North Essex Garden Communities: Local Plan Consultation

<-- Back to News Page August 22, 2019

In partnership together, the North Essex local planning authorities of Colchester Borough Council, Braintree District Council and Tendring District Council  submitted Section 1 of their respective Local Plan to the Secretary of State in October 2017 and an Examination in Public was carried out in January 2018 and May 2018. The appointed Planning Inspector’s post-hearing session made a number of recommendations to ensure that Section 1 remained sound, robust and legally compliant with planning policy processes. Since the publication of these recommendations, these North Essex authorities have been working on a revised evidence base, an additional Sustainability Appraisal and suggested amendments to Section 1 to address the issues raised by the Inspector.

The Planning Inspector did agree the housing growth figures up until 2033. This means that circa 2,220 new homes will need to be built across North Essex per annum. This would amount to 920 dwellings for Colchester, 716 dwellings for Braintree and 550 dwellings for Tendring.

The Planning Inspector raised some concerns with some elements of the Local plan, specifically the proposed garden communities and suggested further steps to ensure sound and legal compliance with the plan process. The North Essex Garden Communities is a project led in partnership by the three local Councils, together with Essex County Council to oversee and create new communities based on Garden City principles as a way of meeting future housing, job and infrastructure needs.

The additional evidence was published in June 2019 and was approved by both Braintree District Council and Tendring District Council, whilst Colchester Borough Council agreed to consult on the additional evidence. After this Colchester-led consultation event, the Planning Inspector will most likely hold further hearing sessions as part of the examination in Section 1 of the plans.

Colchester Borough Council is consulting on the following documents:

  • - Additional Sustainability Appraisal – an assessment of the environmental effects, and social and economic issue arising from the policies.
  • - Habitats Regulations Assessment – an assessment of the likely effects of development upon wildlife sites of European importance.
  • - Modal share Strategy for the North Essex Garden Communities – exploring alternatives to car use.
  • - Infrastructure Order of Costs estimate – a review of the infrastructure works associated with the three new garden communities in North Essex.
  • - Build Out Rates at the Garden Communities – This document explores build out rates and cites examples in other parts of the country.
  • - Delivery Mechanism Position Statement – exploring available delivery mechanisms for the garden communities.
  • - Section 1 Viability Assessment Update – the economic viability of garden community proposals is assessed.
  • - State Aid position Statement – A brief summary of state aid law.
  • - Employment Provision for North Essex Garden Communities – this document sets out the amount of employment land required at each garden community.
  • - Infrastructure Planning, Phasing and delivery – This document demonstrates the phased manner in which infrastructure will be delivered alongside the new homes.
  • - North Essex Rapid Transit System – This document explains how a high-quality rapid public transport system could be created.
  • - Proposed Amendments to Section 1 Plan – The North Essex Authorities have set out a table of amendments to address concerns raised by the Inspector.

The public consultation will end on 30th September 2019.

If you would like to discuss the implications of these consultation documents, how they may affect your development project, please contact ADP at mail@adpltd.co.uk to see how we can assist you.

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IMAGE SOURCE: North Essex Authorities Strategic (Section 1) Plan document

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