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Tendring District Council supports Colchester Borough Council in its commitment to establish a new Local Plan for the borough. Tendring District Council is committed to working with Colchester Borough Council on an active and on-going basis and is particularly proud that the councils along with Braintree District Council and Essex County Council have agreed a common strategic framework in Part 1 of the Local Plans for Braintree, Colchester and Tendring.
Part 1 is an excellent output from the four Councils' Memorandum of Co-operation and the agreement to collaborate on evidence, development of options and addressing economic growth across the sub-region. Part 1 also presents a strong and specific joint strategic planning framework for the Councils' ground breaking work on Garden Communities and Tendring District Council looks forward to further developing these options as the Councils move to implementation.
Tendring District Council offers the following officer observations to meet Colchester's consultation timetable. These will be presented to Tendring's Local Plan Committee on September 27 2016 for comment and to seek endorsement.
Vision and Objectives. Tendring District Council welcomes the positive approach taken by Colchester especially in relation to job creation, public transport improvements and quality of design.
Part 1 - Tendring District Council has no further comments to make on Part 1 of the Local Plan in relation to Colchester.
Part 2 - Policy EC1. Tendring District Council supports the economic resource and job generation from the protection and expansion of the Knowledge Gateway and its integration in to the east of Colchester garden community as well as the wider sub region. Tendring District Council supports the expansion of Zone 1, subject to further joint work on land use zones and access within the east of Colchester garden community. Tendring District Council notes that the majority of Zone 2 falls within the boundary of the Tendring district. We understand this is an error in mapping but that the intention would be to secure Tendring District Council's agreement to designate the appropriate parts of Zone 2 in its Submission version of the Local Plan. Tendring District Council requests further dialogue on this matter with both the University of Essex and Colchester Borough Council to inform the next stage of both our Local Plans.
Table SG2. Tendring District Council welcomes the identification within Table SG2 on the potential hierarchy of settlements and the potential growth within these settlements to meet Colchester Borough Council's housing requirement. In developing Part 1 of the Local Plan agreement was reached to make provision for up to 1250 homes in each of the authorities boundaries within the broad area of search for the proposed east of Colchester garden community. To this end no further allocations within this broad area of search where deemed appropriate until the boundaries for the garden community had been agreed.
It is therefore of concern that an allowance for up to 930 houses has been provided for in the Colchester housing figures with a view to this provision being on sites to the east of Colchester, within the current broad area of search for the garden community albeit these being determined following the definition of the boundary for the garden community.
Our concern includes that;
1) If the entire areas of search is taken then this 930 would need to be part of the garden community - not a separate allocation. The delivery of 930 plus 2500 housing units up to 2033 is beyond current delivery expectations.
2) If the area of search is reduced would any of the 930 may detrimental impact on the ethos or the delivery of the garden community. This could include access, landscape, market price and delivery impacts.
Tendring District Council has not allocated any additional growth with the area of search and requests that Colchester reviews this additional 930 units in line with the concerns expressed here for the submission versions of our Local Plans. Any further allocation to the east of Colchester which is not part of the garden community is of a concern to Tendring District Council and it is requested that Colchester reviews the approach to this additional 930 units in line with the concerns expressed.