Another Speculative Consultation – This Time From NEEB Holdings

NEEB Holdings LogoAnother Speculative Consultation

It seems West Bergholt is very much the place to want to be if you are a developer these days.  No sooner than we have put a strong and compelling case against Gladmans’ ‘consultation’ along comes another developer – NEEB Holdings / Carter Jonas.  As with Gladmans’ their proposals are to develop on green space, this time off Armoury & Colchester Roads. On their ‘consultation paper’ they say:

The proposals for land at Armoury Road involve residential development including affordable housing and public open space.

The proposals for land at Colchester Road also comprise residential development with public open space, but include care home provision and retirement dwellings.

NEEB Holdings have been engaging with the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group over the last three years and have emphasised the availability and suitability of the Armoury Road and Colchester Road sites for accommodating new development to help meet the community’s needs.

In their preparation of these proposals NEEB Holdings have paid careful regard to the needs and aspirations of the local community as expressed in the 2013 Household Survey.

What is Happening

Please be reassured that whilst they are trying to add credibility to their proposal by citing the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, the Group has only had occasional touchpoints with the developer.  The Steering Group will have responded to previous enquiries from NEEB and today the Parish Council has emailed them including the following observation:

As you know our Neighbourhood Plan does not favour your site location, and presently we favour the outline locations in our draft NP and as indicated in the Colchester Borough Council draft Local Plan and policies now awaiting ‘Examination In Public’ later in the year.

In particular, it is noted that the locations are both outside the present village envelope and without reference to the draft Local Plan and the latest draft of the NP all of which are available to view.

CBC Local Plan – Policy SS15: West Bergholt

Within the broad area of growth as shown on the West Bergholt policies map, the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan will:

  1. Identify the settlement boundary for West Bergholt;
  2. Identify specific sites for housing allocations needed to deliver 120 dwellings;
  3. Set out any associated policies needed to support this housing delivery i.e. housing mix, type of new housing and density for each site allocated for housing;
  4. Identify any additional local economic areas and set out any associated policies; and
  5. The Neighbourhood Plan will also set out the policy framework to guide the delivery of any infrastructure and community facilities required to support the development, including the provision of SuDS for managing surface water runoff in individual developments.

Proposals for development outside of the identified broad areas for growth and the settlement boundary will not be supported. This policy should be read in conjunction with the generic Neighbourhood Planning Policy SG8 and the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan, once it has been adopted.

Policy SS15 of Colchester’s Local Plan (see right), proposes 120 new dwellings for the village.  This policy goes on to delegate the siting of these homes to a Neighbourhood Plan.

The location suggested by NEEB Holdings does not accord with the emerging preferred location for new housing.  This was shared with villagers at the 2016 Neighbourhood Plan exhibitions.

They are proposing:

  • Land at Armoury Road:
    • 25 dwellings (including 30% affordable housing)
    • public open space
    • access via Armoury Road and Coopers Crescent
  • Land at Colchester Road:
    •  18 conventional dwellings and 42 retirement dwellings (including 30% affordable housing),
    • 58-bed care home
    • public open space,
    • access via Colchester Road.

What You Can Do

This is a pre-planning application which will be followed by an actual application to Colchester Borough Council.  The best way for residents to express their concern is to:

The Parish Council will consider its response initially on 21st February but will continue to monitor and respond more formally to Colchester Borough Council once a Planning Application has been lodged.