protected by a generous local list.
Other, unlisted, heritage assets should also be preserved and maintained.

Regarding nature conservation, important wildlife sites should be protected, but it should also be realised that these sites may not work on their own - they need a buffer of countryside suitable for wildlife around them.

Data Protection

I understand that any comments submitted cannot be treated as private and confidential and may be made available for public inspection. Respondents’ details will be held on a database in accordance with the terms of Tendring District Council’s registration with the UK Information Commissioner pursuant to the Data Protection Act 1998.

[End of Email or Letter]