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  • 3. Vision and Objectives for Part Two
  • 4. Sustainable Growth Poilcies
  • 5. Environmental Assets Policies
  • 6. Places
  • 7. Development Management Policies
  • 8. Delivery Strategy and Implementation
  • 9. Monitoring
  • Glossary
  • Appendices

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    PART ONE: SHARED STRATEGIC PLAN

    2. North Essex authorities: Strategic Part 1 for Local Plans

    View Comments (10) Introduction

    2.1 North Essex is a vibrant and attractive place to live and work. The area has seen significant growth in recent years and this is forecast to continue. The local authorities and their partners wish to respond to this opportunity by planning positively for the area as a whole. Working together to address some of the key strategic issues in North Essex will get the best outcomes for current and future communities. In particular, it will deliver sustainable development that respects local environments and provides new homes, jobs and essential infrastructure.

    2.2 For these reasons, Braintree District Council, Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council have agreed to work together to address strategic planning matters across their areas. Collectively they are known as the North Essex authorities. Essex County Council is a key partner in its strategic role for infrastructure and service provision.

    2.3 An initial outcome of this collaboration is this Strategic Planning chapter, which each of the local planning authorities have included in their draft Local Plan. The Local Plan together with the Essex Minerals and Waste Local Plan prepared by the County Council and any Neighbourhood Plans, form the Development Plan for the respective areas.

    View Comments (2) The Need for a Strategic Approach

    2.4 In Essex as elsewhere, the influences of population and economic growth do not stop at administrative boundaries. Settlement patterns, migration flows, commuting and strategic infrastructure needs all have significant influences within and between local authority areas.

    2.5 Local Plans are the main vehicle for conveying an area's growth requirements and how these will be accommodated. However, individual local authority boundaries cannot encapsulate the geographies of issues that transcend those boundaries. Through active and on-going collaboration the authorities can plan, manage and review strategic objectives for the effective implementation of sustainable development and enhanced environments.

    2.6 The geographic and functional relationship between the authorities' areas is demonstrated by the fact that, together with Chelmsford City Council's area, they form a single Housing Market Area (HMA) for planning purposes[1]; and they are a major part of the Haven Gateway, an established economic partnership area. Within this context, the forecast levels of future population growth together with the geography of North Essex means that considerations for future growth will include options that have clear cross-boundary implications. These include both the expansion of existing towns and villages as well as possible new settlements.

    2.7 Consequently, this group of neighbouring authorities has agreed to come together because of their shared desire to promote sustainable growth; and the particular need to articulate the strategic priorities within the wider area and how these will be addressed. Central to this is the effective delivery of planned strategic growth, particularly housing and employment development, with the necessary supporting infrastructure.

    2.8 Uttlesford District Council as well as other neighbouring authorities sit within separate housing market areas and as such are not part of this strategic plan. However the authorities are actively and continuously engaged to ensure that cross boundary and strategic issues are dealt with.


    Map 1: Location of Local Authority Areas

    Map 1: Location of Local Authority Areas

    No Comments How does this fit with National Guidance?

    2.9 The Localism Act 2011 places a Duty to Co-operate on local planning authorities and county councils[2]. This requires them to engage constructively, actively and on an on-going basis in the preparation of plans where this involves strategic matters. The National Planning Policy Framework adds to this statutory duty as it expects local planning authorities to demonstrate evidence of having co-operated effectively to plan for issues with cross-boundary impacts.

    2.10 This strategic chapter of the authorities' plans meets the requirements of the Duty to Co-operate for the authorities involved, as it concerns strategic matters with cross-boundary impacts in North Essex.

    2.11 Against this background, the main purposes of this strategic chapter of the local plan are to:

    • Articulate a spatial portrait of the area, including its main settlements and strategic infrastructure, as a framework for accommodating future planned growth;
    • Set out the numbers of additional homes and jobs across the area that will be needed covering the period to 2033;
    • Provide a strategic vision for how planned growth in North Essex will be realised;
    • Set strategic objectives and policies for key growth topics; and
    • Highlight the key strategic growth locations across the area and the necessary new or upgraded infrastructure to support this growth.

    View Comments (4) Spatial Portrait

    2.12 Braintree, Colchester and Tendring districts are located to the north of Essex between the East coast ports and London Stansted airport. The principal towns are Braintree, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea, together with the port of Harwich and a number of secondary settlements: Witham, Halstead, Wivenhoe, Tiptree, Brightlingsea, Walton and Frinton. Map 2 identifies the settlements that link with the main road and/or rail infrastructure.

    2.13 Beyond these settlements much of the area has a rural character.

    2.14 The area covered by this strategic planning approach comprises a large part of the Haven Gateway, an established partnership area which is identified in a range of existing strategy and investment documents[3]. The Haven Gateway includes the administrative areas of Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils and extends northwards into Suffolk.

    2.15 The area's strategic road and rail network is heavily used, particularly given the proximity to and connectivity with London. The principal roads are the A12 and A120, while the A130, A133 and A414 also form important parts of the strategic road network.

    2.16 The Great Eastern Main Line provides rail services between London Liverpool Street and the East of England, including Chelmsford, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea. It also carries freight traffic to and from Harwich International Port, which handles container ships and freight transport to the rest of the UK. Harwich is also one of the major UK ports for ferry and cruise departures.

    2.17 Crossrail is expected to start operating in the first part of this plan period with services commencing just south of Chelmsford in Shenfield. The opportunities that Crossrail will bring in terms of additional capacity and quicker journeys to a wider choice of destinations will be a contributor to the continued attractiveness of north Essex as a place to live and to do business.

    2.18 London City, Gatwick, Stansted and Southend airports serve the North Essex economy and the growing demand for the use of these facilities from an increased population will create additional pressures on road and rail infrastructure. The County Council along with South East Local Enterprise Partnership, local and national agencies and other organisations will also need to work collaboratively with the Local Planning Authorities to ensure infrastructure meets demand for enhanced economic growth.

    2.19 Braintree and Colchester are the major centres of employment within the strategic area. While there are high levels of commuting to London, many residents work and live within the area with significant commuting across city and district boundaries, reflecting a functional economic geography.

    2.20 The area has a mixed economy focused on the service sector, including wholesale and retail, business services, tourism, health and education, although there is also manufacturing and construction capacity. Due to the extensive rural area outside settlements, agriculture plays an important part in the overall economy.

    2.21 This rurality also means that there are large areas of open countryside, including protected natural and historic landscapes. Areas of importance for nature conservation are to be found particularly along the coast and river estuaries, while the villages, towns and city include many built heritage assets.

    2.22 A more detailed assessment of the characteristics of each area is provided in the second part of this local plan.


    Map 2: Districts with principal towns and road & rail network

    Map 2: Districts with principal towns and road & rail network

    View Comments (6) Key Issues: Opportunities and Challenges

    2.23 Due to its strong economic base, proximity to London and attractiveness as a place to live and work, the area has seen significant growth over recent years. In particular Braintree and Colchester have regularly exceeded planned housebuilding targets.

