Homes plan for former Walton Martello caravan site tipped for green light

Site of former Martello Caravan Park site in Walton

Site of former Martello Caravan Park site in Walton - Credit: Archant

A proposal to build 250 new homes on a former caravan site in north-east Essex is set to be approved tomorrow.

A Tendring District Council (TDC) report said the “wide-ranging benefits” of the proposed development on the old Martello Caravan Park off Kirby Road in Walton-on-the-Naze would outweigh any concerns.

Fears have been raised over providing education to an estimated 75 additional primary school pupils and 50 secondary school students by 2018 and finding £73,500 to fund an increase in healthcare facilities in Tendring.

Concerns have also been raised over the development’s potential impact on the site’s historical significance.

But the planning committee report says: “It is considered that the proposed development would deliver significant wide-ranging benefits to the area in accordance with adopted Walton Regeneration Framework 2015.

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“While concern has been expressed with regard to the impact of the scheme on the setting and historic significance of the Martello Tower, it has been shown that the proposed development has had regard to this heritage asset through its layout, design, scale, landscaping and treatment of important open spaces.

“Consequently, members are advised that on balance any harm identified is not considered to be of a degree that would outweigh the identified benefits of the development and accordingly the development of the application site in the manner proposed could be achieved in compliance with the National and Local Plan policies identified.”

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The site is being redeveloped by Martello Land & Properties Ltd and other proposed elements include a hotel. Taylor Wimpey would build the properties.

But after a public consultation was launched in April, out of 37 representations received, 34 have been objections.

In the report, Historic England, a government service which champions England’s heritage, said: “The proposal would still cause harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset which should be weighed against any public benefits arising from the development.”

The Walton and Frinton Yacht Club welcomed the development “in principle” but said the “current scheme does not do justice to the prominent position of the application site”.

The Walton Community Project also welcomed the development but said the scheme was “poor” in quality and claimed there were no “effective plans for supporting infrastructure”.

But Giles Watling, portfolio holder for regeneration and inward investment at TDC, said in the report he was “broadly in favour of the development as it would benefit Walton’s high street”.

However, he said the “scale of proposed development would overpower an ancient site”.

Tesco had also won planning permission for a superstore on the site, but announced earlier this year it was pulling out after concerns about national trading figures.

The planning meeting takes place at 6pm at Council Offices, Thorpe Road, Weeley.

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