Local Plan

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Representation 1291 on Preferred Options Local Plan by Mr Robert Walmsley

Support / Object: SUPPORT
Document Link: Preferred Options Local Plan - Sustainable Settlements, Dedham and Dedham Heath, SS6: Dedham Heath Housing Sites
Representation: There is a need for more homes in Dedham or Dedham Heath. Urban sprawl should be avoided. Site 243 and 091 are infill with homes on both sides and opposite including some homes and large extensions recently built within the AONB.
Homes spread over three plots will allow space for sustainable drainage systems to retain all rain water on the site.
The AONB allows for small scale development when it is in the public interest and in exceptional circumstances such as the capability of providing 17 new homes within the general boundaries of the existing developed area of Dedham Heath.

Original submission

Unquestionably there is a need for more homes in Dedham or Dedham Heath. Urban sprawl should be avoided and discouraged as this would have far worse effects on the surrounding countryside than would small scale housing by way of infill.
Site 243 would certainly be considered as infill with the houses of The Heath backing onto it. This includes Heath View which is a large executive style property built in 2009. Also the listed Old Church House where permission has recently been granted and building completed of a large workshop in the grounds. To the East are a row of three houses being Blomfields, The Cottage and Heath Court. Blomfields and The Cottage have undergone significant extensions in recent years including development of out- buildings. All are in the AONB. Opposite and immediately adjoining the AONB are a row of modern houses also built in recent years.
Plot 091 is also obvious infill although also a sanctuary for wild life and birds which should be protected as much as possible. Plot 213 is less obviously infill and tends towards ribbon development and could encourage development on the farmland on the opposite side of the road.
The Dedham Parish Council at a recent meeting appeared to be in favor of selecting only site 213 and supporting a larger number of houses on that site. This was not generally supported by the public in the room. Furthermore, the new homes can benefit from sustainable drainage systems in order to retain all rain water on the site. This would be easily achieved with planned low number of houses on each site but not so if you increase numbers on one plot. Wastewater treatment and sewage infrastructure would also be less impacted by smaller numbers over 3 sites. Feasibility for Site 243 sewer connection directly to The Heath has been investigated by consulting civil engineers and found to be feasible so if required the homes on 243 could avoid adding to the load on Long Road.
The AONB has been much mentioned by objectors with regard to the section that states "that applications for major development within or in close proximity to the Dedham Vale AONB will be refused unless in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest". The words "within or in close proximity" indicates decisions would be equally applicable to all three sites. However, the development as proposed on any of the three sites could not be considered "major development" but they are in the "public interest". The "exceptional circumstance" is that these infill plots will allow provision of 17 new homes within the general boundaries of the existing developed area of Dedham Heath.
These small developments will not be seen from the vale nor will they obstruct any view of the vale. With careful planning there is no reason why they should in any way detract from the beauty of Dedham Vale or cause problems with drainage. They will provide much needed homes.

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