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Eight Ash Green Neighbourhood Plan


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No Comments Neighbourhood Plan Objectives and Policies

View Comments (2) 9 VILLAGE SETTLEMENT BOUNDARY

Objective

To provide for a new Village Settlement Boundary for Eight Ash Green

Policy

VSB 1: To extend the current Village Settlement Boundary to include the area of Fiddlers Field (formerly known as Site 226)

Context

9.1 Colchester Borough Council undertook a Settlement Boundary Review[8] as part of the evidence base for the proposed Local Plan 2017 - 2033. The Review makes reference to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Eight Ash Green; an appropriate level of growth of around 150 additional dwellings in the village; and site RNW67 – referred later on as Site 226 – now known as Fiddlers Field.

9.2 As mentioned in Section 5 above, the draft Local Plan Policy SS5 states the Neighbourhood Plan will "Define the extent of a new Settlement Development Boundary for Eight Ash Green".

Intent

9.3 Although the proposed Local Plan has not yet been adopted, nevertheless, the Eight Ash Green Parish Council has long recognised and accepted that as a result of the exponential growth of the population in Colchester and surrounding localities, it is inevitable that additional housing will be developed in the village at some stage in the future[9], irrespective of the outcome of the proposed 2017-2033 Local Plan. As a consequence, the current Settlement Boundary will need to be extended in due course to accommodate further housing. Following consultations with the villagers about their preferred location for any potential future development, the Parish Council subsequently agreed to the extension of the Village Settlement Boundary to include the Fiddlers Field site[10] - see below - therefore providing the opportunity for additional domestic housing to be built, in keeping with the existing dwellings in the village.

Map of the current Settlement Boundary

to include Fiddlers Field

9.4 Further details can be found in the Village Settlement Boundary document available on the Neighbourhood Plan website.

View Comments (12) 10 FIDDLERS FIELD DEVELOPMENT (FORMERLY SITE 226)

Objectives

To provide for one new, single Strategic Site for development of 150 domestic dwellings as part of the emerging Colchester Borough Council Local Plan

To provide high quality housing that reflects the existing, distinct open character area of the village and meets the appropriate needs of the community both now and in the future

Policy

FF 1 – To designate Fiddlers Field as a single Strategic Site for the development of

150 dwellings

Layout of Fiddlers Field

Policy

10.1 Development proposals will be supported where it can be clearly demonstrated by way of relevant plans and supporting documents that they will provide:-

FF 2 – Up to 150 residential dwellings on Fiddlers Field with a layout of medium density and design to be compatible with the character and context of the village

FF 3 – A mix of residential dwellings comprising houses, bungalows and flats of no more than two storeys high which meet the evidenced housing needs of the village offering homes for first time buyers, downsizers, families and executives

FF 4 - A new direct access road built to a standard which can accommodate HGV traffic and to the satisfaction of the local Highways Authority, will be provided directly linking Fiddlers Hill to the A1124 with access to the said road being provided by way of priority junctions

FF 5 – A specific speed limit and other speed limiting measures that are appropriate to the residential roads within Fiddlers Field site

FF 6 – A new pavement built to standards outlined within Highways England Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Volume 7 Pavements Design and Maintenance, will be provided along the northern edge of the A1124 to connect the site to the village facilities

FF 7 – A pedestrian through route linking to the Holy Trinity School and the Fiddlers Folly development

FF 8 – Two new bus stops, including lay-by, raised kerb and shelter located on the A1124 within 50 metres of the site entrance

FF 9 – A suitable landscaping plan which provides screening to the existing businesses on Fiddlers Farm and adjacent houses, to include the Grade 2 listed Fiddlers Farmhouse, all of which border and limit any expansion of the site, to ensure that ambient noise and amenity currently enjoyed at these properties is maintained

FF 10 – A scheme demonstrating that appropriate surface water drainage is provided within the site

FF 11 – Appropriate wiring to be installed within each property to provide for charging for electric cars/vehicles

FF 12 - Ducting to be installed to every new house on the site for the provision of either copper or fibre superfast broadband

FF 13 - All the new dwellings on the site should have the potential for the installation of sustainable battery pods that stores energy from renewable sources

FF 14 – A Section 106 agreement in respect of a recreational play area on the site, a contribution towards the delivery of a new community centre/hub, a contribution towards the expansion of the local primary school and should it be found necessary, a contribution towards the expansion of capacity of Junction 26 of the A12

Context

10.2 Eight Ash Green is a small, quiet village with its own distinct open character made up not just of the open views to be found externally to the settlement, but also within the village, both of which reproduces a sense of spaciousness. There is a strong link here with the Landscape Character Assessment referred to in Section 3 above where "Character is influenced by ....other intangible aspects such as tranquillity and sense of place".

10.3 Having accepted that the village is to deliver 150 dwellings in support of the emerging Colchester Borough Council Local Plan, the primary question is where they should be located.

