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WEST BERGHOLT PARISH COUNCIL
16th September 2016
RESPONSE TO CBC DRAFT LOCAL PLAN 2017-2032
This response of West Bergholt Parish Council to the Draft Local Plan of Colchester Borough Council for the period 2017 to 2032 has been completed by the Steering Group for the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan and approved by the Parish Council on the 14th September 2016.
2. Basis of response
This response has been prepared following attendance at the launch of the Draft Local Plan on 5th July and the exhibition on 23rd July 2016, by representatives of both the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, and a review of the Draft Local Plan in respect of the policies therein that impact upon West Bergholt.
3. Support of development
West Bergholt is considered in section 6.2 of the Draft Local Plan as a Sustainable Settlement as policy SG2 and the description of the village contained therein is considered fair. The Parish Council agree that the village should grow proportionately, with the associated infrastructure and community facilities. It is further agreed that development to the north and south is not considered suitable and thus support the allocation of land for growth as shown on the West Bergholt Proposals Map as in the Draft Local Plan.
Policy SS16 is supported and agreed in part in that the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan in accordance with policy SG7 is anticipated to identify settlement boundary changes, identify specific sites for development, set out policies to support development mix and set out policies on infrastructure and community improvements.
4. Disagreement with development proposals
However, the Draft Local Plan policy SS16 proposes that the Neighbourhood Plan will identify sites needed to deliver 120 dwellings. In the consultations that have so far been undertaken by the Steering Group for the Neighbourhood Plan little significant support has come forward for an increase in any development of more than 100 houses, irrespective of mix or location (see attached results from the June 2013 and April 2015 questionnaires). However, it is anticipated that over the life of the Local Plan infill sites within the existing village envelope will come forward which will provide 20 houses, albeit the mix and location will not be specifiable in the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Parish Council thus requires Local Plan policy SS16 (ii) be amended to read 100 dwellings.
5. Support for employment
The Draft Local Plan allocates Pattens Yard as a Local Economic Area to provide, enhance and protect employment in accordance with policy SG4, and the Parish Council support such an allocation.
6. Disagreement with employment opportunities
However, there are additional areas within West Bergholt which have been identified by the Parish Council as business parks, thus by default Local Economic Areas, and which are anticipated to be referred to as such in the Neighbourhood Plan. The areas so identified are shown upon the attached Map B in Colchester Road, Nayland Road, Bourne Road, Fossetts Lane and Armoury Farm.
As a result of consultations so far undertaken by the Steering Group for the Neighbourhood Plan the Parish Council requires that any expansion of the existing business parks is to be limited and appropriate for each location and therefore set out in the Neighbourhood Plan.
The use of the business parks/Local Economic Areas in West Bergholt, having regard to their location, is such that their use for anything other than B1 class is also of concern to the Parish Council on the advice their Planning Committee, noting policy SG4 is set to be to class B use.
The Parish Council thus requires the Draft Local Plan policy para 6.214 be amended to include Local Economic Areas in Pattens Yard, Colchester Road, Nayland Road, Bourne Road, Fossetts Lane and Armoury Farm as set out on the attached Map B.
Further, that in such areas the expansion be limited, appropriate and to be class B1 use only.
7. Further considerations
7.1 Areas of Special Character
The Parish Council considers that an area in the south west of the village, as set out on the attached Map A, should be designated as an Area of Special Character.
Properties in the area designated, although unlikely to meet the criteria for designation as a conservation area, possess sufficient architectural village scape and environmental quality to make them of significant local value to West Bergholt.
The Parish Council thus requires the Draft Local Plan be amended as the Parish Council via the Neighbourhood Plan seeks to be empowered to set the criteria to meet that of an Area of Special Character. The criteria will recognise good examples of familiar types of development as opposed to the quality required for conservation area designation.
7.2 Areas of Special Landscape
The Parish Council considers the land to the south and west of West Bergholt, outside the existing settlement boundary as set out on the attached Map A, should be designated as an Area of Special Landscape.
The Parish Council thus requires the Draft Local Plan be amended as the Parish Council via the Neighbourhood Plan seeks to be empowered to set criteria to meet that of an Area of Special Landscape. The criteria will seek to resist changes in land use and improve access through existing and improved rights of way.
8. Coalescence with adjacent parishes
The Parish Council recognise the shared desire of Colchester Borough Council as expressed in the Draft Local Plan to ensure that there is no coalescence of West Bergholt with adjacent parishes and localities, but would seek assurance in the Draft Local Plan that such desires are expressed in respect of all areas adjacent to West Bergholt.
We are mostly concerned with developments proposed for Braiswick especially that the other side of the blue bridge over the A12. Here we would object to the development immediately to the east of the bridge.
Clerk to West Bergholt Parish Council
Enc. Maps A & B, Survey Results 2013 and 2015