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Marks Tey NP examiners questions 1-16 CBC response

The examiner’s clarifying questions to Marks Tey Parish Council and Colchester Borough Council.

IN THIS ARTICLE

Examiner’s Clarifying Questions to Marks Tey Parish Council and Colchester Borough Council

Colchester Borough Council’s responses are in italics. 


Questions to the Parish Council

  1. In Policy MT02 para 2 the intention of the bracketed section of the clause in not clear. What is meant to be the intent here?
 
  1. Is the reference to the Local Plan in paragraph 4 of Policy MT04 (starting ‘development proposals in Marks Tey Parish coming forward…’) intended to mean both the adopted and emerging Local Plan?
 
  1. In Policy MT06 and Table 6.9, for the policy to operate correctly the table should include straplines for each view indicating what is important – what is the element to be respected?
 
  1. In Policy MT13 Para 2 is ‘safe’ the right word – what is the intention - would ‘viable’ more accurately reflect the intention?
  
  1. What is the justification for including part of the Livelands site in the London Road Centre boundary – given the owner’s objection? Is it simply that there are business uses currently occupying that strip of land?
 
  1. Was a formal call for housing sites carried out as part of preparing the plan and was the need for sites reconsidered after the ‘plug was pulled’ on the CBB Garden Community proposal? Or was the view that there was still too much uncertainty in terms of the possible routes of the A12 and A120, such that any question of further housing provision would be better left to a review of the MTNP?

A formal call for sites was caried out by CBC (Colchester Borough Council) as part of the Local Plan Preparation and is included in section 2 of the Evidence Base  on the Council’s website. As part of the Local Plan procedures the Main Modifications to the Section One Local Plan – which included the removal of the Colchester Braintree Border Garden Community, were consulted on and supported by an appropriate Sustainability Appraisal. The implications of this also formed part of the considerations for the Plan.  The Section 2 Examination included Questions concerning the implications of the Modifications made to Section One (now Adopted) Local Plan. The Council’s response to this is available in the Topic Paper 1, Consequential Changes, which supported the Examination. Topic Paper 2, Housing Matters, goes into further detail on housing numbers. This indicates the position in respect of the impact in terms of housing numbers as well as the policy response and available evidence. The Section 2 Local Plan will include Main Modifications in respect of this response, which will be subject to further consultation, along with a supporting Sustainability Appraisal of the Modifications. The proposed Main Modifications, as agreed with the Inspector, are due to be published by CBC on Monday September 13th, as part of the upcoming Local Plan Committee reports, although to date we have not received the Inspector’s letter.

To summarise the conclusion in relation to the Section 2 Local Plan is that there is no requirement to identify alternative sites at this stage and the concerns around uncertainty in terms of the timing and detail of infrastructure delivery support a review at a later date as appropriate.

 
  1. P55 (3), (6), (7) and (8) – the bracketed definition present in the other paragraphs is missing in these – please supply.

Questions to Colchester Borough Council
 
  1. What is the up-to-date position regarding the emerging Local Plan now? I note from one of the Regulation 16 representations that Section 1 of the Local Plan has now been adopted.

The Strategic Plan for North Essex (Section One of the emerging Local Plan) – this part of the Plan is shared with Braintree District Council and Tendring District Council. The Strategic Plan for North Essex was formally adopted by a decision at Colchester Council's Full Council meeting on Monday 1 February 2021.

Section Two of the Colchester Local Plan hearing sessions took place between 20 and 30th April 2021. An initial draft Schedule of Recommended Modifications to Section 2 was published on CBC website in March 2021. The proposed Main Modifications, as agreed with the Inspector, are due to be published by CBC on Monday September 13th, as part of the upcoming Local Plan Committee reports, although to date we have not received the Inspector’s letter. These will be subject to consultation in the Autumn and are accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal.

 
  1. Has the Essex RAMS been formally adopted yet?
The Essex Coast Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS)  Strategy Document was adopted in 2019 and SPD was adopted in 2020. The Essex Coast RAMS, which has the brand name Bird Aware Essex Coast, aims to deliver the mitigation necessary to avoid adverse effects on the integrity of habitats sites from the in-combination impacts of residential development in Essex.
 
