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I would like to place on record my objections to the draft local plan put forward by Colchester Borough Council for housing in Langham village.
My objections mainly concern the overdevelopment of the land facing School road, and I would emphasis that my comments are not based on nymbyism but plain common sense, based on the knowledge I have gained over fifty years as a resident.
1). Careful planning has allowed Langham to grow over the years with consideration for its rural location, and it has retained many aspects that appeal to those who prefer a country lifestyle. People who live here are happy to live without facilities, which might seem essential to urban dwellers, such as street lighting and pavements. We retain our roadside hedges when possible.
The proposal put forward by the parish for 85 properties over the next 25 years represents sustainable growth without prejudicing this lifestyle.
The proposal for School road together with that for Wick road, which we are asked to consider by CBC, would increase housing by 30% and completely destroy the village.
2) We already have a disastrous industrial area on School Road, whose occupants have consistently ignored planning restrictions placed on the site when it was approved in 2001
Heavy lorries frequently block the road when entering and reversing out of the premises.
To surround this site, which is located opposite two schools, the primary school and the Langham Oaks school, with 115 houses, all requiring access onto the same narrow road, would be a total folly.
Cars depositing and collecting children already cause chaos throughout term times.
3) This development might help Colchester meet its housing quota but placing people in a quiet village some six miles outside the town centre doesn't solve the question of where they are expected to work, go to school, or visit their doctor.
Public transport could never meet all their requirements even if the roads were wide enough to allow two buses to pass each other, and the majority of households will need two cars.
Once they have managed to exit the village they will find that the main roads from here are already overcrowded for much of the day with frequent traffic jams.
4) A developer taking on the proposed site would be faced with considerable infrastructure costs, which would probably include contributing towards the renewal of the already overloaded sewerage system. It is obvious that once they have moved onto site and incurred these overheads, they would not be prepared to wait to complete years ahead.
5) The land owner and his agent will look upon approval for housing on this scale as the green light allowing them to press for further development of the entire area across to Park Rd. They may call it a garden development but what they are doing is covering good farmland with concrete, and Langham will become another area of urban sprawl.
I urge CBC to reject this proposal in favour of the one put forward by Langham Parish Council.
St Margaret's cross,