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1. Landscape and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty- The proposals include two sites within the AONB and one adjacent to it. This is a major concern particularly as there are identifiable potential sites in other parts of the village outside the AONB Pocket . The character of the village and all three hamlets is very much defined by the AONB and its status has rightly been protected over the years and we should not just rely on mitigating measures which rarely work. There is no doubt that these proposals as they currently stand would significantly alter the long maintained rural nature of Dedham Heath particularly through the proposed ribbon development along both sides of the road toward Bargate.
2. the proposals suggest tht Dedham Heath is more sustainable than the other hamlets of Dedham. The alternative sites originally submitted are all about the same distance fro the village centre as those proposed and enjoy a bus service. Dedham Heath does not have any facilities that outweigh the alternative sites and it quite inappropriate to focus further development there especially if the issues of flooding from inadequate sewers and poor surface water management are taken into account. Also one of the alternative sites is even conveniently placed for access to Ardleigh and all the facilities there.
3. Centralising Development in Dedham Heath-The proposal label Dedham Heath as non rural this is a complete misnomer and it is hard to see why it should be construed as such. Also, the placing of all sites in such a small area with three separate access points so close to an already dangerous crossroads is quite inappropriate. Dedham Heath may well have a small estate within it but this is discreetly located with a single entrance and does not adversely impinge upon the character of the area whereas the proposed development most undoubtedly would with their ribbon development and creeping urbanization.
Summary-The proposals are flawed in so many ways that it is hard to find any positive aspects as to why 17 additional properties should be built on three sites with only half a kilometre between them in such a rural location. The whole rural character of Long Road East and West would be seriously damaged which would be exacerbated by the fact that two of the sites are even in the AONB itself. Consequently the views of the landscape would be materially altered by such housing developments regardless of whatever mitigating measures may be sought. We would urge that a full re-appraisal of the underlying assessments be carried out with the best possible outcome being the dismissal of Colchester Borough Councils Preferred Options and Dedham be excluded from further development. Failing that then a more widespread small scale set of developments should be proposed to minimise the damaging effects on one particular area and provide a more equitable solution overall.