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Emerging Local Plan 2013-2033

The new Local Plan is an important document which will determine the way forward for Colchester Borough.


  • What is the new Local Plan
  • Information on each of the stages of the Local Plan preparation
  • The Publication of the Draft Local Plan and Evidence Base documents, including examinations of Sections 1 and 2
  • The Local Development Scheme (LDS) and Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

The new Local Plan is an important document which will determine the way forward for Colchester Borough.

It will provide the strategy for the growth of our district to 2033 and beyond, setting out what development will take place and where.

It will set out a vision for the area, establishing the long term aims and aspirations for the Borough. It will include policies and allocations that will help to deliver these aims and aspirations. The plan includes strategic policies and allocations in Section 1 of the plan, prepared jointly with Braintree and Tendring Councils, while Colchester specific allocations and policies are included in Section 2. 

December 2020 update

The Inspector for Section 1 of the Local Plan has now issued his report finding that Section 1 is sound subject to modifications. Colchester, Braintree and Tendring Councils will accordingly now be able to proceed with the adoption process and examination of the authority specific policies and allocations in Section 2 of the plan. The Inspector’s report is available on the Braintree website.

August 2020 update

Having jointly submitted a Draft Local Plan for examination in 2017, and following recommendations from the Inspector, a focused 6 week consultation of 47 Proposed Main Modifications to the Draft Section 1 Plan is now taking place in accordance with section 20(7C) of the Planning an Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The consultation documents consist of:

  • Schedule of the 47 Proposed Main Modifications
  • Associated Sustainability Appraisal
  • Associated Habitats Regulation Assessment

A 6 week consultation on these proposed main modifications will be carried out starting on 27th August and ending at 5pm on the 9th October 2020. The consultation relates specifically to the Proposed Main Modifications and associated documents. This consultation is not an opportunity to repeat or raise further representations about the published plan or to seek further changes to the plan. All comments received during the consultation will be considered by the Planning Inspector. The documents and online response forms are available at

Responses can be made online via the link above.

Where possible, hard copy documents will be available from the following Braintree/Colchester/Tendring libraries for the duration of the consultation.

• Braintree Library - Fairfield Road, Braintree CM7 3YL
• Colchester Library - Trinity Square, Colchester CO1 1JB
• Clacton Library - Station Road, Clacton on Sea CO15 1SF

However if these libraries are subject to closure, then the consultation documents will continue to be available online.

Some parish councils are also preparing neighbourhood plans, which, once complete, will also form part of the development plan.


Find out more about Neighbourhood Plans

The Local Plan has gone through the following stages: 

The Local Plan is currently in the Examination stage. Section One and Section Two of the new Local Plan will be examined separately, with Section One being carried out first jointly with Braintree and Tendring District Councils. 

The current schedule for the Local Plan is available in the Local Development Scheme

Once adopted, the new Local Plan will replace our existing local planning policies

The Local Plan is supported by a comprehensive Evidence Base.

View the Adopted Local Plan Evidence Base 2004-2020

View the Emerging Local Plan Evidence Base 2017-2033

1. Submission/Examination


On 9th October 2017 we submitted the Local Plan and its accompanying documents to the Planning Inspectorate.

We have collated all the representations received in response to the Publication Draft consultation period which ran from 16th June - 11th August 2017. All representations received can be viewed in full on the Consultation Portal.

In accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, all of the representations received from that consultation in full, along with a range of evidence base and supporting documents were sent to the Planning Inspectorate on 9th October in preparation for an Examination in Public (EiP) which commenced on 16 January 2018.

Submission Documents

The Submission Documents for the Colchester Local Plan including the Local Plan, Policies Maps and Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment.

View documents

These documents can also be viewed at our office at Rowan House between 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

Examination in Public

The Local Plan will be examined in two parts.

Section 1

The Planning Inspectorate has appointed Mr Roger Clews BA MSc DipEd DipTP MRTPI to conduct the examination to determine whether Section One (North Essex Authorities' Joint Strategic Plan) is sound. His role will include setting the programme for the Examination in Public, identifying matters/issues and the need for any public hearing sessions. Examination hearing sessions took place from the 16th January to 25 January 2018 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester, CO4 5UP. 

