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[Also reference to paragraphs 6.198-6.200]
We have been in contact with the Parish Council and they have a copy of our clients' response to the Borough Council's January 2015 Call for Sites. We have also contacted the Parish Council to inform them of our clients' intention to participate in the preparation of the Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan.
We agree with Policy SS15's target of around 600 additional dwellings to be provided over the plan period. However, we foresee problems with the broad areas of growth indicated by the arrows on the Tiptree Policy Map.
Firstly, these will be an unnecessary constraint on the Neighbourhood Plan. This plan is the best vehicle and process for determining where new allocations should be located. The Tiptree Village Neighbourhood Plan Working Party (TVNPWP) will be perfectly aware of the constraints described in paragraphs 6.198 of the Consultation Document and take them into account in making appropriate land allocations.
Secondly, we believe that three of the broad growth directions shown on the Policy Map are unsuitable. The first is that to the south-west along the B1022, pointing north-west. This would lead to consolidation of an existing ribbon development into open countryside. The second is one of the growth directions to the north-west, which points towards open countryside on the northern side of the B1023. Finally, there is no obvious reason for the westwards growth direction towards the gravel pits on the village's westward side. This again points towards open countryside with no obvious barriers or defensible boundaries, before the pits themselves. The most likely consequence would be a large allocation that takes up a significant proportion, if not all, of the proposed 600 additional dwellings for the settlement. We believe there would be serious disadvantages in concentrating growth in one location. Tiptree would be better served by a larger number of smaller sites that can be more easily integrated into the village's existing fabric.
Our clients' site, reference 193, could provide around 50 to 60 dwellings in a highly sustainable location on the settlement's north-western edge. Key community facilities are within easy walking distance, including a primary school, secondary school, leisure centre and bus stops. There are regular services from nearby bus stops to Tiptree village centre, with its comprehensive range of commercial and community services; and to other larger centres.
The site has good defensible boundaries, with existing residential area to the west and south; the Bonnie Blue Oak public house and restaurant to the south; Boundary Lane to the north separating the site from open countryside beyond; and an established, mature hedgerow to the east. We believe both the size and location of this site to be ideal as a land allocation for Tiptree. It would provide around 10% of the 600 additional dwellings proposed for the settlement, include a level of affordable housing meeting the requirements of proposed policy DM8; and provide land for an appropriate local community facility such as a playground.
There are no significant constraints on the land's availability. It is in one ownership and can be made available at an early stage in the plan period.
These comments should be read in conjunction with our representations to the Issues and Options Consultation January 2015 and Call for Sites January 2015.