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1.1 Colchester is a diverse and growing Borough, with a vibrant
town centre, attractive villages and important natural landscapes.
Over the next 15 years the Borough will face many challenges, such
as population growth and change, evolving economic trends and the
need for more sustainable transportation. To address these
challenges, Colchester Borough Council is preparing a new Local
Plan to meet the needs of current and future generations whilst
also protecting and enhancing the environment and people's quality
1.2 The Local Plan sets out a vision, strategy, objectives and
policies for planning and delivery across the borough. These are
first set out at the strategic level in Part 1 of the plan, and
then followed by more detailed information on Colchester in Part 2
of the plan. Taken together, these two parts of the plan combine
to provide a spatial framework that brings together and
co-ordinates a range of strategies prepared by the Council, its
partners and other agencies and authorities. It includes policies
for deciding development proposals. It takes account of projected
changes in the economy, employment, housing need, transport
demand, and seeks to maintain the quality of the natural and built
environment as well as its historic environment. It provides the
strategy and policies for shaping the borough until 2033 and
1.3 The Borough cannot be planned in isolation. The Local Plan
has been developed in the context of a range of other plans and
strategies operating at the national, county, and local levels.
1.4 The Local Plan must reflect the National Planning Policy
Framework (NPPF) issued by the Secretary of State for Communities
& Local Government. Further national guidance on planning
policies is provided in Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). The NPPF
establishes a presumption in favour of sustainable development,
which the Council will implement in making its planning decisions.
It is a statutory requirement for the council to produce planning
policies for the Borough. The policies must comply with national
planning policy unless there is overwhelming evidence to
demonstrate why this is not the case.
1.5 To bridge the gap between the national and local levels,
business-led Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been
established across the country. The South East LEP (SELEP)
includes the Colchester Borough and comprises the areas of Essex,
Kent and East Sussex. Whilst the LEP has no statutory land use
planning powers, it is responsible for determining local economic
priorities and undertaking activities to encourage economic growth
and local job creation.
1.6In July 2014, the SELEP agreed a "Growth Deal" with the
Government which aims to contribute to the LEP's Strategic
Economic Plan (2014) for the period 2015 to 2021, and aims to
create up to 45,000 new jobs and see 23,000 new homes built across
the LEP area. The Growth Deal focuses initially on transport
infrastructure and meeting the skills capital requirements
identified by the LEP, but also lays the foundations for increased
growth across the SELEP area. Significant investment in transport
infrastructure is key to facilitating growth in jobs and housing.
The transport priorities relevant to Colchester Borough focus on
the A120 and A12 corridors, Great Eastern Mainline, and a range of
measures to support growth at Colchester Northern Gateway,
Colchester Town Centre, and the Knowledge Gateway, including
investment in broadband and business parks. For Colchester
Borough, over Â£35 million has been secured to complete projects
over the five year period to 2020-21.
1.7 The Essex Local Transport Plan (2011) contains the Essex
Transport Strategy (2011) and sets out the 15 year vision to
improve travel in the county and underlines the importance of the
transport network in achieving sustainable, long term economic
growth and enriching the life of residents. It is supplemented by
delivery strategies for public transport, highways, cycling and
public rights of way.
1.8 The Economic Plan for Essex is based on the collective
ambitions of all local authorities in Essex. It identifies the
steps that local partners will take together, alongside the
private sector and government to accelerate local growth over the
period 2014-2021 and beyond. Colchester and the Haven Gateway are
identified as growth locations. The plan states the capacity of
key transport corridors within Essex is a key challenge to
securing growth - a challenge that partners are working together
to meet. The key corridors for Colchester are A120 - Haven Gateway
and A12 /Greater Eastern Main Line.
1.9 Essex County Council is the minerals planning authority for
the Borough, and is responsible for preparing planning policies,
and also for assessing applications for mineral development. The
Essex Minerals Local Plan (2014) is a statutory Development Plan
and should be read alongside the Colchester Local Plan. The role
of the Minerals Local Plan is to identify sites for the extraction
of sufficient quantities of mineral within Essex to facilitate
development over the Plan period.
1.10 There are active quarry sites in the Borough as well as
currently unworked sand & gravel and brick clay deposits which
are subject to a Minerals Safeguarding policy within the Minerals
Local Plan. The safeguarding policy requires the minerals planning
authority - Essex County Council - to be consulted on development
proposals covering 5 hectares or more within the sand & gravel
minerals safeguarding area and greater than one dwelling for the
brick clay safeguarded area. The Minerals Safeguarding Areas
within Colchester Borough are shown on the Policies Map. Regard
should be had to the requirements of the Minerals Local Plan where
a development falls within a Minerals Safeguarding Area.
1.11 The Minerals Local Plan also designates Mineral
Consultation Areas at a distance of 250m around active quarries,
mineral infrastructure and mineral deposits permitted for
extraction. Essex County Council will be required to be consulted
on all non-mineral related development within these areas.
1.12 Essex County Council is the waste planning authority for
the Borough, and is responsible for preparing planning policies,
and also for assessing applications for waste management
development. The Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan (2001)
is a statutory Development Plan which should be read alongside the
Colchester Local Plan. It sets out where and how waste management
developments can occur, and is the planning policy against which
waste management development planning applications are assessed. A
Replacement Waste Local Plan is currently being prepared and
should be adopted in 2016/17. It will cover the period from 2017
1.13 The Replacement Waste Local Plan proposes new waste
development at Bellhouse, Stanway, Fingringhoe Quarry and Wivenhoe
Quarry. It also identifies Areas of Search to meet the need for
additional small scale waste management facilities. These Areas of
Search are existing industrial estates within the Borough, and are
located away from residential and other uses sensitive to amenity
impacts such as schools, retail, leisure and office development.
