Shipyard revamp set for green light

PLANS to redevelop a shipyard look set to be given the green light - despite over 300 letters of objection.Developers Taylor Woodrow want to transform the derelict Cooks Shipyard and gaswork site on the waterfront at Wivenhoe into a mixture of housing, businesses and shops.

PLANS to redevelop a shipyard look set to be given the green light - despite over 300 letters of objection.

Developers Taylor Woodrow want to transform the derelict Cooks Shipyard and gaswork site on the waterfront at Wivenhoe into a mixture of housing, businesses and shops.

The scheme involves the closure and removal of three public footpaths - which has provoked a storm of outrage from locals.

Colchester Borough Council, which is due to consider the plans on Thursday, has received over 350 letters of objection, including 47 from local school children, about the footpath closures.


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The footpaths were closed when demolition work was taking place on the site, which angered many residents. They have since been reopened.

The planning application description included the removal of public footpaths, which combined with the unauthorised closure during the demolition works has led to such a big response.

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But a report to the council's planning committee said: “In reality only small sections of paths will be closed subject to the appropriate closure orders and there will be greater public access to the area including the river frontage.”

The majority of footpaths on the site are unaffected or will be diverted.

The report added: “In addition to those existing, new footpaths will be created and there will be public access along the edge of the quay adjacent to the river.”

Local people have only sent eight letters protesting to the development itself, which is the second phase of the Cook's Shipyard redevelopment. Their concerns include potential traffic and parking problems and pressure on facilities in Wivenhoe.

The developer wants to build six commercial units, 12 houses, 42 flats, a fisherman's store and disabled toilet and to restore a building know as the White House.

The development has been welcomed by Wivenhoe Town Council, subject to conditions including asking the developer to make an effort to “preserve the uniqueness of the site and its previous use as a working shipyard for over 200 years”.

Planning officers have recommended the plans should be approved.

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