Prevent development of Salary Brook Valley affecting residents of Greenstead and Longridge
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The Emerging Local Plan for Colchester (2017-2032) proposes a new 'garden community' on the border of Colchester and Tendring, to deliver up to 2,500 homes in the next 15 years, with eventually between 7,000-9,000 homes planned to be built in the Salary Brook Valley area (Colchester Preferred Options Local Plan, page 38, Policy SP8).
While we accept that there is a national need for more houses to be built, and that the area may benefit from increased infrastructure spending and opportunities for young people to be employed in the building industry, we are concerned about the potential negative impact on the environment of the existing Greenstead and Longridge communities, and so petition in favour of the following:
- The key design principles identified at the TCBGC Concept Framework Workshop outline a need for "avoiding coalescence with other settlements in particular Wivenhoe and Elmstead Market" (Issues and Options Report, page 12). Greenstead and Longridge residents are as entitled to protect the separate identity of the area and we ask that the green buffer between Greenstead, Longridge and the new development is equal to the buffers between Wivenhoe and Elmstead Market with no residential development West of Slough Road. This can be achieved by moving the residential developments North and closer towards the A120.
- The designation of the whole of the green buffer from Clingoe Hill to Bromley Road and as wide as Slough Lane as a Country Park to protect the current Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and the species not often encountered in the urban area including nightingale, reed warbler, lizard, water vole and four species of bat, including pipistrelle that are found there.
- That any housing development approved to the East of the above is made conditional on the planning, implementation and completion of the infrastructure required to support that development (roads, public transport, schools, healthcare, community facilities, sports and recreational facilities) before the new residential areas are opened.
- A full assessment being made of the potential flood risk of any new development making the existing flooding problems in the Salary Brook area any worse, and binding guarantees being obtained from water companies and the developers that specific measures that will be implemented to prevent the new development from increasing the flood risk, and to mitigate the existing level of flooding in the area.
- A commitment that any new development will include at least 30% affordable housing, will include new social housing for those currently unable to afford a home, and housing suitable for students, low income families, and single parents, who may currently struggle to afford suitable housing for their needs.
- Ring-fencing of the employment opportunities in the development of the garden village by using planning agreements to ensure maximising the benefits available from employment/apprenticeships for those unemployed across the whole town.
- Minimise the impact of the development upon Salary Brook by only placing new cycle network routes on pre-established footpaths.
We request that Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council work together to achieve the above for the benefit of the communities in Greenstead, Longridge, and the University of Essex.
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