Tendring villages to be protected as ban imposed on building on green land between settlements

Land north of Elmstead Market.

Land north of Elmstead Market. - Credit: Archant

Green gaps between villages in Tendring will be maintained in a bid to preserve their identity.

Carlo Guglielmi

Carlo Guglielmi - Credit: Archant

Carlo Guglielmi, cabinet member for planning at Tendring District Council (TDC), said the authority would only support housing development in sustainable locations in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

However Mr Guglielmi backed a move by the Local Plan committee to add in a policy to its upcoming Local Plan, a blueprint for growth in the district over the next 15 years, protecting the green gaps around existing settlements,

His comments came as the council’s planning committee approved two schemes totalling 40 homes on the outskirts of Elmstead Market – and deferred a third proposal for 50 others.

The village, close to the border with Colchester, is likely to be the nearest settlement to a new 6,000 home garden village proposed by both TDC and Colchester Borough Council, and is near to the Knowledge Gateway development at the University of Essex.

Mr Guglielmi said: “Elmstead Market is one of the most important sites potentially in the district. Developers know if they build houses there they will sell them.

“It is the last village between us and Colchester so we must ensure whatever happens on the border will not impact greatly on the village itself. Elmstead Market is still a village, and we can only protect it by working with Colchester Borough Council.

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“Therefore we have got to control those and tread with as much caution as we possibly can. If not enough work has been done on the possible impact we will oppose them.

“We are going to see more and more of these.

“The Local Plan committee unanimously voted to, and I support, protect the identity of villages.”

He added: “Developers chance their luck putting proposals forward for sites which are not supported by the council – there are quite a few coming to us soon – while our local plan is not in place.

“It is a shame the election has come in the middle of it as it has slowed the process slightly, but the committee will be back in earnest after May 7.

“Developers are aware of this and chance their hand, as the default policy in place, the fall-back position is the NPPF, which supports development in a sustainable location. We can put up as much fight as we can but if we refuse it we have see what an inspector says on appeal – that has not happened yet.”

The Elmstead Market planning applications:

Plans from Ed Gittins & Associates for 50 homes on Charity Field, south of Colchester Road, were deferred to allow further talks between the developer and the council over what community building could be provided to accompany the scheme.

There had been concerns about the ability of nearby roads to cope with extra traffic generated by the development.

Mr Guglielmi described it as a “wild card” application.

“I think they have seen two others schemes for Elmstead Market put forward and then submitted their own,” he said.

“We would be on a sticky wicket if we were looking to refuse this but I feel there needs to be further talks over the community benefits which could be gained.”

Outline plans for 20 homes on land north of Meadow Close from Charles Gooch were approved, subject to the developer putting in a pedestrian crossing in Colchester Road, while a scheme submitted by Knight Development for a further 20 homes to the west of Church Road were also backed.

The second proposal includes an offer of facilities including a community hall, allotments and green space.