Intent

10.4 The intent behind the various elements of the Policy is to ensure they support the Objectives set out above. They do this by clarifying there is to be a single Strategic Site (Fiddlers Field) (FF 1) that is to accommodate the number of dwellings agreed with Colchester Borough Council (FF 2); the layout of the new housing to be in keeping with the character and context of the village (FF 2); the new development to accommodate the different types of housing (FF 3) to include having appropriate landscape measures (FF 9 and 14) that help to reinforce the rural nature of the village eg the protected Fiddlers Wood on the North West boundary of Fiddlers Field; and the provision of effective pedestrian and transport links (FF 6, 7 and 8)


Supporting Evidence

10.5 Supporting Evidence for the Policies FF1 -14 can be found in the "Neighbourhood Plan Objectives and Policies – Supporting Evidence" document available on the Neighbourhood Plan website.

FF1 – To designate Fiddlers Field as a single Strategic Site for the development of 150 dwellings

Rationale

10.6 As fully described in the Site Selection process document, as part of the democratic process, Fiddlers Field has become the Chosen Site by the villagers for future development in the village in support of the emerging Local Plan. The assessment of all the sites put forward for potential development, undertaken by the Neighbourhood Plan Group, fully supports the Fiddlers Field choice.

10.7 Discussions with both the villagers and the Parish Council has shown that there is no appetite for the 150 houses to be built across numerous sites or plots around the village - the strong preference is for them to be built on a new single "strategic" site chosen by the villagers. The present estates are well defined with distinct boundaries and any extension to these could lead to the development of urban sprawl and/or ribbon development difficult to control coupled with additional traffic passing through the already busy estate roads, potentially posing a danger to children and/or elderly residents.

FF 2 – Up to 150 residential dwellings on Fiddlers Field with a layout of medium density and design to be compatible with the character and context of the village

Rationale

10.8 Having an open layout to a development not only encourages wellbeing but also is more in keeping with living in Eight Ash Green which is a rural village with its wide open spaces nestled in the beautiful Essex countryside.

10.9 Medium density housing is more in keeping with the feel of a rural village like Eight Ash Green whereas high density housing is more in keeping with an urban environment. See also paragraph 3.2 above which shows that three out of the four existing settlement areas in Eight Ash Green have medium or low density housing.

FF 3 – A mix of residential dwellings comprising houses, bungalows and flats of no more than 2 storeys high which meet the evidenced housing needs of the village offering homes for first time buyers, downsizers, families and executives

Rationale

10.10 The provision of a mixture of different types of housing not only contributes to the sustainability of a community providing the opportunity to meet and mix with other family units but it also provides a measure of choice for potential residents. In addition, a mixture will provide housing for first time buyers such as young people who want to get on the housing ladder and for elderly people to downsize and be able to continue to live within the village.

10.11 It is important that the new dwellings to be built on Fiddlers Field do not materially alter the character of the village (see for example details of the physical survey of the village carried out in 2017 as set out in Section 3.2 above) and an indication of both the type/number and style/number of properties that may be built on Site 226, reflecting the views of the villagers are set out in Annex B.

10.12 Eight Ash Green is an open, rural village with plenty of open spaces and views. The construction of either very tall houses and/or high rise flats of more than 2 storeys would not only look odd but would not be in keeping with the current feel and look of the village.

10.13 Another strong link with the Landscape Character Assessment referred to in Section 3 above is relevant here where Character is defined "as a distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements that make each landscape different". The "consistent pattern of elements" referred to are that in the village, there are no dwellings more than two storeys high.


FF 4 - A new direct access road built to a standard which can accommodate HGV traffic and to the satisfaction of the local Highways Authority, will be provided directly linking Fiddlers Hill to the A1124 with access to the said road being provided by way of priority junctions

Rationale

10.14 The key reasons why the villagers chose Fiddlers Field (in March & April 2016 and January 2017 and the 2017 Annual Public Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Group) as their preferred option for future development, were:-

  • the proposed link road directly connecting the A1124 and Fiddlers Hill, thus taking traffic and HGVs in particular, away from the school at Fiddlers Folly and the dangerous bend by Porters Cottages; and
  • the proposed priority junctions by way of mini-roundabouts on the A1124 and Fiddlers Hill which in the case of the former, would have the ability to slow the traffic down – motorists are observed exceeding the 40mph speed limit on the A1124 and also ignoring the 30mph speed limit upon entering the village itself on the edge of Fiddlers Field

FF 5 – A specific speed limit and other speed limiting measures that are appropriate to the residential roads within Fiddlers Field site

Rationale

10.15 So as to ensure the safety of residents (eg children and the elderly), there is a need for speed restriction on the proposed new development.

FF 6 – A new pavement built to standards outlined within the Highways England Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Volume 7 Pavements Design and Maintenance[11], will be provided along the northern edge of the A1124 to connect the site to the village facilities

Rationale

10.16 It is vital that pedestrians, particularly parents with children in prams/buggies, people using wheelchairs and/or the elderly are able to walk safely in the village alongside the road network, in the knowledge that they are doing so on a safe and stable surface, clearly separated from the nearby traffic. The current pavement that sits alongside the very busy A1124 and the Fiddlers Field site is both very low, narrow and is poorly maintained.