    2.24 Future population growth will require an appropriate response from the local authorities to ensure that sufficient homes, employment premises and land, and supporting social and other infrastructure are provided. The ageing profile of residents also requires a proactive response to provide the right type of homes, including independent living and supporting services; as well as sufficient healthcare facilities to support both older residents and the population as a whole.

    2.25 The education needs of a growing population must be addressed, requiring careful planning to assess future pupil numbers and to address further education needs. The assessed need must in turn be translated into new or expanded education facilities which are available to meet the needs of new communities at the appropriate time.

    2.26 New development should be accessible by sustainable forms of transport, including walking and cycling. However, growth will create demand for additional road and rail use with the associated need for new and upgraded infrastructure. Future planned growth provides the opportunity to address some of these infrastructure needs, although growth locations and sites need to be considered carefully with regard to the balance of providing necessary infrastructure and the viability and deliverability of development.

    2.27 The National Planning Policy Framework expects local authorities to set out the strategic priorities for the area in the Local Plan. Of those listed in the Framework[4] and based on the above key issues, this strategic plan chapter addresses:

    • the homes and jobs needed in the area;
    • the provision of infrastructure for transport and telecommunications;
    • the provision of education, health, community and cultural infrastructure; and
    • conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment, including landscape.

    View Comments (7) Vision for the Strategic Area

    2.28 It is important that addressing growth at any spatial scale is founded on a clear vision of how and where change should occur. The vision for North Essex sets this out at a strategic level and provides a context for the more detailed vision for the growth of each individual authority's area.

    North Essex will be an area of significant growth over the period to 2033 and beyond, embracing positively the need to build well designed new homes, create jobs and improve and develop its infrastructure for the benefit of existing and new communities.

    Sustainable development principles will be at the core of the strategic area's response to its growth needs, balancing social, economic and environmental issues. Green infrastructure, and new and expanded education and health care facilities will be planned and provided; while the countryside and heritage assets will be protected and enhanced

    At the heart of our strategic vision for North Essex are new garden communities. The garden communities will attract residents and businesses who value innovation, community cohesion and a high quality environment, and who will be keen to take an active role in managing the garden community to ensure its continuing success. Residents will live in high quality, innovatively designed, contemporary homes, accommodating a variety of needs and aspirations. There will be a network of leafy streets and green spaces, incorporating and enhancing existing landscape features. This will provide safe and attractive routes, and sustainable drainage solutions, as well as excellent opportunities for people to play. Open spaces will be attractive areas which offer leisure and recreation opportunities for residents of the garden communities. All Garden City principles will be positively embraced including new approaches to delivery and partnership working, and sharing of risk and reward for the benefit of the new communities.

    View Comments (11) Strategic Objectives

    2.29 The following strategic objectives are designed to support the vision for the area and provide a basis for the development of strategic topic-based policies that will help in achieving the vision.

    • Providing Sufficient New Homes- to provide for a level and quality of new homes to meet the needs of a growing and ageing population in North Essex; to achieve this by ensuring the availability of developable land in appropriate locations and that the market delivers a suitable mix of housing types.
    • Fostering Economic Development- to strengthen and diversify local economies to provide more jobs; and to achieve a better balance between the location of jobs and housing, which will reduce the need to travel and promote sustainable growth.

    • Providing New and Improved Infrastructure- to make efficient use of existing transport infrastructure and to ensure sustainable transport opportunities are promoted in all new development. Where additional capacity is required in the form of new or upgraded transport infrastructure to support new development, to ensure this is provided alongside the development. To enable provision of upgraded broadband infrastructure and services.

    • Addressing Education and Healthcare Needs- to provide good quality educational opportunities as part of a sustainable growth strategy, including practical vocational training and apprenticeships linked to local job opportunities. To work with partners in the NHS and local health partnerships to ensure adequate provision of healthcare facilities to support new and growing communities.

    • Ensuring High Quality Outcomes- to promote greater ambition in planning and delivering high quality sustainable new communities, including through new garden communities and strategic growth areas. Overall, new development must secure high standards of urban and built design which creates attractive places where people want to spend time.

    Strategic Issues and Policies

    2.30 This section includes the Councils' response to the opportunities and challenges facing the wider area, in the form of strategic policies that will help to deliver the vision and objectives. These policies only cover those matters that are of strategic relevance to all four authorities. Policies that address local matters are included in the following section of the plan.

    View Comments (2) Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

    2.31 The authorities will apply a presumption in favour of sustainable development in accordance with guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework.

    View Comments (11) SP1: Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

    When considering development proposals the Local Planning Authorities will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. They will always work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area. Sustainable development in North Essex will demonstrably contribute to the strategic and local vision and objectives and will accord with the policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with polices in neighbourhood plans). Development that complies with the Plan in this regard will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Where there are no policies relevant to the application or relevant policies are out of date at the time of making the decision then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise – taking into account whether: Any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole; or Specific policies in that Framework or the Plan that indicate that development should be restricted.

    View Comments (9) Meeting the Need for New Homes

    2.32 Provision of sufficient housing is critical to meet the needs of a growing population and for the effective functioning of local economies.

    2.33 The North Essex authorities are committed to plan positively for new homes and to significantly boost the supply of housing to meet the needs of the area. To meet the requirements of national policy to establish the number and type of new homes, the authorities commissioned Peter Brett Associates to produce an Objectively Assessed Housing Need Study building on earlier work. This was first published in July 2015 and updated in January 2016. It meets the requirements of the NPPF to prepare a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).

    2.34 Detailed analysis in the report suggests that a Housing Market Area comprising Braintree, Colchester, Chelmsford and Tendring Council areas forms a sound basis for assessing housing need.

    2.35 Demographic projections are the starting point for assessing how much housing will be required across an area. Based on 2012 national projections covering the period 2013 to 2037, some 4,910 more people will be living in the area each year. This translates to 2,589 additional households per year, which generates a need for an additional 2,691 new homes each year.

    2.36 Analysis of economic forecasts reveals that to support the expected jobs growth would require 3,090 net new homes per year. This represents an uplift of 399 additional homes, or 15%, over the demographically projected need referred to above. The report concludes that this 15% 'future employment' uplift over the whole HMA will cover any 'market signals' adjustment that can reasonably be justified. It also makes an allowance for additional London related migration.

    2.37 The conclusion reached is that the objectively assessed need across the Housing Market Area is 3,090 new homes a year over the period 2013 - 2037. This is the number of new homes needed to provide sufficient labour to meet the number of forecast jobs. The total requirement across north Essex, excluding Chelmsford City Council's area, is 2,315 new homes per year.

    2.38 The Objectively Assessed Housing Need Study and SHMA update seek to establish a balance between jobs and homes across the area, although there is some uncertainty in relation to this arising from unattributed population change (UPC) within Tendring. 550 dwellings a year is suggested as the indicative objectively assessed need for Tendring because at this level of provision affordable need can be met. This reasonable rounded figure, which should be kept under review, is considered an appropriate response to the uncertainty arising from the UPC.

