Planning and development has an important role to play in providing new homes for people to live in, sites for employment and jobs, and improvements to infrastructure and to public services. Due to its strategic location and proximity to London, there are many sites in and around the Witham constituency that developers are interested in using. As a Member of Parliament, I take a strong interest in these matters and know how important it is for local communities to be involved in development decisions that affect them. Local planning and development decisions on policies and specific applications are made by democratically elected councillors and although I do not, therefore, have a vote on these decisions, as the local MP I do raise with the respective councils the comments, questions and concerns that residents draw to my attention.
In 2016 there have been number of specific planning and development issues relating to individual applications and to Local Plans that have generated considerable interest. If residents are submitting comments about planning and development matters to local councils, they are welcome to copy me in. Details of some of the most high profile issues are provided below for information.
There are a number of proposed sites that have been put forward on locations in the vicinity of the A12 and the A120 for potential future development. Both Braintree District Council and Colchester Borough Council are in the process of revising their Local Plans and considering which sites are suitable for development and any associated infrastructure and public services that would be needed to support development in those areas. The proposals for a new settlement referred to as 'West Tey' has generated considerable interest from residents. No final decisions have been made on site allocations and I am in contact with constituents, Braintree District Council and Colchester Borough Council over these matters. For further information on the Local Pan and site allocation process, the councils have set up sections on their websites to provide more details. Residents should email any comments and questions directly to the councils and can copy me in on: WithamMP@parliament.uk too.
Braintree District Council: https://www.braintree.gov.uk/info/200230/planning_policy/701/new_local_plan Email:email@example.com
Stonepath Drive, Hatfield Peverel:
An outline planning application for 80 dwellings on land south of Stonepath Drive in Hatfield Peverel has been submitted. Full details of the application (reference number: 16/00545/OUT) can be found on the Braintree District Council website:
Residents can submit comments about the application through the website.
Lakelands site SR6, Stanway:
A plot of green space used by the local community on the entrance of the Lakelands development on Churchfields Avenue, Stanway, has been earmarked for development by Colchester Borough Council and an application has been submitted by the Flagship Housing Group. The site had been allocated for green open space but the designation of the site was changed without any formal consultation with local residents. Priti has been supporting residents by raising their concerns and has met with them and the Council to discuss this issue and the way the Council is handling planning matters in this area. Residents campaigning against the development have produced a petition, which can be signed online at:
Further details on the planning application (reference number 152817), can be found at the weblink below:
Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility:
In 2010 a planning inspector granted permission on appeal for a new integrated waste management facility in Rivenhall. Since then, revisions to the original planning application have been made and Priti has been raising with Essex County Council concerns that local residents have. These include worries about pollution, increased traffic and damage to the environment caused by the facility one it is constructed and up and running.
Priti has been supporting local residents who want to see the Tollgate Village development take place. The proposals include new retail and leisure facilities in Stanway and would generate hundreds of new local jobs. A planning application was refused by Colchester Borough Council earlier this year, with the Council ignoring local residents and expressing a preference for keeping this site empty while they develop facilities on sites that the Council has an interest in elsewhere in the Borough. A new planning application has been submitted and residents can find further information at the weblink: http://tollgatevillage.co.uk/news/