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WEST TEY NEW TOWN, MARKS TEY AND EASTHORPE
Is the Council confident that the sheer scale of the proposed developments which it is contemplating for the environs of Colchester is really necessary and justified? How has the scale of need and demand been assessed, both now and the longer term future? Once large areas have been developed, it will not be possible to revert to the status quo. Irreversible damage will have been done.
2. Is the Council satisfied that it has exhausted the potential for development within Colchester Town itself? It is often thought the council is not sufficiently conscious of and alert to the history and attractions of Colchester Town, and that under exploited asset. There would be much to be gained from greater investment by the council in the town itself and its historic aesthetic sites in order to maximise it's attractions to businesses, tourists and outside investment generally. This investment should be supported by maximising the potential for residential development within the urban environment of the town itself, without detracting from its historical sites and open spaces. This in turn would serve another of the councils policies, namely to divert some part of consumer attention away from the out of town shopping malls and back to the High Street and town centre generally. Thus the need to destroy some of the non-urban countryside around Colchester would be reduced.
1 I adopt and repeat with particular emphasis all that I have said under paragraph1. above.
2 The Council does not specifically propose any new development for the hamlet of Easthorpe. However, the proposed West Tey development site is currently amorphous, with no defined boundries. The "Spatial Development" options to the south of Marks Tey and the A12, which I believe are envisaged as part of the much larger development of Marks Tey and West Tey, will significantly affect Easthorpe and the rural landscape around it. Very many acres of historically agriculture land will disappear, and with it a way of life which has endured for many hundreds of years. Quite simply, this would be a tragedy, and I would urge the council to revise this plan in order to conserve this relatedly small area of rural Essex. Is destruction of this community really necessary.
3 These large developments will border so closely on Easthorpe as to destroy its character as a small hamelt. Quite properly the Council recognises the unique rural character of Copford Green: it is difficult to see why the same policy should not apply to Easthorpe, particularly as the Council appears to exclude the possibility of any development whatsoever within the drawn boundaries of Easthorpe, presumably to preserve its character.
4. Similarly, it is vital that the rural character of Rectory Road and Easthorpe Road is preserved. This is a very narrow bendy country road with old cottages closely sited to it on both sides. Yet some of the "Spatial Development" options being proposed encroach very close to or even over it, and will impose an unacceptable change in its rural aspect. This road would be wholly unsuitable to carry traffic (including through Copford Green and School Road) generated by the new developments; and it would equally be unsuitable to carry any developers' traffic. The current rural aspect and character must be respected and preserved. There must be no interference with it, including no widening or straightening. That must mean that access to the proposed new developments to the south of Marks Tey and the A12 will have to be from the A12. This creates a host of new problems and significant expense which can be avoided if the council decides against the development of this small area of countryside, and in favour of its preservation as an attractive corner of old rural Essex.
Conclusion - Must the march of a burgeoning population demand the destruction of anything and everything of history, tradition, charm and beauty which gets in its way?