    2.39 Evidence on overall levels of affordable housing provision and the requirements of Gypsies and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation will be set out in more detail within the individual Local Plans, but a figure of 30% of affordable housing across the new garden communities is supported by the evidence base.

    View Comments (28) SP2: Meeting Housing Needs

    The local planning authorities will identify sufficient deliverable sites or broad locations for their respective plan period, against the requirement in the table below.

    Each authority will maintain a sufficient supply of deliverable sites to provide at least five years' worth of housing; and will work proactively with applicants to bring forward sites that accord with the overall spatial strategy and relevant policies in the plan.


    Plan period
    Net additional dwellings per annum
    Minimum net additional homes in the Plan period

    Braintree
    2016 - 2033
    845
    14,365
    Colchester
    2013 – 2033
    920
    18,400
    Tendring
    2013 - 2033
    550
    11,000
    North Essex

    2,315

    2.40 As the fourth local authority in the housing market area, Chelmsford City Council have been involved at every stage of the work on objectively assessed need and affordable housing need which were all commissioned jointly. The Council is aware of and supportive of the approach and the housing numbers that are set out in the table above, however due to a mismatch between the timetables of the Local Plan, were not able to be part of the strategic plan. Uttlesford District Council and other neighbouring authorities are not part of the Strategic Housing Market and will be looking to meet their own needs within their own housing market area.

    View Comments (5) Providing for Employment

    2.41 A key objective for the area is to strengthen and diversify local economies to provide more jobs; and to achieve a better balance between the location of jobs and housing, which will reduce the need to travel and promote sustainable growth.

    2.42 Braintree District's employment is relatively focused on industrial-type sectors, including construction and manufacturing. London Stansted airport plays a significant role in not only employing residents of the District, but through the indirect economic benefits associated with proximity with such a large employment hub.

    2.43 Retail is the second largest sector by employment, and plays an important role in sustaining the District's three key town centres. The financial & insurance sector, where Braintree District traditionally has a relatively small proportion of employment, has seen some strong employment growth in recent years. This may be a growth sector in the future.

    2.44 Colchester is the dominant town within the Essex Haven Gateway and will accommodate much of the future growth in the sub-region. It is one of the UK's fastest growing towns and has developed a strong economy, linked to the town's historic character, cultural activities and its university.

    2.45 Tendring District has a diverse economy with local employment across a range of activities. Health, retail, and education are the largest sectors in terms of the number of jobs, and together represent 45% of the district's total employment.

    2.46 Harwich is home to Harwich International Port - one of the district's major employers. To the west of the district, the economy and labour market of Manningtree is influenced by its relative proximity to Colchester and good transport links to London. The interior of the district is largely rural and is characterised by a high quality environment, interspersed with small settlements.

    2.47 Opportunities have been identified for Tendring to develop potential future strengths in Offshore Wind and the Care & Assisted Living sector.

    2.48 As part of the SHMA work, analysis of economic forecasts was undertaken together with demographic projections to establish the inter-relationship between population growth, forecasts of new jobs and the number of new homes needed to accommodate these levels of growth. Employment Land Needs Assessments have been carried out by each authority which set out the amount of employment land that is required within the Plan periods.

    View Comments (11) SP3: Providing for Employment

    A strong, sustainable and diverse economy will be promoted across North Essex with a minimum net increase of 139.1ha of employment land up to 2033. These areas are distributed to each local authority area based on a sustainable balance between jobs and the available labour force through population growth, as set out in the table below.


    Plan period Hectares of B use employment land required
    Braintree 2016-33 43.3
    Colchester 2016-33 55.8
    Tendring 2016-33 40
    North Essex
    139.1

    More detailed employment policies are included in the second part of each authority's plan. However, the following strategic principles will underpin the approach to economic growth across North Essex.

    1. Sufficient land, premises and other provision will be identified to support the achievement of the minimum jobs numbers, recognizing the importance of key sectors to be identified by each local authority;
    2. Priority will be given to use of previously-developed land in appropriate locations as well as, where it meets sustainable development principles, the expansion of existing employment locations;
    3. Existing and allocated employment sites will be safeguarded for employment use unless it can be demonstrated that there is no reasonable prospect of the site being used for that purpose. Alternative uses will be considered against relevant plan policies;
    4. Town and city centres are the appropriate locations for new office development; and
    5. Employment development will be a key component of the new garden communities, as well as strategic growth locations more generally.

    View Comments (9) Infrastructure and Connectivity

    2.49 A growing economy impacts on travel demand. The challenge is to provide a sustainable transport system, while providing good access to jobs and services, to support economic growth.

    2.50 There are significant levels of local employment in each authority which generate short work trips concentrated in the peak hours. Of those commuting out of a local authority area, there is generally a westerly commuting movement, with London having a stronger effect on Braintree and Colchester. There is a strong level of movement from Tendring into Colchester for work, and Colchester to Chelmsford. Town centres are a focal point for work trips with most of the town centres offering a substantial proportion and variety of local employment opportunities. Most of the urban areas have business parks on their edges, which have access to the strategic road network. Those living in the rural areas are drawn to the main urban areas for employment but there is an emerging trend for "working at home". When combined with trips to education, accessing stations, retail and leisure trips results in urban traffic congestion at certain locations at certain times. This congestion has negative impact on journey time reliability, air quality, accessibility and the quality of the place. The ability to change significantly the urban road network is limited however there are greater opportunities for short trips to be made by walking, cycling and public transport.

    2.51 Growth promoted through the new Local Plans will need to be supported by the appropriate transport infrastructure. Braintree, Colchester and Tendring will continue to work closely with Essex County Council, Highways England and other partners to improve roads and public transport and to promote cycling and walking, and to better integrate all forms of transport. An infrastructure delivery plan is being developed which will provide more detail about the phasing and costing of the infrastructure requirements.

    View Comments (11) Strategic transport network

    2.52 Highways England manages and maintains the national strategic road network. This includes the A12 and A120 trunk roads that pass through the area. Network Rail is responsible for the railway network with train operating companies franchised to provide the rail services. Essex County Council is the statutory local transport, traffic and highway authority responsible for the majority of the transport network, including strategic roads.

    The inter-urban road network

    2.53 On the inter-urban road network, traffic levels have increased significantly in recent years with parts of the A12 around Colchester carrying 90,000 vehicles per day, which is high for an A class trunk road.

    2.54 Most of the inter-urban road network, particularly the capacity of the A12, is constrained by the operation of the junctions and sub-standard slips. The Highways England A12/A120Route Based Strategy (March 2013) shows that the A12/A120 is an ageing route which has several key maintenance issues. It will also be functioning above capacity by 2021.

    A12

    2.55 The A12 is set to have major improvements as part of the Government's Roads Investment Strategy (2015-2020) (RIS), with the aim of improving capacity and relieving congestion. The plans were announced in December 2014 and will represent the largest investment in road infrastructure received by Essex.

