Issues and Options Consultation

Are you aware that there is a meeting on Saturday 14th Feb between 10.00am and 2.00pm in the Scout and Guide hut in Wivenhoe regarding development proposals under the Local Plan. There is documentation on the internet under www.colchester.gov.uk. Click planning, then planning policy on the drop down box. Then see Local Plan 2017-2032. See also the site map under "what stage are we at ..." 2nd paragraph "call for sites". Click on the blue word "here". This will show the areas currently under consideration as between 16th January and 27th February 2015. Any objections have to be registered by 27th February!

Our particular concerns relate to the area behind Field Way and Mede Way which is indicated on the map as a possible area for development. This is landfill and according to eyewitness accounts from local residents who purchased their houses from new in the 1960s and actually saw the landfill being undertaken the site contains quantities of industrial chemicals and other hazardous waste including cyanide and arsenic. Our solicitor was concerned at the close proximity of the site to our house but searches indicated that there were no fumes present. This would certainly not be the case if the ground were to be disturbed and the Landmark Information Group (01392 441700) reports that "gases can easily migrate 400 metres from a site".

Having done some research it seems that the principle of the Environmental Protection Act is that the polluter pays in the event of any problems but that if the polluter cannot be traced the responsibility lies with the land's current owners. I wonder if the owners are aware of this.

Comments

  • I understand that volunteers writing/developing the Neighborhood Plan are in negotiation with local landowners about what land they would like developed and how. Are we able to get a report on how these discussions will influence any future developments in Wivenhoe?
  • As someone who is involved in the Plan process let me answer Liz's comment above. We have met with the land owners of the land behind behind Field Way and the Cricket Club, which is some 41 acres in all, but we are not in negotiation with them or anyone else for that matter. We wanted to hear what they had to say. Following on from the Public Consultation day last November, we have been refining the Objectives of the Plan based on feedback as well as from last year's major survey across all households.  I have been leading a Group which meets weekly to determine how many and what type of homes does Wivenhoe need in the future and where should we put them. This has been taking a surprising amount of effort as we need to show the evidence how we come to our conclusions so that it is not just the views of a small group of people. When we are ready, we will share our work with everyone so that everyone can see what conclusions we have reached, and then agree or disagree with them.

    Regarding the 41 acre site, we know that a lot of it is land fill, and so do the owners. There is no way of accurately telling what is under the ground except by digging. I don't believe there were any controls or records even of what went in there.

    I'm sure there will be some development on at least part of the site but I think there are other and more easily developed parts of the total site other than behind Field Way.  For the time being, and until a new Local Plan is agreed, after 2016, there can be no development over there in any case.

    Hopefully also, through the hard work of those of us engaged in the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan, we will have Objectives and Policies which will have been agreed by the whole community and that become become the criterion on which any future Planning Application is judged and that will determine how Wivenhoe evolves until 2032. This includes development of 41 acres, the land behind Field Way.        
  • Why does Wivenhoe need more houses? Hasn't it had it's fair share of new homes in recent years - Dry Dock and Cooks Ship yard! Enough is enough, no more houses please. Can we just keep the green areas around us please?
  • A small group of volunteers focussing on making sure the residents know what is being considered and are consulted regularly are meeting at 83 Heath Rd on Tuesday at 9.30 am. There has been such a lot of research and thoughtful consideration by the larger group and we want to make sure the evolution of the plan is transparent and widely available.  Anyone who has ideas as to how to do this, wishes to be involved or informed, please come along, or get in touch with me 
  • The Issues and Options consultation is being conducted by Colchester Borough and is about the future of the Borough Local Plan.  The Borough Local Plan is not the same as the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan.  Is the group of volunteers mentioned by Rosalind discussing the Local Plan or the Neighbourhood Plan?  Anyone who wishes to be involved in formulating the Neighbourhood Plan is welcome to attend the meetings on this.  It is also very important that Wivenhoe residents make their views known about the Local Plan and responds to the questionnaire. The Borough is looking to find sites for around 1000 homes a year.   All of the options for development sites include a proportional growth for Wivenhoe.  If you believe this is not appropriate then say so in the questionnaire explaining why.  As yet another reminder the Borough consultation and the associated questionnaire is available at http://www.colchester.gov.uk/article/15278/Issues-and-Options-Consultation-16-January---27-February
    Note the closing date is February 27

  • I'm with Helsabels on this one: where is the mechanism for challenging the process behind the numbers which Colchester Borough 'must' provide, and why should they be in areas where the infrastructure (schools, medical services & roads) is already inadequate & overloaded?
  • The mechanism for challenging the numbers which the Borough "must" provide is to fill in the options and issues questionnaire.  The projected growth for the Borough is in part based on Office of National Statistics projections but this projection appears to rely on predicting that Colchester will continue to grow at the same rate as over the last decade.  Colchester has been one of the fastest growing areas in the country and it might be thought that we should be rewarded for making a contribution to the national housing needs but rather than being rewarded we seem to be expected to continue to grow at a higher rate than our neighbours in Essex and the region generally.  The Wivenhoe Society has submitted a response to the consultation suggesting that Colchester should be aiming to have a growth rate over the period 2001 to 2032 equal to that of Essex as a whole.


  • Given that the plan will determine "how
    Wivenhoe evolves until 2032" the significance of the plan needs to be empahsised to every resident in Wivenhoe when it is near completion. I'd be very happy to help distribute a precis of the plan to every resident in the town, ie through their letterbox - hopefully with an invitation to a large, well-publicised Loveless Hall sized public meeting where it can be debated amongst as many residents as possible.
    I presume the Group that meets weekly to determine how many and
    what type of homes Wivenhoe needs in the future is open to any Wivenhoe resident?
  • Hi Peter,

    Yes it's true that no one knows exactly what is in the pit as it was filled before regulations came into force and that is the point.  However, eyewitnesses report that drums labelled as arsenic and cyanide together with many barrels of oil were included.  Truck drivers who worked for Cadmans and West Waste also still speak of delivering considerable quantities of asbestos from demolition work over a four year period to the 41 acre site  Witness statements could be obtained.
  • edited February 2015
    @liz, don't confuse the Colchester new Local Plan consultation with the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan!
    The group that meets weekly is WNP.
    I don't think CBC are looking for leafleters and that consultation was last Saturday 14 February (but you can still do it on line until 27 February if you missed it)..

    There is a tangential link between the two Plans: see the latest post on the WNP website, www.wivenhoeneighbourhoodplan.org.uk
  • Thanks ChrisDWag. I am sure we can fear the worst about was used to in-fill the site and the land-owners would of course need of course to take such factors into consideration but that of course presumes the land will be zoned for residential development which it is not the case at the present time. The Group I am leading are looking at all possible sites that land owners are keen to put forward for residential development. As the WNP Committee said at the last Public Consultation, we believe Wivenhoe needs some additional homes that provide a range of properties suited for older people as well as more affordable homes for younger people just starting out in their adult lives.  Because we want people to be aware of how our work in drawing up the Plan is progressing I am sure we will publish something in draft fairly soon for public comment. The Plan is a lot more than just about where do we allow more houses to be built and can we secure some of them for Wivenhoe people. We are also looking at the need for more open spaces, securing a green break between Wivenhoe and the University, and Wivenhoe overall (which includes some land on the other side of the A133) with a country park, as well as community facilities which could perhaps come with some more development. We need to achieve a balance in all these things.   So the WNP Committee I am sure will soon share these thoughts and ideas with everyone based on what we have already heard in the big Survey we undertook last year as well as the feedback from November's public consultation.    

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