Local Plan

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Representation 638 on Preferred Options Local Plan by Miss Rosie Appleton

Support / Object: OBJECT
Document Link: Preferred Options Local Plan - Sustainable Settlements, Rowhedge, SS14: Land to the south of Battleswick Farm Rowhedge Road
Representation: Proposal is in direct contravention of all the Green Belt Land policy stands for - to protect countyside, wildlife, to preserve the setting & character of historic towns; Colchester is the most historic town in the country, East Donyland is in the Domesday book, and yet we are having to defend valuable farmland against development.

There will be an enormous privacy infringement for the residents of Hillview Close, as well as the exacerbation of current flooding problems.

School will be at capacity as there are already 264 new houses being built, as will Doctors Surgery.

Original submission

"The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.

Green Belt serves five purposes:

to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land".

These points are taken from the directly from Planning Guidance website - surely these points on their own should have protected the precious land Battleswick Farm from ever being included in the Local Plan?

As it unfortunately has been included, it is up to Rowhedge residents to appeal to the Local Plan Committee that this proposal must not be considered any further. The destruction of valuable farmland, protected by its Green Belt status, must not be considered a viable option - the excavations required for water, utilities and the removal of sewage alone will encroach on the bordering fields, it won't "just" be the field sloping on to Hillview Close.

The Committee needs to consider that Rowhedge is currently facing expansion by a further 264 houses at the former wharf site. St Lawrence School currently has a waiting list for some classroooms, and will see itself at capacity with the added demand from the wharf development. The pre-school provision at the Village Hall, Rowhedge under 5's, will also reach capacity and leave current residents with little to no childcare options within the village.

As St Lawrence currently provides an overflow for Old Heath School, parents looking for education provision for their children will be forced to look to the schools within New Town and beyond, adding further to the rush hour traffic demands on the link roads to these locations.

The proposal suggests that "the development should improve pedestrian connectivity to the rest of the village through footpath provision linking the site to Hill View Close" - this is not remotely relevant as it is not currently required by existing rowhedge residents, and such a provision following any development will add further noise and privacy inconveniences for the residents of Hill View Close, particularly the occupiers of 127 Hill View Close who face extreme privacy infringements, with the access road within inches of their back garden, their rear lower and upper ground floor windows being totally overlooked, and then pedestrian access to the side and right in front of their property. This is a huge loss of privacy.

I feel the Local Plan Committee would be very, very wrong in approving the addition of this proposal to the Local Plan. In no way can the deliberate destruction of viable farmland be considered the answer to a need for extra houses in Colchester.

Many objections make mention of the flooding issues currently experienced by the residents of Hillview Close to their rear gardens - this is a very real issue and one that will only be increased by filling the field overlooking it with concrete. Who will be responsible for the flood damage to gardens, and the foundations of houses?

This proposal should not be approved in any format - Battleswick Farm MUST be saved and preserved for future generations.

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