FF 7 – A pedestrian through route linking to the Holy Trinity School and the Fiddlers Folly development

Rationale

10.17 It is anticipated by both the local primary school, and Essex County Council (which is planning for up to 45 new school places) that amongst the new residents of Fiddlers Field, there will be a number of young children who will be attending the local primary school Holy Trinity, located in Fiddlers Folly. At present, a pavement does extend from Fiddlers Folly along Fiddlers Hill but not as far as the anticipated new development which means that without a new pavement, parents and children would have to walk on the road to access the school. A new pedestrian route providing a connection between the existing pavement and the new development would not only mean a safe route for parents and children but also reduce the number of potential car journeys to and from Fiddlers Folly thus helping to reduce emissions.

FF 8 – Two new bus stops, including lay-by, raised kerb and shelters located on the A1124 within 50 metres of the site entrance

Rationale

10.18 As the nearest bus stop to Fiddlers Field is some 200m away along the A1124 and some 80m to the east on Fiddlers Hill, the provision of new bus stops are important not just to encourage greater use of public transport, thus helping to reduce reliance on cars and reduce the carbon footprint, but also for elderly residents who may not either be able to walk 200m or do not have access to a car or no longer wish to drive.

10.19 A new bus stop will also provide an improvement to access for services for residents of Fiddlers Folly.

10.20 The A1124 is a very busy road with the need to ensure that the traffic flows freely and is not held up unnecessarily, possibly leading to drivers getting impatient and thereby taking risks and/or speeding to "make up lost time". The provision of a designated bus stop only lay by will help in this regard.

FF 9 – A suitable landscaping plan which provides screening to the existing businesses on Fiddlers Farm and adjacent houses, to include the Grade 2 listed Fiddlers Farmhouse, all of which border and limit any expansion of the site, to ensure that ambient noise and amenity currently enjoyed at these properties is maintained

Rationale

10.21 Some of the new domestic housing on Fiddlers Field will sit alongside the existing small commercial premises at Fiddlers Farm to the north, so the latter should be screened off from the new development. Such screening may include the planting of native hedgerows and/or trees so as to provide a natural, environmentally friendly buffer zone as well as appropriate aesthetic acoustic barriers.

10.22 Domestic housing on Fiddlers Field will also sit alongside the existing houses located in both Fiddlers Folly (to the east) and Choats Cottages (to the south) so they should be screened off on the field boundary from the new development. Such screening may include the planting of native hedgerows and/or trees so as to provide a natural, environmentally friendly buffer zone.

10.23 The aim is to protect a residential amenity and privacy so as to prevent undesirable overlooking, noise and dust disturbance and to encourage good neighbourliness.

FF 10 – A scheme demonstrating that appropriate surface water drainage is provided within the site

Rationale

10.24 At present, Fiddlers Field comprises open, uncultivated fields that have never been subject to flooding. However, with the prospect of 150 houses and a road network being built on the site, it will be prudent to ensure an appropriate draining system is incorporated into the development.

FF 11 – Appropriate wiring to be installed within each property to provide for charging for electric cars/vehicles

Rationale

10.25 The installation of wiring that can lead to the provision of electric charging facilities represents a measure of "future proofing" whereby the Government and the car industry is encouraging/supporting the move toward more electronic/hybrid vehicles. For example, Volvo cars have announced they will only produce partially or fully battery powered vehicles by 2019 and Jaguar/Land Rover have said the same but from 2020 onwards.[12]

10.26 There is no additional burden here as the installation of appropriate wiring for the potential provision of external electric charging facilities can be accommodated as part and parcel of the general wiring provision for any new dwelling eg for lights, power etc.

FF 12 - Ducting to be installed to every new house on the site for the provision of either copper or fibre superfast broadband

Rationale

10.27 High speed broadband is necessary for domestic properties, both for leisure purposes and to enable people to work from home.

10.28 There is no additional burden here as ducting can be installed as part and parcel of the build of any new dwelling.

FF 13 - All the new dwellings on the site should have the potential for the installation of sustainable battery pods that stores energy from renewable sources

Rationale

10.29 Sustainable battery pods are being developed as a way to store energy for the future and their introduction into domestic housing would be welcomed and supported.


FF 14 – A Section 106 agreement in respect of a recreational play area on the site, a contribution towards the delivery of a new community centre/hub, a contribution towards the expansion of the local primary school and should it be found necessary, a contribution towards the expansion of capacity of Junction 26 of the A12

Rationale

10.30 Section 106 is about providing support for measures that will encourage sustainability and bio-diversity, helping to mitigate the impact of building new homes. One example of this is the need to ensure the residents of the new development on Fiddlers Field have access to a green open space on the site to include a recreational play area rather than having to access the existing facilities on the Heath which is one kilometre away as the crow flies. The items shown in Policy FF14 help achieve such goals.


View Comments (2) 11 FUTURE DOMESTIC HOUSING

Objective

To ensure that any future domestic housing built in Eight Ash Green reflects the existing, distinct open character area of the village, is of high quality and meets the appropriate needs of the community both now and in the future

Context

11.1 Whilst the immediate focus for future house building in the village is on the proposed development of 150 dwellings on Fiddlers Field, it is recognised that in the future, other developments may well occur whether they are in respect of a single house, the construction of more than one property and/or rural exception sites.

