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The village of Rowhedge currently has building works approved for 256 new homes, that is in addition to the regular trickle of backfill properties. To force a further 60 plus houses into the area will create a disproportionate and unreasonable increase on a village of approx 900 properties and the community will be overwhelmed by such an increase in population and call on its limited resources. A 40% increase is unreasonable.
The traffic approaching the proposed Battleswick Farm development will have a negative impact on the communities of Old Heath and Rowhedge in terms of air pollution, noise pollution and weight of traffic. Buses already struggle to reach Rowhedge at times due to parking issues. Increased traffic will also lead to additional problems for walkers and cyclists - children have to use this route to school.
Flooding is a real and ever present issue for the areas currently being developed due to underwater springs throughout this area and the additional problem of run-off due to the ground being disturbed, filled with concrete and the rain falling on roofs with nowhere to go. In fact Birch Brook at the back of Hillview Close, which the proposed building area drains into, has risen higher than ever this year causing flooding to gardens.
The local primary schools have virtually reached capacity and will be unable to cope with the children likely to populate the wharf development let alone another 60 homes at Battleswick Farm. Children cannot be expected to bus to schools out of their catchment area. This puts an unreasonable strain on young families, especially those with other children and where both parents have to work.
The GP surgery cannot expand any further to accommodate more patients.
Rowhedge has been allocated more than its fair share of new builds - 256 to date on the current Wharf Development, the information on the consultation document and proposal from CBC Planning Department is inaccurate as it only states 170. In addition in 2003 we absorbed 122 new homes on Schooners Creek (Redrow); 17 on the High Street (Newells) plus a further 7 'in fill' properties, 3 homes built on the Freemason's Arms site and 4 others where gardens have been split (there is still one other to be built). At no time have we had any investment into our local services such as health, education, public transport and highways.
The green fields between Rowhedge and Old Heath are a most precious breathing space between the village and Colchester which we need to preserve, especially as the land is prime productive farmland.
In view of the above we strongly object to the inclusion of Battleswick Farm into the Local Plan.