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1. Please can you register my objection to the proposed residential developments of up to 350 (or 380 depending on which document is referred to) dwellings on Mersea Island, as contained within your consultation documents for the following reasons?
2. There appears to be numerous contradictions between your draft documents and adopted local and national planning policy: I will attempt to highlight a few of these below.
3. Your Draft Local Plan (Preferred Options) Paper - Part 2, dated July 2016. Policy SS17a rejects site MER24 for being backland development and having no road frontage (amongst other arguments). Therefore MER18 which you are promoting should be discounted for exactly the same principles. Both of these sites are within the Coastal Protection zone: see also para 7 below. The access to MER18 on to East Road would be over a single track private driveway, which serves 5 residential properties. Where is the evidence from the Highway department that this would meet the design criteria for an additional 200?
4. The table within your July 2016 document at para 3 above proposes 230 dwellings for MER18, where all your previous figures state 200 dwellings for this site. I would be grateful if you can definitively clarify the actual figure.
5. Brierley Hall is a listed building. Your documents state, under SS17a "Design and suitable screening/landscaping to minimise and negative impacts on the adjacent listed building and/or its setting" is required. How will constructing "An access via Brierley Paddocks to East Road" along a single track road for 200 (or 230 dwellings) achieve this?
6. The proposal for MER02 gives a potential yield figure of 120-150 houses. Again, I am not aware of a developer who will only build 120 houses on a site which has been assigned up to 150 dwellings, a 25% increase on the lower figure? Are you?
7. Your argument for discounting the alternative allocation MER24 is flawed (last paragraph on p461 of document referred to in para 3 above). This site is no further from the Coastal Protection belt than MER18, which you are promoting. These designated protection zones are there for a reason, the importance of which are referred to within DP23 in your document Local Development Framework - Development Policies - Adopted October 2010 - Selected policies revised July 2014. I can find no evidence that these proposals for West Mersea require a coastal location.
8. All the existing premises which currently abut existing arable land, or countryside, and being promoted for developments at West Mersea, have a right to Quiet Enjoyment. This will not be achieved by forcing 350 (or 380) dwellings on to the inhabitants of the island, plus the disruption of building over the duration of the local plan period
9. I would also state in respect of the above point that in a recent court case (Britton v SOS) Article 8 of the Human Rights Act the courts reappraised the purpose of the law and concluded that the protection of the countryside falls within the interests of Article 8 (2).
10. Mersea does not have the infrastructure to support an increase to the island's population that 350 (380?) dwellings will bring. The doctors surgery, prior to moving to any new site, are in the process of "culling" people from their lists. The sewage network is at capacity.
11. Dawes Lane, which will take the majority, if not all, of the traffic to and from these developments is an unclassified road (List produced under Section 36 of the Highways Act - September 2016). The on-street parking at the junction with East Road causes a bottle-neck now so will not be adequate for the increased volume of traffic.
12. In reference to your core strategy document Local Development Framework - Development Policies - Adopted October 2010 - Selected policies revised July 2014. The proposed developments do not meet the criteria set out in the policies relating to Transport and Accessibility. Priority should be given to sustainable means of transport, being pedestrian, cycling and public transport. Your options document recognizes that a bus stop is in the vicinity of both MER02 and MER18. I suggest you attempt catching the buses serving Mersea on high tides, when a quick glance at the tide timetables will inform you of their frequency in covering the Strood. A quick check of the current timetable from the bus operator, First Group, also available on their website, states that this service commences or terminates at Peldon village, 3 miles away (or 2 miles from the Peldon Rose). Only the 0.4 mile length of the Strood of this distance has a pavement.
13. The bus service for the island ceases operating early evening during the week: how will key workers who rely on public transport get to and from work outside these hours, students at evening classes or those attending events off the island be able to rely on a deregulated public transport service for these journeys?
14. As there are insufficient permanent jobs on the island to meet the needs of the current, therefore projected, population increase of working age, it must be assumed that the majority of new residents will travel off the island for employment. In respect of points made at paras 12 & 13 above, these journeys will be undertaken by private motor vehicle.
15. Within the last few months alone, various roadworks and accidents have blocked the Strood, the single artery to and from the island. This road is not suitable for the existing volume of traffic, with delays of at least 40 minutes for accidents and roadworks, excluding Spring Tides. I assume that ECC Highways evidence that existing and proposed vehicular movement has been taken into account and is at acceptable levels?
16. If Bradwell B is given the green light please confirm that the evacuation of the island for all projected residents, workers, day visitors and holiday makers has been taken into account, in respect of my points above?
17. Lastly, I would ask that you check your projected housing numbers, as the figure of 3200 dwellings quoted does not tally with records which other departments of your own Council hold i.e. currently in excess of 3575 dwellings. Again, it must be assumed you have factored in the houseboat and static caravan site residents.