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I strongly object to the inclusion of the Battleswick Farm proposal in the Draft Local Plan on the
1. Rowhedge has already accepted more than its fair share of additional housing. The development on the Wharf site has building works approved for 256 new homes, not 170 as stated in para 6.186 of the Draft Plan. The village has no need for further expansion. Indeed it will have difficulty in absorbing the increased numbers agreed, given that the school and doctors' surgery have reached capacity already. More cars pouring into the gridlock that is Colchester will make life miserable for those who have to commute to work and school.
2. At the Consultation meeting at the Village Hall on 2 August 2016 it was stated that the Borough felt it had met Rowhedge's wish to retain its character as a village by rejecting Gladman's proposal for development of the whole farm (12 hectares). By including one field only (3 hectares) in the Draft Plan as a Preferred Option the Borough has achieved the opposite. The loss of a quarter of the farm would reduce its viability and make it far more likely that the other fields would be developed subsequently. The whole proposal needs to be rejected now if Rowhedge is to retain its village character and not become just a suburb of Colchester.
3. Access to the proposed site as described in 5514 using the existing farm track is not practical. It simply isn't wide enough to allow proper access to a housing estate.
4. The lower part of the field should not be built on because of the risk of flooding. Twice recently after heavy rain the Birch Brook has risen to within an inch or two of my back garden gate and lower down the brook I understand gardens are regularly flooded. Interference with natural drainage patterns and increased run off could only exacerbate matters.
5. Your own policy states that the coastal frontage within the Borough is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and you also claim that proposals that cause loss or harm to the green infrastructure will not be permitted unless the needs for and benefits of the development outweigh any adverse effects. Since there is no need for and no benefit of this proposed development I ask that the village envelope stays where it is along the Birch Brook. The Brook is a delightful natural waterway and together with the farmland provides a valuable wildlife corridor to the River Colne.
6. A recent DEFHA report states that the number of birds and butterflies on farmland continue to fall and three quarters of more than 200 "priority" species including hedgehogs, dormice and moths are down in number. The Country Landowners Association has stated that a new farming and environmental policy is required to support farmers and land managers. l suggest that concreting over a field at Battleswick Fann is not the way to go.
Mrs Barbara Smith