Plans for 99 more Mersea Island homes met with local backlash
- Credit: Archant
Plans for almost 100 more homes on Mersea Island are facing stiff opposition from locals.
An application to turn agricultural land close to Colchester Road on the island into a housing estate consisting of 99 new homes was made to Colchester Borough Council at the start of April.
The applicants, Gladman and Grays Farms Limited, say that 30% of the homes built will be affordable housing.
They intend to leave more than an acre of land for a potential new doctor’s surgery as well as improving pedestrian routes in the area, designating space for open public spaces and a children’s play area.
However, the plans have already attracted more than 30 objections, with many of them organised by the campaign group Stop 350, who have been opposing the overdevelopment of the island since 2016.
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A Stop 350 spokesman said: “We have several causes for concern regarding these plans.
“First of all, the council’s adopted Local Plan does not allow more than 200 homes to be built on the island each year - we have already had that many homes approved for 2020.
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“The only road onto the island is flooding more regularly and for longer, making evacuating more difficult with more people, and more homes on Mersea will inevitably take away from the rural scenery.
“Also, much of the population of the island is over 70 and not as computer-literate. We usually communicate with them through the post and in these times we cannot contact them to tell them what is happening.”
The group have opposed other developments on the island which have now gone ahead, with 100 homes to be built on a site in Dawes Lane and another 101 at Brierley Paddocks.
While Stop 350 argue that the 201 new homes meet the required number of homes to be built on the island this year, with additional ‘backfilling’ on other plots on the island that are not included in the Local Plan, the applicants say a shortfall in affordable housing across the borough for consecutive years shows their plans need approval.
Gladman and Grays Farms said in their application that they have an agreement with the council to provide additional funding to support the island if required.
The application is open to public comments until April 29.
The application is open to public comments until April 29 and can be found here.