Intent

11.2 The intent behind the Policy set out below is to ensure where applicable, that any future housing is both appropriate to and in scale with the existing settlement

Domestic Housing Policy (DH1): Future development within Eight Ash Green should be able to clearly demonstrate by way of relevant plans and supporting documents that it should:

  • Be of a density, design, height and layout that respects and responds to the local character of the village and the location/site's context
  • Provide a mix of dwelling size, type and tenure that reflects the housing needs of the Parish
  • Provide electric charging points and sustainable battery pods wherever possible and appropriate to do so
  • Provide suitable connections for the installation of high quality telecommunications infrastructure

View Comments (8) 12 ENVIRONMENT

12.1 Reference has already been made to the rural nature of the village, (see Sections 3, 4 and 5 above), which is highly valued by the residents. "It is one of the reasons why I came to live in Eight Ash Green" is a common refrain.

12.2 There is a sense of spaciousness and calm to be found in the village. The Heath, open fields, network of footpaths, hedgerows, trees and woods, the biodiversity, play and sports facilities, and clean fresh air all contribute to an environment conducive towards a healthy, vibrant community across the whole age range from children, young families to senior citizens.

12.3 The green infrastructure also contributes to and helps sustain an abundance of wildlife utilising the numerous green corridors that includes a myriad of birds (sparrows, blackbirds, jays, pigeons, robins, pheasants, owls to name but a few) but also "land based" animals such as squirrels, deer, foxes, badgers for example as well as aquatic wildlife in the ponds located across the village such as ducks, moorhens, dragonflies, the Essex Skipper butterfly, Foesel's Bush cricket and the Meadow grasshopper.

12.4 And finally, Seven Star Green, which is a registered Village Green of medieval legacy, contains some 125 species of wildflower grasses that have been uncultivated for hundreds of years with plants such as the Meadow Foxtail and Soft Rush to be found there.

Seven Star Green

12.5 Collectively, these provide the opportunity for a safe habitat for the animal kingdom as well as a tranquil setting and backdrop for the human population to enjoy nature at its best, helping to improve the physical/mental well-being and generally adding to the quality of life.

COALESCENCE

Objective

To maintain the existing gap between Eight Ash Green and Stanway/Colchester and other potential settlements such as the proposed West Tey Garden Community/New Town

Policy

Environment Policy 1 (EP1): No development is to be permitted that will and/or could result in, or provide the possibility of future coalescence of Eight Ash Green with Stanway/Colchester and/or the proposed West Tey Garden community/New Town

Rationale

The separation of Eight Ash Green from existing nearby developments/localities is very important to the village which is one of the key issues for the village, as set out in the Vision Statement.

Context

Eight Ash Green is geographically separated from other nearby settlements both large and small. It is the wish of the villagers to maintain that separation and therefore the distinct identity of living in Eight Ash Green. The Landscape Character Assessment referred to in Section 3 above adds weight where the village is described as being a "small linear settlement" with its "setting providing visual and physical separation from Colchester".

Intent

The intent behind this Policy is to help maintain a clear separation of Eight Ash Green, both from current and potential future settlements. The Policy EP1 clearly supports the Objective above.


Supporting Evidence

Supporting Evidence for the Policies EP1–5 can be found in the "Neighbourhood Plan Objectives and Policies – Supporting Evidence" document available on the Neighbourhood Plan website.

Aerial view of Eight Ash Green

showing the green spaces in and around the village


PROTECTION FOR THE GREEN OPEN SPACES IN THE VILLAGE

Objective

To protect and where possible, enhance green/open spaces and biodiversity in the whole of the village

Policy

Environment Policy 2 (EP 2): The areas of green space in the village are to be protected from development, including change of use, unless it can be demonstrated that:-

  • the chosen site represents the only available location for the given development proposal;
  • the proposal would not result in the loss of an area important for its amenity including its contribution to biodiversity, recreation and landscape character with Eight Ash Green; and
  • Alternative and improved provision is provided in a location well related to the functional requirements of the relocated use and its existing and future users

Rationale

Protection, enhancement and where practical, the "connectivity" of the open aspects, both within and external to the settlement, and the rural nature and feel of the village are important to the villagers. Such a small village is fortunate to have two Registered Village Greens, Protected Lanes, as well as the 10.5 acre Iron Latch nature reserve consisting of a flower-rich meadow and four acres of woodland where nightingales nest. There are five designated wildlife sites in the village – Fordham Heath, Fiddlers Wood, Seven Star Green, Iron Latch and Daisy Green Grove.

Context

Eight Ash Green sits in a truly rural setting surrounded by green, wide open spaces, containing a habitat rich in biodiversity.

Intent

The intent behind this Policy is to provide protection of the green, open spaces, hedgerows trees and woods and footpaths, cycle and bridleways, is to protect and, where possible, enhance the green/open spaces and biodiversity in the whole of the village.


PROTECTION FOR HEDGEROWS, TREES AND WOODS

Objective

To protect the existing hedgerows, trees and woods in the whole of the village

Policy

Environment Policy 3 (EP 3): Any developments in the village that may result in the destruction and/or removal of existing hedgerows, trees or woods, will only be permitted if these elements are replaced with similar features that are in good condition, on the same site or plot

Rationale

Protection and enhancement of the open aspect, rural nature and feel of the village is important to and much valued by the villagers. In addition, hedgerows, trees and woods provide a vital habitat and wildlife corridors for a wide variety of species enhancing the biodiversity and ecology of a locality which also helps to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The village contains a Priority Deciduous Woodland Habitat alongside the south east corner of Choats Wood, a Priority Woodland and Old Orchard Habitat site alongside Blind Lane.