  1. Does the Borough Council accept the interpretation re general conformity in the Basic Conditions Statement re the ‘areas of tension’. i.e.: London Road Neighbourhood Centre as defined in the Local Plan versus Policy MT14
Policy MT14 and adopted Local Plan policy CE2: CBC understands the NHP (Neighbourhood Plan) has identified a wider area as being suitable for designation as the London Road Centre that is informed by an up-to-date analysis of the units and includes employment as well as shop use following the new land use class E introduced in July 2020. The Basic Conditions Statement identifies this is to reflect the variety of land uses in this part of the plan area and to reflect the importance of the area to the wider parish, to encourage new uses to strengthen the commercial viability of the London Road centre, to encourage improvements to the quality of the pedestrian environment in the area.

CBC accepts that there are valid reasons for the NHP to seek a wider spatial area for support in the instance of the London Road Centre which is outside the scope of CE2. CBC suggests the NHP selection might be better described by a distinct name to avoid confusion with the emerging Local Plan designation, however, such as London Road Neighbourhood Centre.

Policy MT14 and Policy DP7: Local Centres and Individual Shops - Policy MT14 is identified as applying to an area larger than the London Road Parade, supporting proposals where these will help strengthen the commercial viability of the area, securing the provision of essential services such as the post office, and seeks environmental and street scene improvements across the area.

CBC accepts that there are valid reasons for the NHP to seek a wider spatial area for support in the instance of the London Road Centre, However, suggests the NHP selection might be better described by a distinct name to avoid confusion with the Local Plan designation such as London Road Neighbourhood Centre.


Local Plan Policy ENV2 versus MT04
Policy MT04: Village Settlement Boundaries and Policy ENV2 - CBC is generally agreed that Policy MT04 is consistent with or complements Policy ENV2, even though Policy MT04 takes a more flexible approach towards development than ENV02. CBC agrees the departure from the Local Plan is slight and does not undermine the strategic objective underpinning ENV02 rural communities and is considered appropriate considering the specific circumstances in Marks Tey, including the potential for the built environment to be improved around the transport interchanges and the London Road centre.

Site Allocations DPD versus Policy MT15 (Andersons Site)
Neighbourhood Plan Policy MT15 – Anderson Employment Site and Local Plan Site Allocations document 2010 (Anderson Employment site)
CBC acknowledges some tension created by the ambition for the Anderson’s site in terms of access and uses but believes the policy wording of MT15 itself is still in general conformity with the adopted and emerging Local Plans. However, this policy needs to be applied to the wider site area, identified by Strutt and Parker in their submission and recognised by CBC in Topic Paper 3 Economic Growth, drawn up for the Local Plan examination hearings in April 2021.  CBC also acknowledges that the Anderson Employment Site within the Adopted Local Plan includes the extended site which remains the relevant Local Plan at this time. Therefore, CBC agrees that, to remain in conformity with the adopted and emerging Local Plans, the Policy MT15 map needs to be revised to include the extended site (See question 16 below).


Is the Council’s view that despite these tensions the NP is still in general conformity?
Yes, CBC agrees the additional criteria and requirements in the NP policy is in broad conformity with the adopted Local Plan
 
  1. Which are the Parishes to north and south of Marks Tey Parish?

The parishes that abut Marks Tey are:
  • Great Tey
  • Aldham
  • Eight Ash Green
  • Copford with Easthorpe
  • Feering


        

This extract is created from Magic Maps.
 
  1. Is it possible to send a diagrammatic representation of the current proposed route of the A12 and A120 and position of Junction 25, given that some of the Regulation 16 representations are stating that the preferred routes are now fixed?

See references to documentation in response to question 15.
 
  1. I would like CBC’s view on the Granville Developments point in their Regulation 16 representation (in para 2) that a housing figure should have been provided for the neighbourhood area on withdrawal of the CBBGC proposal. Is CBC satisfied that the Borough’s housing requirement can be met to 2033 without any further housing provision (beyond existing commitments) from Marks Tey?

CBC accepts that Marks Tey NHP has not identified a strategy for new residential sites due to the current constraints on the highway network (A120 and A12) and confirms that CBC’s housing requirement up to 2033 is not dependent on-site allocations in Marks Tey at this time (see comments above at question 6). This is further supported by the Topic Paper and Hearing Statements prepared to support the Local Plan Examination (Section 2). For further clarity CBC advises that a housing requirement figure has been provided to those Parishes / (Qualifying Bodies) preparing a NHP where they have indicated the scope includes the desire to allocate land for housing provision. Where NHPs choose not to allocate land, there is no need to provide a housing requirement. The NHP regulations do not prevent a NHP from allocating land additional to that planed in another Plan (Local Plan) or greater than, or in the absence of, any requirement provided.
 
