Decision to build 180 homes delayed over traffic concerns

St John's nursery at St Osyth - where new homes could be built

St John's nursery at St Osyth - where new homes could be built - Credit: E3 Design

A decision on whether to demolish a plant centre and nursery to build 180 homes has been delayed in an attempt to stop nearby roads from being overwhelmed.

Tendring District Council debated plans by Kelsworth Ltd to demolish St John’s Plant Centre in St Osyth, near Clacton-On-Sea, to build a residential development on Thursday, March 30.

But the planning committee voted to defer the decision until it receive more evidence from Essex County Highways after concerns were raised hundreds of additional cars could be queuing up onto St John’s Road.

A previous application for 195 homes on the site was refused both by the council and on appeal on the grounds it would impact the character and appearance of the area, but the inspectorate said it would not reduce the safety or free-flow of local traffic.

Speaking in support of the new application, planning consultant Michael Robinson said infrastructure improvements would be secured through a financial contribution from the developer, and that an 8% reduction in houses since the appeal will allow the roads to cope with the increase in traffic.

Paraphrasing an officer report, he said: “It is a high-quality residential layout that would create a good sense of place and appropriate character.

“It is previously developed land in a location where your local plan encourages new homes. No green fields will be lost.”

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Ray Crosier, a local resident, said the proposals did not include the necessary infrastructure for an increase in population, including roads but also schools and GP surgeries.

He also said it was “unthinkable” to build more houses when there is a lack of buses and because Clacton train station has no parking.

He said: “As more and more houses have been built, the road is bad all year round.

“This will only get worse with more and more houses and developments in the area.”

Additionally, the developer is only offering 10% of the scheme to be affordable housing, lower than the council’s required 30%, claiming this is because of viability.

The scheme would also consist of public open space and a children’s play area, as well as an access road, drainage and landscaping.