Context

The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 make provision for the appropriate protection of important hedgerows in England and Wales. The Landscape Character Assessment referred to in Section 3 above makes reference to the "Character" of a locality by reference to a combination of factors to include its ecological component ie the existing hedgerows, trees and woods in the village.

Intent

The intent behind this Policy is to ensure that should any damage be caused to the existing hedgerows, trees or woods in the village as a result of any development, that mitigation measures are put in place to restore what was there before to the same level or standard.

FOOTPATHS, CYCLE & BRIDLEWAYS

Objective

To protect the existing footpaths, cycleways and bridleways in the village

Policy

Environment Policy 4 (EP 4): Existing footpaths, cycleways and bridleways provide a high level of amenity value and will be protected. New developments should integrate with the current green infrastructure network, seeking to improve the connectivity between wildlife area and green spaces through measures such as improving and extending the existing footpath and cycle path network, allowing greater access to housing and retail facilities, green spaces, public open spaces and the countryside

Rationale

There are 15 numbered footpaths in the village coupled with other non-numbered paths that provide a good network of walking opportunities coupled with two bridleways all of which are used regularly. They also provide opportunities for social interaction and informal meeting points.

Context

The Parish Paths Partnership working party undertakes a regular programme of maintenance throughout the year to keep the footpaths in good order and to ensure the finger posts and way markers can clearly be seen.

The Neighbourhood Plan Group met with the Essex Bridleway Association on 14th November 2016 to discuss the two, unconnected bridleways in Eight Ash Green. They confirmed that it is possible to divert a bridleway but this would involve a public consultation process.


The Neighbourhood Plan Group met with Sustrans, the national cycling organisation, on 24th January 2017 to discuss potential development of a network of new cycle routes in the village potential linking up with the existing National Cycle Network Route no 13 that runs through the centre of Eight Ash Green. [13] Reference to this may be found in the Access and Leisure Project No 3.

Intent

The intent behind this Policy is to ensure that existing footpaths, cycleways and bridleways are protected. And to encourage a modal shift from car to walking and cycling by linking publicly accessible green space wherever possible to form walking and cycling routes.


PREVENTION OF FLOODING

Objective

To take steps to prevent flooding in the village

Policy

Environment Policy 5 (EP 5): Development will be supported where it can be shown that it will not negatively impact upon the existing network of drainage ditches within the village. The protection, extension and enhancement of these facilities is encouraged. Where it is necessary to enable development, the stopping up or diverting of drainage ditches will be supported if it can be demonstrated that no additional flood risk will be created

Rationale

Flooding as a result of new domestic or business developments would not be welcomed in the village.

Context

Apart from a narrow strip of land on the northern edge of the Parish boundary along the River Colne (the Neighbourhood Area), the risk of flooding is low with the village mainly positioned on the high ground having a surface geology consisting mostly of thin layers of sand and gravel. Up to date information/maps can be obtained from the Environment Agency and/or Colchester Borough Council.

However, should the existing ditches become blocked, coupled with heavy downpours of rain, then there is a risk of localised flooding. There are eight ponds in the village that might be able to absorb flood waters should they occur although not all are located near domestic housing.

Intent

The intent behind this Policy is to ensure that any development will not result in any part of the village being flooded.

View Comments (1) HERITAGE

Objective

To protect the ancient heritage of our village

Context

Although the Civil Parish of Eight Ash Green as a separate, identifiable community is only some 70 years old, the village settlement pre-dates that, containing some ancient heritage, both man-made and natural.

Intent

Although listed buildings have some protection under primary legislation in the 1990 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act and the NPPF we see the provision of such a Policy in the Neighbourhood Plan as sending out a clear signal of the importance attached to the preservation and long term survival of our ancient heritage in its present form. Aside from Listed Buildings, there are also a number of other Heritage Assets within the village which require protection. These include, for example the 36 acre Fordham Heath, the Protected Lanes and the five designated wildlife sites in the village. A list of the 13 Grade 2 listed buildings; a map showing where they are located and a table listing the Assets are set out below.

Policy

Heritage Policy 1 (Her 1):

Any Listed Building or Historic Asset and their setting within the Neighbourhood Plan Area should be maintained or where possible enhanced to protect from any future development.

Rationale

The 13 Grade 2 Listed Buildings in Eight Ash Green, the oldest of which dates back to circa 1500, represent a priceless ancient heritage which needs to be preserved and protected.

Although the village of Eight Ash Green is not an ancient village as a separate entity, nevertheless elements that make up the modern settlement have some very long standing characteristics such as the 13 listed buildings and the Registered Village Greens for example and these help to shape the Landscape Character of our village where "Character" is influenced by particular combinations of visual .... historical and settlement components...".

