Rowhedge: New developer vying to takeover major port revamp

A NEW developer is vying to takeover a multi-million pound revamp of an Essex port, the EADT can reveal.

Bloor Homes is understood to be in negotiations to acquire land at Rowhedge Wharf, near Colchester, from Glpf Two Limited.

If the deal goes through the firm would take on a �2-3million scheme to redevelop the site, which includes proposals for 170 homes, business units and a health centre.

Outline plans for the revamp were submitted to Colchester Borough Council last February but a decision has yet to be taken.

Mike Lilley, borough councillor for Rowhedge, said: “I’m very hopeful this is going to happen so something is put in there and we can use the Section 106 money to develop the Rowhedge area.

“It’s a double-edged sword – I grew up when there were docks there and it was the life and soul of the place. That’s all gone. We’re not going to get the port back and we have to look forward.”

Mr Lilley added he would push for any Section 106 money – funds given to community projects as part of approved planning applications – to be used for a cycle path between Rowhedge and Hythe.

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Last September the last of what remains at the site – warehouses and office buildings – were demolished to make way for the redevelopment.

But any new developer will face opposition to plans to develop the wharf.

The Rowhedge Society said the plans as they stand would have a “profound and negative effect on the character and life of the village”.

David Green, from the Colchester branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the scheme would have an “unacceptable impact” on Rowhedge and the landscape of the two river valleys.

Another application to develop the site –which included 300 homes - was rejected in 2009. Colchester Borough Council confirmed its understanding was that Bloor Homes was negotiating with Glpf Two Limited about the site.

A spokeswoman added no date had been set for when the council’s planning committee would hear the application.

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