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I am commenting on this draft plan via email as I have tried unsuccessfully to navigate your online form which is not at all user friendly.
Having read the proposals and attended two consultation meetings in Langham - hosted by CBC and Langham Parish Council, I am writing to strongly object to the preferred options produced by CBC.
In fact I believe that the document is fundementally unsound with little or no evidence to support the preferences submitted.
The basis of my objections and justification for concluding that the proposals are unsound is as follows -
The proposals suggest 125 new dwellings in Langham which currently has 419 dwellings. This is an increase of 30% which under any reasonable measure is disproportionate growth. Moreover this would change the character and nature of the village and in my view be a lost asset to Colchester. There is reference in the proposals to the 'wider Langham area' which is a mystery to local residents as no such area formally exists. There are clear boundaries with neighbouring villages which define the area.
The percentage growth suggested for Langham is the highest in the area based on the figures contained in the CBC draft plan.Specifically it is significantly higher than Boxted where a 7% growth is proposed.This is perverse given the size of our village, lack of facilities and local environment. For example, in West Mersea a 11% growth is suggested and this area has ample infrastructure, including a wide range of shops, GP services. community services and good bus services.
Following on from my comments in the previous paragraph Langham has little infrastructure with no GP services,no commercial shops,limited community services and a limited infrequent bus service.The roads are rural in nature and more development would inevitably cause more traffic,noise and air pollution. Moreover. the village is on a very popular cycle route leading to the AONB which is adjacent to the village boundary.
Type of Developments Proposed
In my view the 115 new dwellings proposed in School Road will create density issues in the busiest part of the village, opposite the local primary school and adjacent to a large industrial site where very big HGV's operate creating traffic problems. This site is also used by a number of other businesses including paint spraying.
Also the layout of the site proposed is inappropriate for the village being a backfilling development. the current layout is based on frontage development.
It is my view that our village is a precious resource with its rural character, many thatched cottages, horse riding,farming and community spirit. To impose disproportionate and inappropriate development on Langham would permanently damage the area for ever which I believe would be a loss not only for local people but also for the wider community.
School Road is the southern border of the Stour Valley Project Area and the village would like it's status enhanced in future to become part of the AONB. A high density housing development would impact negatively on the success of this plan.
I understand that a leading supporter of the proposed developments is an ex senior planning officer with CBC. There is some concern, which I share, that this could create a perception that the parties seeking development have unfair access to officers or other advantages not available to local people. I would seek assurances that this is not the case and any conflict of interest is made public.
I am submitting my comments in good faith that this is an open, honest and genuine consultation and that responses have a reasonable prospect of influencing the outcome.