A table setting out details of our 13 Listed Buildings


A map showing the locations of our

13 Listed Buildings


Heritage Assets in Eight Ash Green

Serial

Grouping

Heritage item

Date

Protected status

Location

Name and Grid ref

1

The National Heritage List for England

Thirteen

Grade 2 listed buildings

Various

Yes

See table and map above

2

NMR Excavation Index

Excavation

1996

No

Choats Wood

TL 943258

3

Church Heritage Records

All Saints Church

(Church code 608942)

Not stated

No

Beside A1124

TL 941257

4

Colchester Heritage Register

(CHR)

Cropmarks

Undated

No

North side of Bullbanks Farm

TL 930264

5

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

East of Moat Farm

TL 937249

6

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

South East of Bronze House Farm

TL 938253

7

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

Newlands Farm

TL 947258

8

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

West of Heathside Farm

TL 939261

9

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

West of Fordham Heath

TL 940266

10

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

South of White House Farm

TL 945262

11

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

South of Pooles Farm

TL 945270

12

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

North East of Chitts Hill

TL 953258

13

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

West of Great Porters Farm

TL 932271

14

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

South East of Thurgoods Farm

TL 930252 & 928253

15

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

White House Farm

TL 949263

16

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

White House Farm

TL 947265

17

CHR

Cropmarks

Undated

No

Porters Lane

TL 937267


18

CHR

Milestone Inscription reads "IV to Colchester IX to Halstead"

Late c18 – early c19

No

Milestone Farm

TL 937259

19

CHR

Pillbox

AA type

WW2

No

Porters Farm

TL 940271

20

CHR

Pillbox

AA type

WW2

No

Porters Farm

TL 934272

21

CHR

Pillbox

WW2

No

Porters Farm

TL 946273

22

CHR

Pillbox

WW2

No

Porters Farm

TL 939273

23

CHR

Pillbox

WW2

No

Porters Farm

TL 934274

24

CHR

Pillbox

WW2

No

Porters Farm

TL 932273

25

CHR

Pillbox

AA type

WW2

No

Argents Lane

TL 950266

26

CHR

Pillbox

WW2

No

North West corner of Fiddlers Wood

TL 928269

27

CHR

Ammunition shelter

WW2

No

Fiddlers Wood

TL 930269

28

CHR

Fordham Heath

Registered Village Green

VG 187

1391

No

Fordham Heath

TL 944264

(The 36 acre Heath, first recorded in 1391 is shown on the 1777 Chapman & Andre Historic Map and the "Epoch and Historic Map 1876-1887")

29

CHR

"Eight Ash Green"

1777

No

East of Spring Lane

TL 946257

Ancient green, no longer in existence. Shown on the Chapman & Andre Historic Map

30

CHR

Seven Star Green

Registered Village Green

VG 188

Medieval "1066 AD to 1539 AD"

No

NE to SW along Turkey Cock Lane

TL 936256

VG 188 designation also includes Daisy Green

31

CHR

Axes Neolithic polished axe and other flint axes

Neolithic

No

South of White House Farm

TL 949262

Found c 1968

Now in Colchester museum

32

PROW

Footpaths

Undated

No

Details on OS Explorer Map 184 Colchester

TL 92 -96 Eastings

TL 24 – 28 Northings

33

Bridleways

Undated

Yes

34

Protected Lanes

Daisy Green Highway

1970's

Yes

TL 9225

35

Wildlife sites

Fiddlers Wood

HC1 – Ancient Woodland Site

Undated

Yes

Co43

TL 929267

36

Wildlife sites

Daisy Green Grove

HC1 – Ancient Woodland Site

Undated

Yes

Co47

TL 932258

37

Wildlife sites

Seven Star Green

HC9 – Lowland Meadows

HC13 – Heathland and Acid Grassland


Yes

Co55

TL 939258

38

Wildlife sites

Fordham Heath

HC2 – Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland on non ancient sites

HC9 – Lowland Meadows

HC13 – Heathland and Acid Grassland

SC1 – Vascular Plants


Yes

Co60

TL 945264

39

Wildlife sites

Iron Latch Lane

HC2 – Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland on non ancient sites

HC3 – Other Priority Habitat Woodland Types on non ancient sites

HC9 – Lowland Meadows

HC11 – Other Neutral Grasslands

Undated

Yes

Co68

TL 956260

40

Ponds

Fordham Heath

Undated

No

TL 944264

41

Ponds

Lower Heath

Undated

No

TL 945268

42

Ponds

Seven Star Green

Undated

No

TL 939258

43

Ponds

Daisy Green

Undated

No

TL 933258


No Comments NATURAL RESOURCES – RENEWABLE ENERGY

Objective

To encourage and support the effective and efficient use of the Earth's natural resources and promote energy efficiency in Eight Ash Green

Context

At a time when there are continual reminders and/or warnings of the effects of climate change and the need to harness the earth's natural resources, it seems only right that there should be a level of support and encouragement where possible at the local level.

Intent

The intent behind these Policies is not only to make it clear where the Neighbourhood Plan supports appropriate provision regarding domestic properties but in respect of possible commercial enterprises, where the geographical boundaries or limitations should apply.

