Tendring District Council planners back Colchester’s plans for shared new village scheme

Land north of the University of Essex could be developed for 6,000 new homes.

Land north of the University of Essex could be developed for 6,000 new homes. - Credit: Archant

Proposals for a new garden village on the border between Colchester and Tendring have been backed by planning officers at Tendring District Council (TDC).

The new 6,000 home settlement has been discussed before by both Colchester Borough Council (CBC) and TDC as both authorities work on their new Local Plans, blueprints for developments in the districts for the next 20 years.

The scheme has been put out for consultation by CBC in two of the three options listed in its issues and options paper.

Planners at TDC, in a report to its own council’s local plan committee, have recommended the authority backs the two options with the new village in and oppose a third option which leaves it out.

TDC’s final response will be determined by councillors on the committee.

All town halls have a “duty to co-operate” under government guidance for drawing up local plans.

Carlo Guglielmi, TDC cabinet member for planning, said: “I can’t pre-empt what the committee will do but I hope members will see the sense in this and agree to the recommendations of officers.

“Authorities must come up with sustainable developments and address the objective needs of residents.

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“By working together with Colchester, and it is not a secret, you not only satisfy the requirements of the inspectors but you can resolve any problems that might come up later in the development.”

The area has been earmarked for growth, alongside the Knowledge Gateway at the nearby University of Essex, and the possibility of a link road between the A133 and the A120 mooted.

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has previously joined east Colchester residents in voicing opposition to the development, amid fears over its proximity to the St John’s area.

However Mr Guglielmi added: “It is important the unique qualities of both Colchester and Tendring are left and we will make sure a good gap is left on both sides of the new development.”

TDC’s response may also provide some relief to villages in north Colchester.

Some parish leaders, including Tim Brentnall at Boxted Parish Council, had expressed concerns over CBC’s proposed development north of the A12 – one of the options which includes the Tendring/Colchester site.

However officers at TDC say their preferred choice would be the new settlement without expansion north of the A12, with concern it “would breach a strong defensible boundary which currently provides protection to the north of the town”.

CBC’s consultation runs until February 27.

To have your say visit www.colchester.gov.uk/planningconsult, email planning.policy@colchester.gov.uk, call 01206 282473 or 01206 508639 or write to Colchester Borough Council, FREEPOST RLSL-ZTSR-SGYA, Colchester, CO1 1ZE.