There is now a new hybrid planning application submitted by the developer for a smaller number of premises (up to 120) under reference 18/01065/OUT. This means that the whole process of commenting and objecting starts again so the advice below still stands, so please do write in the the council and let your opinions be known.
- USE REFERENCE 18/01065/OUT
- USE COUNCIL OR GOVENRMENT PLANNING POLICY AND SAY WHY THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT MEET THE TESTS/ COMPLY WITH POLICY
- SEND A SEPARATE LETTER FOR EVERY PERSON WHO OBJECTS RATHER THAN HOUSEHOLDS
- EMAIL YOUR REPLY TO firstname.lastname@example.org
- OR SEND A LETTER TO Development Management, Causeway House, Braintree CM7 9HP
- OR REGISTER ONLINE ON BRAINTREE DC PLANNING SITE TO MAKE COMMENTS
- JUST SIGN A PETITION (ALTHOUGH DO DO THAT TOO LINKS AVAILABLE), IT HAS LITTLE WEIGHT, YOU MUST WRITE
- COMPLAIN ON GROUNDS IRRELEVANT TO PLANNING LAW EG THE NOISE/DISRUPTION OF BUILDING, EFFECT OF HOUSE VALUE, ABILITY TO WALK ACROSS PRIVATE FIELDS, VIEWS ETC
- THINK THAT THIS IS FUTILE – IF YOU DON’T TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO OBJECT YOU CANNOT COMPLAIN IF THE DEVELOPMENT GOES AHEAD
Some arguments against this development
- It does not accord with the development plan. It would be contrary to policy CS1, which states that new housing will be located within the main towns, including Braintree, on various identified sites and locations, or on previously developed land and infill sites in Key Service Villages and other villages. The proposal would also be contrary to policies RLP2 and CS5 (to protect and enhance the landscape character … and amenity of the countryside), which taken together seek to confine development to areas within the defined settlement boundaries, and to restrict development outside those boundaries to uses which are appropriate to the countryside.
- An emerging local plan is under way. This is a democratic process which has full local consultation and is designed to represent the views of the local community. It matters. In the emerging local plan this site has been considered and rejected on planning grounds as being unsuitable for development.
- This land is designated as part of a green buffer zone between Rayne and Braintree in the emerging local plan (para 8.31 and 8.32). Historically it has been “green wedge”. It plays an important function as separation between the two. It also plays an important role as giving a rural edge to Rayne and Braintree.
- It would result in unacceptable coalescence between Rayne and Braintree. The role played by the site in separating the settlements of Braintree and Rayne was an important factor in its categorisation as an area with low landscape capacity in the Settlement Fringes Landscape Capacity Study
- This proposal is not sustainable. No access onto Flitch Way for walkers/cyclists. No facilities provided on site so everything requires an external (likely car) trip. No GP. No shop. No school. No employment. Nothing except housing and a small “community play area”.
- It conflicts with policy CS8, which seeks to ensure that development protects the best and most versatile agricultural land and has regard to the character of the landscape and its sensitivity to change. Development will need to enhance the locally distinctive character of the landscape. It should also follow that it conflicts with RLP80, which provides that “development that would not successfully integrate into the local landscape will not be permitted”.
- The Flitch Way is a Country Park, an area for people to visit and enjoy recreation in a countryside environment predominantly natural or semi-natural landscape. Do you value the landscape and peace and quiet of the Flitch way where this would go? Would this development affect your enjoyment of using it? It currently contributes to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the community as a much used, free and accessible facility to exercise in open countryside. Would it much more urbanised and more like a path past a housing estate with all the extra noise generated? This is an area of high sensitivity to change. Further RLP140 states “development that would prejudice … the use of disused railway lines for recreational purposes, will not be permitted”. This prejudices the use of the Flitch, a disused railway, as it would become less attractive to people to use for recreation, itself a prejudice.
- RLP80 seeks to ensure that development is not “detrimental to the distinctive landscape features of the area” and provides that “development that would not successfully integrate into the local landscape will not be permitted”. The Flitch is a distinctive landscape feature and this development would be detrimental to it and to users of it.
- Would there be a severe impact on local roads from this development all accessing the local network via Rayne road? Would anyone walk/cycle? There is no access planned from the site onto the Flitch Way proposed to enable that yet that is relied upon in the transport assessment. There is no bus service planned. There are no road improvements/ mitigation proposed by this development to try to ease the extra congestion it would cause. The transport assessment is riddled with errors, inaccuracies and conflicting or missing information. It is not fit for purpose.
- National Planning Policy states that development should enhance the local community. The detrimental effects and harm caused here would significantly and demonstrably outweigh any benefit of the development.
- Is this a case of a predatory developer seeking to take advantage of the fact that the local plan / 5 year supply is not in place to force through inappropriate development? The developer failed to even turn up to the Parish Council meeting when this was discussed despite being invited. It is the same developer as has made the Brook Green application which is currently awaiting an appeal decision.
- The real danger is that, should this smaller development be permitted, the developer would then use it as a basis to justify further development south of the Flitch way arguing that it is already an urbanised area….little by little he would build the full Brook Green by stealth.