Local Plan

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Representation 1281 on Preferred Options Local Plan by Ms Patricia Curran

Support / Object: OBJECT
Document Link: Preferred Options Local Plan - Sustainable Settlements, Rowhedge, SS14: Land to the south of Battleswick Farm Rowhedge Road
Representation: Do not build homes on a working farm but look to build homes with new travel, educational and nhs infrastructures that can be built at the same time. Do not try to squeeze as many people as possibly into small spaces causing crime rates to increase. Do not build homes on a high risk flood site, causing more floods for residents.

Original submission

I object to the development of 60 homes on greenbelt land.
You have stated that there will be a footpath connecting this development to the village of Rowhedge with a footpath through Hillview Close but there is currently no such footpath and no space for a footpath.
Battleswick Farm is dedicated greenbelt and has been a farm since 1323. Rowhedge residents do not want to be connected to Colchester but want a green belt to stay in place.
You have stated that Rowhedge business park is a place for local employment but that only employs 8 people - and that is the same size as Battleswick Farm.
Neither residents, parish council, or ward councillors support the proposal to build on Battleswick farm and it would be totally bureaucratic of Colchester councillors to ignore the views of local people.
There are already 252 new homes being built in the village - between the Wharf development and new build in spare spaces between existing houses to build another 60 homes would be too much for the infrastructure.
The GP surgery is at capacity. The local schools are at capacity - there are not enough school places for the children who will move into the Wharf development let alone another development.
90% of the village have employment outside of the village- this means that people have to use the roads to travel to and from work. Whilst the number of houses has increased and is increasing the amount of access via roads has not increased. In fact a large majority of the village is not accessible to emergency vehicles due to the width of the roads and the number of cars on the roads. On top of this you wish to add more cars to an over stretched road system. And hope that emergency vehicles will be able to reach the village in events of an emergency.
The brook at the bottom of Battleswick Farm/Hillview Close is at the highest level of flood risk on the environment agencies map and it is causing more and more flooding in the gardens of existing homes in Hillview Close - in fact it has also caused springs to develop under some of the homes. Building more homes on a brook that already causes flooding problems on Rowhedge Road , with increased vehicle access seems rather short thinking.
The government is currently asking towns to squeeze more houses into smaller areas to create more houses but without improving the infrastructure.
Squeezing more people into smaller areas leads to an increase in crime rates. Rowhedge has had a low level of crimes throughout the years and residents do not want to see it increasing.
The government as a whole and not just one town should be thinking of housing the current and future populations. In the 1950s the government needed to re-home a vast proportion of the population. Rather than squeezing people into smaller and smaller spaces they looked at creating new towns in open spaces. This included new infrastructure such as new roads, new schools, and new GPs and hospitals. 80% of Great Britain is land that is currently not built on. This is a massive proportion of land.Rather than asking each district/town/borough to build a percentage of houses without thought for the infrastructure perhaps the towns/boroughs and government could work together to provide new homes and new GP surgeries and new schools in the barren parts of the country and make new towns as happened half a century ago.
There are other sites available within and outside of Colchester for development. The military has decided to sell Middlewick Ranges - this is a large area of land suitable for housing. The Co-op is selling it's site on Abbots Road. Rowhedge Business Centre has proposed selling it's land to the borough council several times. Why when brown land is available would you consider building on green land?

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