Homes for those with local links in approved 70-home development

An indiciative computer-generated image of the approved outline application for 70 homes at Layer de la Haye, in Colchester. 

An indiciative computer-generated image of the approved outline application for 70 homes at Layer de la Haye, in Colchester. - Credit: RG Visual

An outline application for 70 new homes near an Essex village has been backed after six years of consultation. 

Tollgate Partnership Limited (TPL) was granted permission by Colchester Borough Council's planning committee on Friday for the development on two adjacent sites off The Folley, in Layer de la Haye.

The business is run by brother and sister Daniel Watts and Jayne Gee, who said the plans were their late father Danny's legacy after spending his childhood years around Layer de la Haye. 

Mr Watts said: "Having bought various parcels of land in the village over the last 30 years, he always wanted the parish to benefit from housing that would be specific to its needs and originally suggested making a gift of almshouses.”

The Stanway-based company has set in the plans that 24 of the 70 homes would be affordable, including eight reserved for people with links to the village.

After six years of consultations with the parish and borough councils, planning officers instead suggested creating a Rural Exception Site.

The Rural Exception Site will give the borough more affordable homes, with some allocated in perpetuity for priority use by people with existing connections to Layer de la Haye. 

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The development will have two separate access points, at Greate House Farm Road and The Folley. 

In a statement after the meeting, the siblings said: “After listening to local representatives, we wanted to ensure this site was not over-developed, so our outline applications were for a low-density development, with only 14 units per hectare.

"We did this because of our family’s long affinity with the village, which had a special place in our father Danny’s heart long before he started TPL more than 45 years ago.

“We are pleased that, in addition to easing local housing needs through affordable housing, this development will benefit the village with significant financial contributions being made to the community and parks and recreation facilities.

"There will also be more open space and a new public right of way, with additional footpaths connecting to the existing paths, additional trees planted, and the biodiversity of the area will be improved.”