Regeneration blueprint unveiled

A BLUEPRINT for economic regeneration including thousands of new homes has been unveiled.Planning chiefs at Tendring District Council yesterdaylaunched the first phase of a new seven-year masterplan which outlines a vision of cleaner air, better public transport and increased wealth in an area that has witnessed decline.

A BLUEPRINT for economic regeneration including thousands of new homes has been unveiled.

Planning chiefs at Tendring District Council yesterdaylaunched the first phase of a new seven-year masterplan which outlines a vision of cleaner air, better public transport and increased wealth in an area that has witnessed decline.

The council's new Local Plan, which envisages at least 4,000 extra homes mainly in the built-up areas of Harwich and Clacton by 2011, was released as part of an eight-week public consultation period.

Although drafted on the assumption that the proposed port redevelopment at Bathside Bay will go ahead, a senior councillor last nightpledged the new housing plans would go ahead regardless of the outcome of the ongoing public inquiry.


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Peter Patrick, portfolio holder for planning at the district council, said: "We will not be flinched from our determination to regenerate Tendring - with or without Bathside.

"This plan has been a long time coming for everybody in the area and we are extremely excited about the opportunity."

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About 2,600 new homes have been earmarked for brownfield - previously used - sites in the district as well as a further 1,250 in new Greenfield areas.

The plan also highlights the possibility of a brand new community of more than 2,000 further houses in Frating, near the junction of the A120 and A133.

Mr Patrick said the council's policy meant a maximum of 40% of these new houses would be set aside for affordable homes although it was unlikely that the full allocation would be met.

However, he added that rural life would also be strengthened by the initiative. "We will strengthen our policies to protect villages. Pubs will remain pubs and attempts to change their use into homes will be resisted," he said.

"Communities will be the stronger and more vibrant for it."

Graham Thomas, planning policy division manager at the council, said developers would be required to incorporate - and pay for - new public open spaces in their proposals.

He said: "Existing taxpayers will therefore not have to carry the burden of providing playgrounds, sports pitches and parks - it will be up to newcomers to pay for them.

He added: "As job opportunities increase and people are able to work nearer to where they live, there will also be less reliance on cars and so the environment itself should become cleaner.

"Tendring is an attractive district within easy commuting distance of London, Colchester and Ipswich and that places considerable pressure on us, but I think this plan is the first part of a major step forward."

The public consultation period ends on July 23. Copies of the First Deposit Draft of the Replacement Local Plan can be seen at the council's offices in Clacton and Weeley as well as libraries across the district.

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