An additional hearing session for Matter 1 was held on Wednesday 9 May 2018 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, beginning at 9.30am. Full details are available on Examination Documents - Correspondence and Notifications webpage (please see documents IED007 & IED008) - located on the Braintree web site (using the link below).

Following the hearing sessions held in January and May 2018 the Council received a letter back from the Inspector with his initial comments.

Although acknowledging the ambition for high-quality, strategic-scale development in North Essex, the Inspector also emphasised that more work needs to be carried out before the plan can be found sound, and that more evidence is required regarding: 

  • Transport
  • Viability
  • Sustainability

View a copy of the Inspector's letter.

Following the Council’s Local Plan Committee on 22 July 2019, the Council are progressing with the next stage of examining the strategic Section 1 of the emerging Local Plan which has been prepared alongside Braintree and Tendring Councils.  A technical consultation on the Additional Sustainability Appraisal, additional evidence base and the suggested amendments to Section 1  was undertaken from 19 August to  30 September 2019. The Inspector has produced an Explanatory Note (IED016) which explains the purpose of the consultation within the context of his examination of the shared Plan. 

Following this consultation, further examination hearings were held from 14 to 30 January 2020. The Inspector has suggested Main Modifications following the hearings and these are the subject of consultation running from 27th August to 9th October. Further information on the examination is available on the Examination website.

Section 2

Section Two of the Colchester Local Plan will be examined separately after Section One.

The Planning Inspectorate have appointed 2 Inspectors for the Section 2 Examination whose details are below;

  • Jameson Bridgwater PGDipTP MRTPI
  • Anne Jordan BA (Hons) MRTPI

Andrea Copsey has been appointed as the independent Programme Officer to support the examination process. The Programme Officer can be contacted on:

  • Phone: 07842 643988
  • Post: Examination Office, PO Box 12607, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 9GN

All documents which support the Submission and Examination of the Shared Strategic Section 1 of the Local Plan are hosted by Braintree District Council.

Supporting Documents

The Local Plan is supported by a range of documents guiding the plan preparation and policy formulation.

View all supporting documents relevant (in full or in part) to Section Two of our Local Plan Submission document.

View documents

2. Evidence Base

The Local Plan is supported by a range of documents which together form a comprehensive evidence base in order to guide and inform planning policies across the borough.

A full range of relevant evidence base documents can be viewed here:

All evidence relevant to Section One is on Braintree's site

View Colchester Local Plan Evidence Base in two parts including documents relevant to Section Two Below:

Adopted Local Plan Evidence Base 2004-2020

Emerging Local Plan Evidence Base 2017-2033

Section One of the Local Plan includes a commitment to plan and deliver new Garden Communities including locations to the east and west of Colchester. More detailed Development Plan Documents are being prepared for each and Issues and Options Reports are currently available for consultation. More information is available on the Garden Communities Home page.

3. Publication Draft Local Plan

The third stage of the new Local Plan process, the Publication Draft Local Plan consists of two parts: 

  • Section One includes strategic policies covering housing and employment, requirements and proposals for new Garden Communities. 

  • Section Two includes policies and allocations for meeting the needs throughout the rest of the borough as well as Development Management Policies which are used for considering planning applications. 

The consultation ran from 16th June to 11th August 2017.

View documents

4. Preferred Options

The second stage of the new Local Plan process involved setting out the preferred policies and proposals to be included in the Local Plan. 

The consultation ran from 9th Julyto 16th September 2016.

View documents

You can also view responses on our dedicated Local Plan consultation portal.

5. Issues and Options

The first stage of the new Local Plan process, the Issues and Options identified issues in Colchester and the planning options available to address them. 

The consultation ran from 16th January to 27th February 2015. 

View documents

The Local Development Scheme

The Local Development Scheme (LDS) sets out the timetable for the local development documents that this Council will be producing. It provides a starting point for you to see at what stage you can become involved in drafting these documents. Please click the link below to view the latest version of the Colchester Borough Council LDS.

View LDS

Statement of Community Involvement

The SCI provides clarity on the extent of community involvement that will take place. It sets out clear consultation procedures and standards that the Council will follow when undertaking consultations on draft planning policy documents and when planning applications are received.  The July 2020 update note provides information on adaptations made to consultation arrangements to address COVID-19 issues.

View SCI

Planning Policy
Emerging Local Plan 2017 - 2033