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The A12 to the north of Colchester
This has always been seen as the northern boundary of Colchester and is looked upon as the natural barrier representing the northern limit for the town's urban sprawl. It appears that this firm resolve is weakening in the draft local plan which should be strengthened accordingly. The details are as follows.
1 Zone 3 - Northern Gateway area north of the A12
Paragraph 6.18 and 6.19 both refer to new sports facilities to the north of the A12; this might be acceptable if treated sensitively, but there should be absolutely NO residential provision here. Additionally, indoor sports facilities, by definition, represent a "built" environment and therefore constitute "urban creep". Any such indoor sports facilities should therefore be confined to the Councils's land on the south side of the A12.
Accordingly, Policy NC1, Zone 3 should be strengthened to exclude any built environment including indoor sports facilities to the north of the A12.
2 Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople
Policy DM11 refers to the existing site at Severalls. This lies to the north of the A12, which it should not (particularly as one of the stated requirements for gypsies and travellers is to be reasonably close to infrastructure facilities such as schools and medical facilities which are located away on the south side of the A12). The policy also states that the existing Severalls site should be expanded. In my view it should certainly NOT be expanded. It constitutes yet more urban sprawl, creeping across the A12 beyond Colchester's northern limit.
If any of the above is ambiguous or unclear, please feel free to contact me for clarification.