The Plan would seek to focus any new proposals for waste
management facilities, which support local housing and economic
growth, within these Areas of Search.
1.14 The Plan also designates Waste Consultation Areas at a
distance of 250m around waste management facilities. Essex County
Council will be required to be consulted on all non-waste related
development within these areas.
1.15 The Local Plan brings together the spatial elements of the
following Borough strategies and provides a focus for future
Colchester Borough Council Strategic Plan 2015-18
This plan sets out the direction and future potential for the
borough, with the aim of making the Borough a vibrant, thriving,
prosperous and welcoming place.
Colchester Economic Strategy 2015-21 This plan
provides an overarching vision and framework for economic
interventions in Colchester, including guidance on partnership
work and prioritising resources.
1.16 In preparing the Local Plan, the Council co-operates with a
range of other bodies to ensure a co-ordinated approach in the
development of its policies in line with national guidance, in the
context of strategic cross-boundary matters.. These bodies include
Essex County Council, the neighbouring districts of Braintree,
Tendring, Maldon and Babergh, together with agencies responsible
for transport, health and the environment.
1.17 Further information on the duty is provided in Part 1 of
this Local Plan, which discusses the strategic approach to local
plan issues across Colchester, Braintree and Tendring.
1.18 Policy development goes hand in hand with the development
of an evidence base of research and information. The Evidence Base
contains documents from local, county and national levels.
National guidance is not listed to avoid repetition, given that
the Local Plan has been produced in accordance with national
planning policy. The evidence gathered from the documents has been
employed in the formulation of the Spatial Strategy and Policies:
1.19 Key documents making up the primary Evidence Base and
available on the Council's website include:
Sustainability Appraisal - see explanation in following section
Objectively Assessed Housing Need Report - July 2015
Strategic Housing Market Assessment - December 2015
Strategic Land Availability Assessment - June 2016
Concept Feasibility Study for Garden Communities - June 2016
Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment - July 2014,
updated October 2014
Employment Land Needs Assessment - January 2015
Colchester Retail Study - March 2013
Travel to Work Patterns - September 2015
Green Infrastructure Strategy - October 2011
Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategies - July
Water Cycle Study - June 2016
Local Wildlife Study-
Transport Modelling - June 2016
1.20 Policy development has been carried out in the light of a
Sustainability Appraisal, incorporating a Strategic Environmental
Assessment. The Sustainability Appraisal tests the sustainability
of the Plan options throughout the production process. It does
this by considering how different policy choices perform against a
range of 'sustainability' criteria. For example, it looks at
whether policies or allocations would provide new jobs, make
efficient use of land and help to improve health and wellbeing.
The Sustainability Appraisal also helps to identify amendments to
policies, or measure that could help to minimise any negative
impacts identified and maximise the sustainability of the Local
1.21 A further part of the process is Habitats Regulations
Assessment. This is the process for determining whether a plan or
project will have adverse effects on a European habitat site. The
Council carried out a Habitat Regulations Assessment screening
opinion and concluded that a high level of growth, regardless of
location, has the potential to lead to adverse effects on European
sites in the Borough, primarily owing to increased levels of
recreational disturbance. The next stage will be an Appropriate
Assessment identifying how pressures can be mitigated which will
be prepared and published alongside the submission version of the
1.22 All this evidence is made publicly available. The Council
will keep the evidence base under review and monitor the
implementation of the Local Plan's objectives and policies.
Monitoring reports on key Local Plan issues will be published on
an annual basis, and will highlight whether circumstances have
changed sufficiently to require a review of the Local Plan in its
entirety or a review of selected policies.
1.23 Development Plan Documents for Colchester will comprise:
1.24 The Local Plan is accompanied by a number of other planning
documents that provide policies, guidance and feedback:
- Annual Monitoring Report
- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - A charging schedule will
be developed to set out how the CIL will be applied to various
categories of development.
You are encouraged to comment on this document. If you register
to submit comments online, you can update your own contact details
as needed, and you will receive e-mails informing you when new
documents are available for consultation. The consultation portal
can be found at http://www.colchester.gov.uk/currentconsultations
You will be asked to register or login before being able to
comment but you can read consultation documents without
Alternatively, you can use the following contact details to send
us comments, although we would encourage respondents to use the
online response forms wherever possible. If you do submit a
response via email or letter which is not on the Council's
response form please set out very clearly within your response
which site, paragraph or policy to which your comment refer.
By email to firstname.lastname@example.org
By post to: Planning Policy, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan
House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, CO3 3WG
All consultation responses must be received no later than 5pm
on Friday 16th
Please note that responses which include a series of supporting
documents must be received both electronically and with 3 hard
copies. A summary of the response must be included within the
representation if the response comprises more than 100 words.
If you have any questions about the consultation please contact
the Planning Policy team on 01206 282473 or e-mail email@example.com
If you would like this document in an alternative format such as
large print, braille or another language then please contact the
Planning Policy team.
What Happens Next?
The Plan will be published for ten weeks public consultation
commencing on 9th July 2016 to enable the public and
stakeholders to comment upon the draft allocations, policies and
alternatives and to suggest amendments to the plan.
The Council will use the comments and suggestions that it
receives on this document to help it to develop the plan. The
revised plan will be the subject of the next stage of public
consultation in early 2017 before it is formally submitted to the
Secretary of State. An Inspector will be appointed to examine the
'soundness' of the Plan in a series of round table discussions on
different issues, giving individuals and organisations the
opportunity to challenge or support the Plan. If the Planning
Inspector is content that the Plan is sound, then the Council can
adopt the Plan, taking on board any relevant recommendations from
the Inspector to change the Plan. The Council is aiming for the
new Local Plan to be adopted by early 2018.