    2.56 The RIS confirmed

    • investment in a technology package for the length of the A12 from the M25 to the junction with the A14:,
    • phased improvement of the road to a consistent dual 3 lane standard; and
    • Improvement to the A12/M25 junction.

    2.57 The A12 from Chelmsford to the A120 junction is to be widened to three lanes, with work expected to start in 2015/16-2020/21. The A12 is also due to be widened to three lanes around Colchester (between junctions 25 and 29) and improvements to local junction layout, to be implemented post 2020/21. Other works include the M25 to Chelmsford section of the A12 which will be developed post 2021.

    A120

    2.58 The A120 is a key east-west corridor across Essex providing access to London Stansted Airport in the west to Harwich Port in the east and serving the economies of Colchester, Tendring and Braintree, with links to Chelmsford via the A130. The road is dualled between the M11 and Braintree, but the section from Braintree to the junction of the A120/A12 is of a low standard with heavy congestion, high accident risk and poor journey reliability.

    2.59 Highways England and Essex County Council will work together to study options for dualling the A120 between Braintree and A12 junction with the County Council taking the lead.

    2.60 It is essential that work on both the A12 and A120 are directly linked and informed by the planned growth, identified in emerging Local Plans, through partnership working between all parties. In addition, such projects are essential in enabling planned growth to come forward supported by the necessary strategic infrastructure. The scale of new development envisaged will also need to deliver public transport improvements, including improved rail infrastructure and potential for rapid transit services into Colchester.

    Route Based Strategies

    2.61 Route based strategies are prepared and delivered by the County Council for strategic road corridors, in consultation with local authorities. The following strategies are currently being prepared for delivery post 2018/19: A130 - Chelmsford to Braintree; A133 - Colchester to Clacton; A131 and A120 Colchester to Harwich.

    2.62 The strategies aim to provide:

    • improved journey times and reliability for all users with traffic management, capacity enhancements and congestion relief measures;
    • passenger transport improvements along the routes;
    • walking and cycling improvements along the routes where appropriate;
    • targeted safety improvements; and
    • highway asset renewal.

    View Comments (9) Rail

    2.63 The rail network is heavily used by passenger trains and through freight from the Haven Ports. The Great Eastern Main Line provides services to London Liverpool Street.

    2.64 The Anglia Route Study shows that while capacity varies along the line capacity to accommodate growth is limited and is particularly constrained in peak times from Chelmsford to London. Improvements are required along the line to accommodate growth and provide a faster more competitive service across the region.

    2.65 The Study identifies a package of improvements necessary to respond to the need for increased capacity, which are seen as priorities to enable growth, improve services and journey reliability. The improvements include:

    • the introduction of passing loops at Witham;
    • the introduction of automated in cab signalling;
    • a passing loop on the Braintree branch line, and
    • the removal of level crossings.

    2.66 These improvements are assumed to provide the gross capacity required along the line but further work is needed to identify specific local improvements in response to local growth and to define the timescale for delivery.

    View Comments (6) Public transport, walking and cycling

    2.67 Alternative forms of transport to the private car (walking, cycling and public transport) to travel to work are important in managing congestion and to accommodate sustainable growth.

    2.68 Within the urban areas, the bus network is available although it is currently underutilised. Essex County Council wishes to address this through a new passenger transport strategy. By promoting travel by sustainable modes there are wider benefits to local people such as personal health, less pollution and using less resources (including land), and they are cost effective.

    2.69 The levels of growth in the Local Plan will require that the consequent need to travel is managed. Travel planning and smarter choices initiatives will be promoted to ensure that all residents have good access to local jobs, services and facilities, preferably by either walking or cycling. For longer trips and in rural areas where there are fewer local services and employment opportunities, public transport will be promoted.

    View Comments (8) Education and Healthcare

    2.70 New development must provide for the educational needs of new communities. This will involve the expansion of existing schools where feasible and identification of opportunities to create new schools. Education requirements will need to be based on a strong understanding of future pupil numbers, with co-operation between county, district and borough councils. A range of educational opportunities will need to be addressed as part of a sustainable growth strategy, including practical vocational training and apprenticeships.

    2.71 The authorities will need to work with the NHS and local health partnerships to ensure adequate provision of healthcare facilities to support new and growing communities. This will be particularly important given the ageing profile of existing and future residents. There is already a need for more and better quality health care facilities across the region with some areas such as Witham, having relatively poor access to health care facilities.

    View Comments (7) Broadband

    2.72 The NPPF indicates how high quality communications infrastructure is crucial for sustainable growth. The availability of high speed and reliable broadband, particularly in rural areas is a key factor in unlocking new development opportunities and ensuring that people can access services online and work from home.

    2.73 Fast broadband connections and telecommunications are an increasingly important requirement to serve all development. New development should contribute to the creation of a comprehensive and effective network in both urban and rural areas to promote economic competitiveness and to reduce the need to travel. The priority is to secure the earliest availability for universal broadband coverage and fastest connection speeds for all existing and new developments.

    View Comments (38) SP4: Infrastructure and Connectivity

    Development must be supported by provision of infrastructure, services and facilities that are identified to serve the needs arising from new development.

    The following are strategic priorities for infrastructure provision or improvements within the strategic area:

    • New and improved infrastructure required to support economic growth, strategic and site-specific priorities outlined in the second part of each Local Plan.
    • Improved road infrastructure aimed at reducing congestion and providing more reliable journey times along the A12, A120, and A133 to improve access to markets and suppliers for business, widen employment opportunities and support growth.
    • Junction improvements on the A12 and other main roads to reduce congestion.
    • A dualled A120 between the A12 junction and Braintree.
    • Increased rail capacity, reliability and punctuality; and reduced overall journey times by rail.
    • Support changes in travel behaviour by increasing opportunities for sustainable modes of transport that can compete effectively with private cars.
    • To comply with sustainability objectives public transport will be prioritised, particularly in the urban areas. To meet the diversity of travel need, there will need to be new and innovative ways of providing public transport including:
      • high quality rapid bus services, in and around urban areas;
      • maximising the use of the local rail network to serve existing communities and locations for large-scale growth; and
      • promotion and wider use of community transport schemes.
    • Roll-out of superfast broadband across Essex to secure the earliest availability for universal broadband coverage and fastest connection speeds for all existing and new developments.
    • Provide sufficient school places in the form of expanded or new primary and secondary schools.
    • Ensure that essential healthcare infrastructure is provided as part of new developments of appropriate scale in the form of expanded or new doctors' and dentists' surgeries.

    View Comments (2) Creating Quality Places

    2.74 New development must reflect high standards of urban and architectural design. It must also be functional and viable. Major new developments will be planned carefully with the use of masterplans and design codes where appropriate.

    2.75 This requirement for high design standards will apply to public and private buildings across all scales of development, as well as to infrastructure projects. Enhancements to the public realm, landscaping measures and attention to architectural detail will be important features that the authorities will wish to see included in new developments. Strategic scale and more local green infrastructure can make a vital contribution to quality of place, biodiversity and health outcomes.