Policy

Renewable Energy 1 - (Homes) (RE 1): Proposals for small-scale renewable energy generation associated within single residential properties will be supported provided it can be shown that they are located and designed in such a manner so as to minimise any increase in ambient noise levels and avoid any unacceptable impacts upon visual amenity

Rationale

In terms of domestic properties, it is vital to ensure the maximum use is made of the Earth's natural resources as well as harnessing both existing and potential future renewable energy sources, thus helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Existing domestic properties can already install solar panels without planning permission through their permitted development rights.

Policy

Renewable Energy 2 - (Solar Farms) (RE 2): Proposals for commercial solar farms will be supported where they are directed towards low grade agricultural land or brownfield sites and are designed in such a way so as to minimise increases in ambient noise levels and deliver adequate natural screening to avoid impacts upon visual amenity

Rationale

Currently, there is little appetite in the village for commercial solar panel farms as they would detract from the rural feel and look of the village. However, should such developments be proposed, then they should be located on low grade agricultural land and/or brownfield sites. Appropriate screening should be considered should, for example, any solar farm be located adjacent to any domestic housing.

Supporting Evidence

Supporting Evidence for the Policies RE1–2 can be found in the "Neighbourhood Plan Objectives and Policies – Supporting Evidence" document available on the Neighbourhood Plan website.


View Comments (2) LOCAL BUSINESSES

Objective

To support and where appropriate, expand the local businesses to boost the local economy and employment

Context

A Neighbourhood Plan addresses both the development and use of land for domestic housing and also for business use. In keeping with a small, rural village, Eight Ash Green only has a limited amount of land designated or approved for business use and therefore employment opportunities. Currently, there are two main parcels of land for business use in the village, the six acre Moat Farm complex (currently with some twelve small businesses) and Fiddlers Farm (currently with some three small businesses). See map below.

There are also a number of other enterprises primarily at the Holiday Inn hotel, a cluster of shops and a garage at Wood Corner, as well as farm shop and garden centre/cafe in Turkey Cock Lane.

The two Business Areas

Moat Farm

It has emerged from discussions with the land owner at Moat Farm that he is looking to improve and expand the site so as to encourage more small firms to come to the village and thereby helping to create the opportunity for more local employment. The Neighbourhood Plan Group and the Parish Council are keen to support such an approach and therefore intend that the land comprising the Moat Farm complex should become a "Designated Business Area" whereby, in future, if small businesses wish to set up in Eight Ash Green, they will be directed towards that site.

Layout of the Moat Farm business area

Moat Farm

It has emerged from discussions with the land owner at Moat Farm that he is looking to improve and expand the site so as to encourage more small firms to come to the village and thereby helping to create the opportunity for more local employment. The Neighbourhood Plan Group and the Parish Council are keen to support such an approach and therefore intend that the land comprising the Moat Farm complex should become a "Designated Business Area" whereby, in future, if small businesses wish to set up in Eight Ash Green, they will be directed towards that site.

Layout of the Moat Farm business area

Moat Farm has been chosen because it is a good, open site capable of expansion. In addition, the owner is working hard to improve both the layout and the infrastructure and it has good access.

Moat Farm is capable of absorbing some additional small businesses. It is located on the southern boundary of our Neighbourhood Area/Parish Boundary away from what are the more densely populated areas of the village. The site, which has good access for medium size vehicles, (vehicles over four metres in height cannot obtain access from London Road, Stanway) is nestled in the countryside surrounded by trees and fields and the existing buildings do not detract from the wider ambience of the area. Whilst the Parish Council wants to help encourage more local employment, large commercial enterprises requiring premises of three or more storeys eg warehouses, storage, distribution centres or large industrial premises would not be appropriate on this land. The aim is to encourage/bring small, new single or two storey businesses on to the Moat Farm site.

The Neighbourhood Plan Group met with the owner of the Moat Farm business area on 7th August 2017 who confirmed he agrees with the rationale set out above – as owner of the site, he does not wish to see large businesses/commercial concerns on his land.

Intent

The intent behind Policy BP1 below, which clearly supports the Objective above, is to clarify the expectations for the future businesses in the village, to help boost the local economy by expanding the opportunities for local employment where it is appropriate to do so.

Policy

Businesses Policy 1 (BP 1): Moat Farm (shown above) is designated as a business area. Proposals for the enhancement of existing facilities or for new business premises on the site will be supported provided they are of suitable design, provide satisfactory car parking for staff and visitors and have implemented a strategy for the containment and subsequent disposal of waste

Rationale

In designating a Designated Business Area, the definition to be applied is as follows:-

A "Business Development Area" is a location where not only do small businesses already exist but one that is also capable of absorbing new, small single or two storey businesses on the site without detriment to or impinging on the rural nature of the area.


The aim is to designate the Moat Farm site as the preferred location for small, new businesses wishing to come to the village so as to help boost the local economy, encourage more local employment and the provision of additional services.

Parts of the road surface on the site are in need of repair (broken concrete) or upgrading (little more than gravel a track). The road surface is likely to be a feature, amongst many, in a business deciding whether to locate to Moat Farm.

With a mixture of businesses that includes renewable energy; car interiors; machine tools; double glazing and interior design, there is inevitably waste material that needs to be contained and disposed of effectively.

