Views sought on riverside homes plan

By Juliette MaxamA HOUSING developer is asking residents for their views on its designs for a riverside estate.Persimmon Homes wants to build between 100 and 150 houses on a flood plain off Cowdray Avenue in Colchester.

By Juliette Maxam

A HOUSING developer is asking residents for their views on its designs for a riverside estate.

Persimmon Homes wants to build between 100 and 150 houses on a flood plain off Cowdray Avenue in Colchester.

The developer submitted a plan for the development to Colchester Borough Council earlier this year, but withdrew the application after planning officers asked for more information.


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At one point it looked as though the council was going to have to choose between either the housing development or a garden centre on the land, which is off one of the busiest routes into Colchester.

Persimmon Homes has not submitted another planning application, but held an exhibition of its plan at the weekend.

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Full-colour brochures outlining the scheme have also been posted to all Cowdray Avenue residents, with a reply slip asking if they supported improved public access to the riverside and the idea of creating an ecological area on the site, and if they were in favour of the current proposal.

The company said it wanted to build a "high-quality" housing development to reflect the needs of the environment and the community, with some affordable houses included.

The design of the estate is supposed to reduce actual crime and the fear of crime for potential residents. The plan also includes more than six acres of public space, a special area set aside for ecological enhancement and a riverside walk.

All of the houses will be "a considerable distance" from Cowdray Avenue, with a landscaped tree line in between them and the road. The design is also aimed at reducing any future risk of flooding, the developers claimed.

"We are mindful that the environment is very important, especially in this development. We have had in-depth discussions with local and national environmental groups to make sure we provide the best future for the site," they added.

Bypass Nurseries also has planning permission to build a garden centre on the site, but residents were opposed to any development on the land, which is marked as open space on the borough plan.

Ken Jones, the Colchester borough councillor, said: "We have always been opposed to this and we continue to oppose it. We feel the whole area is being overdeveloped."

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk

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