    View Comments (24) SP5: Place Shaping Principles

    All new development must meet the highest standards of built and urban design. The local authorities encourage the use of development frameworks and masterplans and will use design codes where appropriate for strategic scale developments.

    All new development should reflect the following principles:

    • Respond positively to local character and context to preserve and enhance the quality of existing communities;
    • Provide buildings that exhibit individual architectural quality;
    • Create well-connected places that prioritise the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport services above use of the private car;
    • Where possible, provide a mix of land uses and densities with well-defined public and private spaces;
    • Enhance the public realm through additional landscaping, street furniture and other distinctive features that help to create a sense of place;
    • Provide streets and spaces that are overlooked and active, and promote inclusive access;
    • Include parking facilities that are well integrated as part of the overall design;
    • Provide public open space or larger scale green infrastructure;
    • Include measures to promote environmental sustainability, including to address energy and water efficiency; and
    • Protect the amenity of existing and future residents and users with regard to noise, vibration, smell, loss of light and overlooking.

    2.76 Future growth will contribute to maintaining and enhancing a well-connected network of sustainable settlements across North Essex. New homes, jobs, retail and leisure facilities serviced by new and upgraded infrastructure will be accommodated as part of existing settlements according to their scale, sustainability and role. The countryside will be protected and enhanced.

    2.77 For the majority of settlements these issues are addressed in the second part of the plan dealing with each authority's area. However, it is relevant here to set out the spatial strategy at an appropriate level, as it relates to the main settlements and strategic-scale new development.

    2.78 In Braintree growth the growth will be a mixture of urban extensions and new communities. Braintree town itself, as the largest service centre in the District will have a number of new urban extensions. Over 4,000 homes will be allocated in this area. The other main focus for development will be the A12 corridor with the main town of Witham and service villages of Hatfield Peverel, Kelvedon and Feering with allocations of just over 2,000. Other parts of the District, including the town of Halstead will have smaller allocations to reflect a more local need and making the best use of brownfield site, recognising that these areas are not as sustainable. Two new garden communities located on the A120 on the eastern and western edge of the District will provide at least 3,500 new homes within the Plan period, as well as the facilities and employment land to support them. These garden communities will continue to grow providing a key source of housing and jobs growth into future plan periods.

    2.79 In Colchester the urban area of Colchester will continue to be a focus for growth due to its pre-eminent role as a centre for jobs, services and transport, with 4,000 units expected to be delivered over the plan period. The urban area of Colchester, however, has a limited and diminishing supply of available brownfield sites, so new communities will be included in the spatial hierarchy as a sustainable option for further growth of homes and jobs. Approximately 1200 homes will be allocated in the Rural District Centres of Tiptree, West Mersea and Wivenhoe. Smaller sustainable settlements will receive limited allocations proportionate to their role in the spatial hierarchy.

    2.80 In Tendring the spatial hierarchy promotes growth in settlements that are the most assessable to the strategic road network, public transport and offer a range of services. Clacton, the Colchester Fringe and Harwich with Dovercourt are classified as strategic urban settlements and will accommodate around 5,000 new homes. The smaller urban settlements of Frinton with Walton and Kirby Cross, Manningtree with Lawford and Mistley, Brightlingsea and the expanded settlement of Weeley will accommodate between 1,500 and 2,500 new homes. The rural service centres and smaller rural settlements will accommodate around 1,500 new homes including a windfall allowance. Each of the strategic and urban settlements and to lesser extent the other settlements, will accommodate a share of 40 hectares of employment space, with infrastructure and services to accommodate the growth.

    View Comments (33) SP6: Spatial Strategy for North Essex

    Existing settlements will be the principal focus for additional growth across North Essex. Development will be accommodated within or adjoining settlements according to their scale, sustainability and existing role both within each individual district and, where relevant, across the wider strategic area.

    Future growth will be planned to ensure settlements maintain their distinctive character and role, and to avoid coalescence between them. Re-use of previously-developed land within settlements is an important objective, although this will be assessed within the broader context of sustainable development principles, particularly to ensure that development locations are accessible by a choice of means of travel.

    New development will be focused on the principal settlements in each district. Below this level, each local authority will identify a hierarchy of settlements where new development will be accommodated according to the role of the settlement, sustainability, its physical capacity and local needs.

    Beyond the main settlements the authorities will support diversification of the rural economy and conservation and enhancement of the natural environment.

    Three new garden communities will be developed and delivered as part of the sustainable strategy for growth at the locations shown on Map 2. These new communities will provide strategic locations for 7,500 additional homes within the Plan period as well as accompanying employment development, with the expectation that substantial additional development will be delivered beyond the current Local Plan periods. They will be planned and developed on garden communities principles, with necessary infrastructure and facilities provided and a high quality of built and urban design.

    2.81 The spatial strategy as set out in the policy and supporting text is the Council's preferred options at this time. However if further evidence or work reveals that one or more garden community is not deliverable or viable in the way that meets with the policies set out below, then other options will be explored.


    Map 3: Location of Proposed New Garden Communities

    Map 3: Location of Proposed New Garden Communities

    View Comments (4) Cross Boundary Garden Communities

    2.82 A key element of the spatial strategy for North Essex is the development of three new large scale garden communities, the location of each which could straddle council administrative boundaries. Garden communities were amongst a range of options which were considered by the local authorities to meet their needs, but due to the scale of development being proposed across North Essex and the infrastructure constraints which exist in many of the existing main settlements, this was considered the most deliverable and sustainable option, providing a major long term supply of new homes.

    2.83 These new communities will accommodate a substantial amount of the housing and employment growth planned for North Essex within the plan period and beyond in a sustainable way that meets the strategic objectives.

    2.84 The North Essex Garden Communities will be holistically planned new settlements that respond directly to their regional, local and individual site context and opportunities to create developments underpinned by a series of interrelated principles which are based on the TCPA Garden City Principles[5], adapted for the specific North Essex context.

    2.85 A number of sites of sufficient scale to accommodate a garden community were identified through the Call for Sites, the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and wider evidence gathering processes by each of the local authorities. These were evaluated using agreed sustainability criteria.

    2.86 As these three proposed garden communities could be cross-boundary, continued close joint working between the authorities involved will be required to secure their successful delivery. Each of the authorities is committed to ensuring that the new communities proposed are as sustainable and high quality as possible and that the infrastructure needed to support them is delivered at the right time. This will require the local authorities to work very closely with the landowners within the proposed garden community locations to develop and put in place a robust delivery mechanism that will ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the costs and land requirements needed to secure the ambitions for these garden communities and create a long term legacy appropriate to the scale of this ambition. The Garden City principles developed by the Town and Country Planning Association have provided a good starting point in creating a framework for this approach. As noted earlier in this document, whilst Uttlesford are in a separate housing market area and are therefore not part of this strategic Part 1 there will continue to be ongoing discussions regarding the area of search in this location. The Uttlesford Issues and options Plan published in October 2015 included an area of search to the west of Braintree.