As part of the discussions with the owner of the Moat Farm business area, he:-

  • stated that he is very happy for that site to be declared a designated Business Area
  • also agreed the road surfaces on the site need to be improved and he has made a start on this and
  • confirmed he is scrupulous in trying to ensure waste is both contained and disposed of properly but a clear exposition of this in the Neighbourhood Plan will help him to highlight the importance of this issue for the businesses on site.

A visit to the site on 19th August 2016 by the Neighbourhood Plan Group clearly shows that the site has room for considerable expansion within existing boundaries.

A subsequent meeting with the landowner on 7th August 2017, confirmed he is content for Business types B1 such as administrative offices and B2 such as light engineering to come to his site providing they are two storeys or less. He would be content to accept small storage businesses but large distribution centres would not be appropriate as he is offering space for up to 3,000 square feet or less. Expansion wise, he is considering a steady build up of some 5 to 6 units.

Fiddlers Farm

This is a small site with three small businesses (a builder, horse stables and a car body repair shop) immediately adjacent to the land designated for development in Fiddlers Field. The site is not capable of expansion bordered as it is currently by a Grade 2 listed building (Fiddlers Farmhouse) and the road along Fiddlers Hill to the north, the protected Fiddlers Wood that includes wildlife site to the west, and the future proposed site of Fiddlers Field for the development 150 houses to the east and predominantly to the south. However, the Intent behind Policy BP2 below is for the businesses to continue to operate on this land but not to expand beyond the existing boundaries.

Layout of the Fiddlers Farm business area

Policy

Businesses Policy 2 (BP 2): Support will be given towards the retention of existing businesses within the Fiddlers Farm business area (shown above) to include the provision of satisfactory car parking for staff and visitors as well as for the provision of a strategy to secure the containment and subsequent disposal of waste

Rationale

Fiddlers Farm has contained a number of small businesses for many years and the proposed development of additional houses adjacent to the Farm should not affect the viability of these, nor should the reverse have any undesired consequences.

Supporting Evidence

Supporting Evidence for the Policies BP1–2 can be found in the "Neighbourhood Plan Objectives and Policies – Supporting Evidence" document available on the Neighbourhood Plan website.

Moat House Farm Business Area Fiddler Farm Business Area

View Comments (3) COMMUNITY AMENITIES

Objective

To provide, support, maintain and where appropriate, introduce a range of amenities in the village

Context

Eight Ash Green has a range of good quality community amenities that includes a public house, allotments, two dental surgeries and a hotel with a leisure centre. In addition, there is a designated play area on the Heath, the Heath itself and footpaths for walkers, two bridleways, two sports pitches and National Cycle Route No 13 which runs from NW to SE across the Parish.

Village Pub (The Cricketers) Eight Ash Green Football Club

Children's Play Area on Fordham Heath Cricket Pitch and Pavilion on Fordham Heath

Intent

To ensure there is a range of modern community facilities in the village which people can participate in either collectively or individually that will help to reinforce a sense of community.

Policy

Community Amenities (CA 1): To protect the allotments site (as shown below) from any future potential development

Layout of the Allotment site

Rationale

The village allotments are to be found on the southern border of the football pitch, both of which are located on the south west corner of the Heath.

The allotments are a highly valued amenity providing not just the opportunity for people to grow their own food, but also for social interaction thereby helping to combat loneliness. There is a waiting list for people to have their own plot.

A lot of work has been done in 2018 to make improvements to include the provision of new gates and access to water on the site itself.

Although the site is outside the current Village Settlement Boundary, it is located directly opposite residential housing in Huxtables Lane and there could be pressure in the future to change the use of the land, to the detriment of the village as a whole.

Policy

Community Site (CS 1): Land on the site of the Church of England Church (as shown below) is designated as the site for a new Community Hub/Hall and shall be safeguarded for that purpose. Development proposals which promote alternative uses on the site will not be supported

Layout of the Church site

Rationale

The current village hall located in Spring Lane to the East of the village, which was formerly an army hut located in Matching Green, having moved to Eight Ash Green in 1948, is no longer fit for purpose. It is small, it will be at least 70 years old in 2018 and the facilities such as the toilets are in need of updating, hooks are available rather than a proper cloakroom and storage is poor. In addition, the car park only has some ten spaces which means that visitors either have to park on the busy Spring Lane, thus blocking the views of drivers looking either north or south (the hall is located on a sloping bend in the road) or park in nearby streets.

The owner of the site of the Church is the Diocese of Chelmsford and the local vicar is supportive of the proposed Policy.

The proposed site is located in the centre of the village, has good access, there is plenty of land for parking and room to build a new, bigger hub/community hall which will be able to host larger audiences and provide more modern facilities such as film showings, dance hall, indoor badminton court, gymnasium equipment etc.

The site of the existing village hall, which is on a different locality and at one end of the village, is owned by the Parish Council. Upon the erection of a new hall/hub, it is likely the old village hall will be dismantled and the site used for other purposes that might include a new domestic dwelling.

Supporting evidence

Supporting Evidence for the Policies CA1 and CS1 can be found in the "Neighbourhood Plan Objectives and Policies – Supporting Evidence" document available on the Neighbourhood Plan website.


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