  1. The Regulation 16 representation from Historic England in the summary table states they want to make detailed comments on the plan but none were attached. Can I confirm this was a typo and it should have said ‘do not wish to make any detailed comment’?

Yes, this is a typo inadvertently transcribed from the Historic England response on April 1st 2021. The full text of their response is as follows:

‘Marks Tey Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 Consultation

Thank you for inviting Historic England to comment on the Regulation 16 Submission version of this Neighbourhood Plan. We welcome the production of this neighbourhood plan but do consider it necessary for Historic England to provide detailed comments at this time. We would refer you to any previous comments submitted at Regulation 14 stage, and for any further information to our detailed advice on successfully incorporating historic environment considerations into your neighbourhood plan, which can be found here: https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/planning/plan-making/improve-yourneighbourhood/  

I would be grateful if you would notify me if and when the Neighbourhood Plan is made by the district council. To avoid any doubt, this letter does not reflect our obligation to provide further advice on or, potentially, object to specific proposals which may subsequently arise as a result of the proposed NP, where we consider these would have an adverse effect on the historic environment.

Please do contact me, either via email or the number above, if you have any queries.’

 
  1. Is Andrew Martin’s point in their Regulation 16 representation correct that there is now certainty regarding the A12 /A120 routes?

A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening
A ‘Preferred Route’ announcement was made by Highways England (HE) for the A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening scheme following consultation on route options. HE’s Preferred Route Announcement for Junctions 23 to 25 can be seen in this document. As the A12 scheme is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, HE is required to make an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). Prior to that, they are required to formally consult on the scheme proposals in preparation for submission of the DCO application. That consultation finished on 16 August 2021. The details of the recent consultation and the route can also be seen in this brochure: A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening: Public consultation June 2021. So, the ‘preferred route’ has been announced by HE and further consultation on the route design has been undertaken, prior to the DCO process being undertaken.

The A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening scheme is identified in the Governments 2020-2025 Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2). Funding is committed to deliver schemes in RIS2 and schemes in RIS2 are expected to start by 2025 (noting assumptions such as the scheme continues to remain deliverable, obtain planning consents etc). The start date on the HE website for the A12 scheme is 2023-24.
  
A120 Braintree to A12
In March 2020, the government announced details of the second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) covering April 2020 to March 2025. The A120 Braintree to A12 was one of the ‘pipeline projects’ announced in RIS2 that will undergo further analysis and design work for consideration for potential future investment beyond 2025.
 
Highways England have not announced a preferred route for the A120 Braintree to A12 scheme. The proposals for improving this stretch of road were initially developed by Essex County Council (ECC announced their ‘favoured’ route for the project in June 2018). This project has now been passed over to Highways England and the HE website states they are ‘currently carrying out a validation exercise of all the work that has been done. Once completed, the validation will establish if further work needs to be done in order to progress the scheme.’

The A120 widening project is identified as a ‘pipeline’ project in RIS2. Funding is not committed for this scheme.

 
  1. Does CBC agree with Strutt and Parker’s point in their Regulation 16 representation that the land omitted from the employment site at Andersons Yard in Policy MT15 means that the policy is at odds with the CLP?

CBC recognised in Topic Paper 3  Economic Growth, for the Local Plan examination hearings in April 2021, that there was an omission in the total area of employment land identified for the Anderson Employment Site allocation in the Policy Map for SS11 in the emerging Local Plan. ‘Increase in the Other Areas category to reflect reinstatement of employment land in Marks Tey at the Andersons timber yard site allocation of 3ha that was included in the 2010 Proposals Map but not included in the Submission Policies Map...’  CBC also acknowledges that the Anderson Employment Site within the Adopted Local Plan includes the extended site. Therefore, CBC agrees that, to remain in conformity with the adopted and emerging Local Plans, the Policy MT15 map needs to be revised to include the extended site. However, CBC believes the policy wording itself is still in general conformity with the adopted and emerging Local Plans but needs to be applied to the wider area.

Notes
  1. Although I have indicated above which Council is to reply, if one or other Council wishes to also comment and respond it is open to them to do so.
  2. There may be further clarifying questions necessary as the examination progresses.



Peter Biggers
Independent Examiner
23 August 2021

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