    View Comments (46) SP7: Development and delivery of new garden communities in North Essex

    The following three new garden communities are proposed in North Essex.

    • East of Colchester, on the border of Colchester BC and Tendring DC, a new garden community will deliver up to 2,500 homes within the Plan period (as part of an overall total of between 7,000-9,000 homes)
    • West of Colchester, on the border of Colchester BC and Braintree DC, a new garden community will deliver up to 2,500 within the Plan period (as part of an overall total of between 15,000 - 20,000 homes)
    • West of Braintree in Braintree DC and potentially on the border with Uttlesford DC, a new garden community will deliver up to 2,500 homes within the Plan period (as part of an overall total of between 10,000-13,000 homes)

    Each of these will be an holistically and comprehensively planned new community with a distinct identity that responds directly to its context and is of sufficient scale to incorporate a range of homes, employment, green space and other uses to enable residents to meet the majority of their day-to-day needs, reducing the need for outward commuting. Delivery of each new community will be underpinned by a comprehensive package of infrastructure. Unallocated proposals in the borough and districts will not be permitted if it would prejudice the development of these garden communities, regardless of the eventual capacity and phasing of the developments or the status of the 5 year supply in each local authority.

    The design, development and delivery of each new garden community will conform with the following principles.

    1. Community and stakeholder empowerment in the design and delivery of each garden community from the outset and a long term community engagement and activation strategy.
    2. The public sector working pro-actively and collaboratively with the private sector to design, and bring forward these garden communities, deploying new models of delivery, sharing risk and reward and ensuring that the cost of achieving the following is borne by those promoting the developments: (i) securing a high quality of place-making, (ii) ensuring the timely delivery of both on-site and off-site infrastructure required to address the impact of these new communities, and (iii) providing a mechanism for future stewardship, management, maintenance and renewal of community infrastructure and assets.
    3. Promotion and execution of the highest quality of planning, design and management of the built and public realm so that the Garden Communities are characterised as distinctive places that capitalise on local assets and establish environments that promote health, happiness and well-being. This will involve having detailed masterplans and design guidance in place to inform and guide development proposals and planning applications. Planning applications for the garden communities will be expected to be consistent with approved masterplans and design guidance.
    4. Sequencing of development and infrastructure provision (both on-site and off-site) to ensure that the latter is provided in tandem with or ahead of the development it supports to address the impacts of the new garden communities and meet the needs of residents.
    5. Development that provides for a truly balanced and inclusive community and meets the housing needs of local people including a mix of dwelling sizes, tenures and types including provision for self- and custom-built homes to meet the requirements of those most in need including an appropriate level of affordable housing.
    6. Provide opportunities for employment within each new community and within sustainable commuting distance of it.
    7. Plan the new communities around a step change in integrated and sustainable transport systems for the North Essex area that put walking, cycling and rapid public transit systems at the heart of growth in the area, encouraging and incentivising more sustainable active travel patterns.
    8. Structure the new communities to create sociable, vibrant and walkable neighbourhoods with equality of access for all to a range of community services and facilities including health, education, shopping, culture, community meeting spaces, multi-functional open space, sports and leisure facilities.
    9. Specific garden community parking approach and standards will be developed that help promote the use of sustainable transport and make efficient use of land.
    10. Create distinctive environments which relate to the surrounding environment and that celebrate natural environments and systems, utilise a multi-functional green-grid to create significant networks of new green infrastructure including new country parks at each garden community, provide a high degree of connectivity to existing corridors and networks and enhance biodiversity.
    11. Secure a smart and sustainable approach that fosters climate resilience and a 21st century environment in the design and construction of each garden community to secure net gains in local biodiversity, highest standards of technology to reduce impact of climate change, water efficiency (with the aim of being water neutral in areas of serious water stress), and sustainable waste and mineral management.
    12. Put in place appropriate and sustainable long term governance and stewardship arrangements for the new communities as well as long term community engagement.

    2.87 The following three policies relate to the strategic allocations for each of the new cross-boundary garden communities.

    View Comments (102) SP8: East Colchester / West Tendring New Garden Community

    The broad area of search shown on the adopted policies map, is identified as a strategic area for development of a new garden community of which the details and final number of homes will be set out in a Masterplan Framework to be prepared jointly between Colchester BC and Tendring DC and which will incorporate the following;

    1. housing for around 2,500 dwellings within the Plan period (as part of an overall total of between 7,000-9,000 homes)
    2. Land for employment generating development,
    3. Neighbourhood centres incorporating provision for convenience shopping, community, health and cultural provision,
    4. Primary schools, a secondary school and other community facilities as appropriate,
    5. A high proportion of the garden community will comprise green infrastructure including a new country park around Salary Brook.

    The Masterplan Framework will set out the nature, form and boundary of the new community. The masterplan will be produced in partnership with the development interests and will provide a layout showing the disposition and quantity of future land-uses, and give a three dimensional indication of the urban design parameters which will be incorporated into any future planning applications; together with a phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured. The masterplan will incorporate mechanisms for regular review and updating over the course of the implementation of this garden community.

    The Masterplan Framework will address the following principles and requirements in the design, development and delivery of the new garden community:

    A. Place-making and design quality

    1. The development of a new garden community to high standards of design and layout drawing on its context and the considerable assets within its boundaries such as woodland, streams and changes in topography, as well as the opportunities afforded by the proximity of the University of Essex campus to create a new garden community that is innovative, contemporary and technologically enabled set within a strong green framework with new neighbourhood centres at its heart. It will be designed and developed to have its own identity as a garden village and be as self-sustaining as possible recognising its location close to the edge of Colchester. It will secure appropriate integration with Colchester and the nearby University of Essex campus by the provision of suitable walking and cycling links and rapid public transport facilities to enable residents of the new community to have convenient access to town centre services and facilities in Colchester as well as Elmstead Market. A separation will be maintained between the new garden community and the nearby villages of Elmstead Market and Wivenhoe.
    2. Detailed masterplans and design guidance will be put in place to inform and guide development proposals and planning applications. Planning applications for this garden community will be expected to be consistent with approved masterplans and design guidance.

    B. Housing

    1. A mix of housing types and tenures including self- and custom-build will be provided on the site, including a minimum of 30% affordable housing. The affordable housing will be phased through the development;
    2. New residential development will seek to achieve an average net density of at least 30 dwellings to the hectare. Higher densities will be located close to the neighbourhood centres and along the strategic pubic transport corridors;

    C. Employment

    1. Provision for B1 and/or non B class employment generating uses towards the south of the site in proximity to the existing University of Essex and Knowledge Gateway, to provide for a wide range of local employment opportunities where appropriate;
    2. Provision for B1, B2 and B8 businesses to the north of the site close to the A120;

    D. Transportation

    1. A package of measures will be introduced to encourage smarter transport choices to meet the needs of the new community and maximise the opportunities for sustainable travel including the provision of a network of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways to enhance permeability within the site and to access and to access the adjoining area; development of a public transit rapid transit system; and effective measures to mitigate the transport impacts of the proposed development on the strategic and local road network. Longer term transport interventions will need to be carefully designed to minimise the impacts on the strategic road network and fully mitigate any environmental or traffic impacts.
    2. Foot and cycle ways shall be provided throughout the development linking the site to the University of Essex, Hythe station and Colchester Town Centre;
    3. Primary vehicular access to the site will be provided off the A120 and A133.
    4. Improvements to the local road infrastructure will be necessary to mitigate adverse traffic impacts and serve the new development. These shall include bus (or other public transit provisions?) priority measures between the site, University of Essex, Hythe station and Colchester Town Centre;
    5. Other specific infrastructure requirements identified as work on the area of search progresses.

    E. Community Infrastructure

    1. Neighbourhood centres of an appropriate scale will be provided to serve the proposed development. The centres will be located where they will be easily accessible by walking, cycling and public transit to the majority of residents in the garden community.
    2. A health facility and community meeting places will be provided within the local centres.
    3. A secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities will be provided to serve the new development;
    4. A network of green infrastructure will be provided within the garden community including a community park facility, allotments, a new country park of a minimum of 70 hectares in size provided along the Salary Brook corridor and incorporating Churn Wood, the provision of sports areas with associated facilities and play facilities;
    5. Provision of or contribution to indoor leisure facilities

    F. Other Requirements

    1. Provision of improvements to waste water treatment including an upgrade to the Colchester Waste Water Treatment Plant and off-site drainage improvements;
    2. Provision, management and on-going maintenance of sustainable surface water drainage measures to control the risk of flooding on site and which will reduce the risk of flooding to areas downstream or upstream of the development;
    3. Landscape buffers between the site and existing development in Colchester, Wivenhoe and Elmstead Market;
    4. Protection and/or enhancement of heritage and biodiversity assets within and surrounding the site;
    5. Provision of appropriate buffers along strategic road and rail infrastructure to protect new development
    6. Provision of appropriate design and infrastructure that incorporates the highest standards of innovation in technology to reduce impact of climate change, water efficiency (with the aim of being water neutral in areas of serious water stress), and sustainable waste / recycling management facilities.
    1. Measures to assist the development of a new community, including provision of community development workers for a minimum of ten years from initial occupation of the first homes.
    1. Appropriate and sustainable long term governance and stewardship arrangements for the new garden community including provision for management and maintenance of the public realm and community assets.

    View Comments (315) SP9: West of Colchester / East Braintree New Garden Community

    The broad area of search shown on the adopted policies map, is identified as a strategic area for development of a new garden community of which the details and final number of homes will be set out in a Masterplan Framework to be prepared jointly between Colchester BC and Braintree DC and which will incorporate the following;

    1. housing for around 2,500 dwellings within the Plan period (as part of an overall total of between 15,000 to 20,000 homes)
    2. Provision for Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling showpeople,
    3. Land for B1 and/or employment generating development,
    4. A district centre and neighbourhood centres incorporating provision for convenience shopping, community, health and cultural provision,
    5. Primary schools, a secondary school and other community facilities as appropriate,
    6. A high proportion of the garden community will comprise green infrastructure including a new country park.

    The Masterplan Framework will set out the nature, form and boundary of the new community. The masterplan will be produced in partnership with the development interests and will provide a layout showing the disposition and quantity of future land-uses, and give a three dimensional indication of the urban design parameters which will be incorporated into any future planning applications; together with a phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured. The masterplan will incorporate mechanisms for regular review and updating over the course of the implementation of this garden community.

    A. Place-making and design quality

    1. The development of a new garden community to high standards of design and layout drawing on its context and the assets within its boundaries including streams, land drains and ditches, mature hedgerows and field boundaries, woodland and historic buildings. A mixed use district centre will provide a vibrant heart to this new community supplemented by neighbourhood centres to form foci for new neighbourhoods. The design of the community will also address the challenges offered by other features in particular the severance created by the A12 and A120 and maximise the opportunities afforded through integration with the existing community of Marks Tey, and the presence of the railway station, all underpinned by a strong green grid of connected green space that provides great recreational opportunities for residents and connection to the wider countryside. The garden community will be designed and developed to have its own identity be as self-sustaining as possible. A separation will be maintained between the new garden community and the nearby settlements of Coggeshall , Stanway, Feering Copford and Easthorpe.

    1. Detailed masterplans and design guidance will be put in place to inform and guide development proposals and planning applications. Planning applications for this garden community will be expected to be consistent with approved masterplans and design guidance.

    B. Housing

    1. A mix of housing types and tenures including self- and custom-build will be provided on the site, including a minimum of 30% affordable housing. The affordable housing will be phased through the development;
    2. New residential development will seek to achieve an average net density of at least 30 dwellings to the hectare. Higher densities will be located close to the district and neighbourhood centres, the rail station and along the strategic public transport corridors;

    C. Employment

    1. Provision for B1 and/or non B class employment generating uses around the rail station as part of mixed use urban development to provide for a wide range of local employment opportunities where appropriate;

    D. Transportation

    1. A package of measures will be introduced to encourage smarter transport choices to meet the needs of the new community and maximise the opportunities for sustainable travel including the provision of a network of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways to enhance permeability within the site and to access the adjoining area; development of a rapid transit system connecting this new garden community to the wider Colchester context; development of opportunities to improve accessibility to Marks Tey rail station; and effective measures to mitigate the transport impacts of the proposed development on the strategic and local road network. Longer term transport interventions will need to be carefully designed to minimise the impacts on the strategic road network and fully mitigate any environmental or traffic impacts.
    2. Primary vehicular access to the site will be provided via a reconfigured A120.
    3. Improvements to the local road infrastructure will be necessary to mitigate adverse traffic impacts and serve the new development. These shall include bus priority measures between the site, Colchester and Braintree town centres, employment areas and rail stations;
    4. Foot and cycle ways shall be provided throughout the development and linking the site to the wider network
    5. Marks Tey rail station is an important asset located in the northern eastern section of the new garden community. Opportunities will be explored to establish how it can be made more accessible to residents of the new community including relocation of the station to a more central location and improvement of walking, cycling and public transport links to the station.
    6. Other detailed infrastructure requirements may be added as work on the site progresses.

    E. Community Infrastructure

    1. A new district centre and neighbourhood centres of an appropriate scale will be provided to serve the proposed development. The centres will be located where they will be easily accessible by walking, cycling and public transit to the majority of residents in the garden community including residents of the existing Marks Tey village.
    2. A health facility and community meeting places will be provided within the district and local centres.
    3. At least one secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities will be provided to serve the new development;
    4. A network of green infrastructure will be provided within the garden community including a community park, allotments, a new country park, the provision of sports areas with associated facilities and play facilities;
    5. Provision of or contribution to indoor leisure facilities

    F. Other Requirements

    1. Provision of improvements to waste water treatment including an upgrade to the Colchester Waste Water Treatment Plant and off-site drainage improvements;
    2. Provision, management and on-going maintenance of sustainable surface water drainage measures to control the risk of flooding on site and which will reduce the risk of flooding to areas downstream or upstream of the development;
    3. Landscape buffers between the site and Coggeshall, Feering, Stanway, Copford and Easthorpe;
    4. Protection and/or enhancement of heritage and biodiversity assets within and surrounding the site including Marks Tey Hall, Easthorpe Hall Farm, Easthorpe Hall and the habitats along and adjoining the Domsey Brook and Roman River corridors.
    5. Provision of appropriate buffers along strategic road and rail infrastructure to protect new development
    6. Provision of appropriate design and infrastructure that incorporates the highest standards of innovation in technology to reduce impact of climate change, water efficiency (with the aim of being water neutral in areas of serious water stress), and sustainable waste / recycling management facilities.
    7. Measures to assist the development of a new community including provision of community development workers for a minimum of ten years from initial occupation of the first homes.
    8. Appropriate and sustainable long term governance and stewardship arrangements for the new garden community including provision for management and maintenance of the public realm and community assets.

    View Comments (10) SP10: West of Braintree new garden community

    The broad area of search, as shown on the adopted policies map, is identified as a strategic area for development of a new garden community of which the details and final number of homes will be set out in a Masterplan Framework to be prepared jointly between Braintree DC and Uttlesford DC if applicable and which will incorporate the following;

    1. housing for around 2,500 homes within the Plan period (as part of an overall total of between 10,000 - 13,000 homes)
    2. Provision for Gypsy and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople
    3. Appropriate provision of B1 and/or employment generating development,
    4. Neighbourhood centres incorporating provision for convenience shopping, community, health and cultural provision,
    5. Primary schools, a secondary school and other community facilities as appropriate,
    6. At high proportion of the garden community will comprise green infrastructure including a new country park to the east of site.

    The Masterplan framework setting out the nature, form and boundary of the new community. The masterplan will be produced in partnership with the development interests and will provide a layout showing the disposition and quantity of future land-uses, and give a three dimensional indication of the urban design parameters which will be incorporated into any future planning applications; together with a phasing and implementation strategy which sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured. The masterplan will incorporate mechanisms for regular review and updating over the course of the implementation of this garden community.

    A. Place-making and design quality

    1. The new garden community will be developed to high standards of design and layout drawing on its context and the assets within its boundaries including Boxted Wood, Golden Grove, Rumley Wood, Pods Brook and the historic airfield. The gently sloping topography to the south of the site also affords opportunities for long distance views. These key assets will provide a context to build a new green space grid upon to provide an attractive setting for the new community and linking to the wider countryside. The new community will also address the relationship with existing communities close to its boundaries including Great Saling, Stebbing Green and Stebbing. The garden community will be designed and developed to have its own identity be as self-sustaining as possible. A separation will be maintained between the new garden community and the nearby village of Great Saling.
    2. Detailed masterplans and design guidance will be put in place to inform and guide development proposals and planning applications. Planning applications for this garden community will be expected to be consistent with approved masterplans and design guidance.

    B. Housing

    1. A mix of housing types and tenures including self- and custom-build and starter homes will be provided on the site, including a minimum of 30% affordable housing. The affordable housing will be phased through the development;
    2. New residential development will seek to achieve an average net density of at least 30 dwellings to the hectare. Higher densities will be located close to the neighbourhood centres and along the strategic public transport corridors;

    C. Employment

    1. Provision for B1, B2 and B8 businesses in the southern part of the community close to the A120 to provide for a wide range of local employment opportunities

    D. Transportation

    1. A package of measures will be introduced to encourage smarter transport choices to meet the needs of the new community and maximise the opportunities for sustainable travel including the provision of a network of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways to enhance permeability within the site and to access the adjoining area; development of an effective public transport system; development of opportunities to improve accessibility to local rail station; and effective measures to mitigate the transport impacts of the proposed development on the strategic and local road network. Longer term transport interventions will need to be carefully designed to minimise the impacts on the strategic road network and fully mitigate any environmental or traffic impacts.
    2. Primary vehicular access to the site will be provided via the A120 and B1256.
    3. Improvements to the local road infrastructure will be necessary to mitigate adverse traffic impacts and serve the new development. These shall include bus priority measures between the site, Braintree town centre, rail station and employment areas including the 120 Skyline business park, Witham rail station and London Stansted Airport;
    4. Foot and cycle ways shall be provided throughout the development, linking the site to Braintree town through the existing Flitch Way linear country park;
    5. Other specific infrastructure requirements identified as work on the area of search progresses

    E. Community Infrastructure

    1. Neighbourhood centres of an appropriate scale will be provided to serve the proposed new community. The centres will be located where they will be easily accessible by walking, cycling and public transit to the majority of residents in the garden community.
    2. A health facility and community meeting places will be provided within the district and local centres.
    3. A secondary school, primary schools and early years facilities will be provided to serve the new development;
    4. A network of green infrastructure will be provided within the garden community including a community park, allotments, a new country park provided at the east side of the community, the provision of sports areas with associated facilities and play facilities;
    5. Provision of or contribution to indoor leisure facilities

    F Other Requirements

    1. Provision of improvements to waste water treatment and off-site drainage improvements;
    2. Provision, management and on-going maintenance of sustainable surface water drainage measures to control the risk of flooding on site and which will reduce the risk of flooding to areas downstream or upstream of the development;
    3. Landscape buffers between the site and Great Saling, Stebbing, Stebbing Green and Rayne;
    4. Protection and/or enhancement of heritage and biodiversity assets within and surrounding the site including Great Saling Hall conservation area and areas of deciduous woodland within and adjoining the site.
    5. Provision of appropriate buffers along strategic road to protect new development
    6. Provision of appropriate design and infrastructure that incorporates the highest standards of innovation in technology to reduce impact of climate change, water efficiency (with the aim of being water neutral in areas of serious water stress), and sustainable waste / recycling management facilities.
    7. Measures to assist the development of a new community including provision of community development workers for a minimum of eight years from initial occupation of the first homes.
    8. Appropriate and sustainable long term governance and stewardship arrangements for the new garden community including provision for management and maintenance of the public realm and community assets.

    View Comments (6) Delivery Arrangements

    2.88 The Councils are currently investigating the best ways to deliver development on the garden communities. Given the scale and ambition of the proposals, a new method of delivery is being sought which will allow the local authorities to have a much greater say in when and how the land is released and to ensure that the infrastructure and residents requirements for the new community are developed at the same time as new homes.

    2.89 Detailed monitoring arrangements are included within the implementation and monitoring section of each Local Plan and will include how the monitoring of the delivery of the garden communities will be carried out. It should be noted that where there is an unacceptable delay in delivery of development and/or infrastructure occurs, the local authorities will use mechanisms and powers including Compulsory Purchase Orders, to intervene.

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