Protecting land adjacent to the Colne and Local Plan proposals

Colchester Borough has recently produced proposals for a revised Coastal Protection Belt.  It is proposed that some land adjacent to Colchester road be removed from the CPB.  The draft Neighbourhood Plan is roughly in agreement with this.  The real downer is that it is proposed that land to the east of Ballast Quay Road going right down to the railway line should be removed.  The Neighbourhood Plan has a policy that all this area should be included in a "Colne Protection Belt".  The reasons for including this area in the Neighbourhood Paln were that there was strong local support for this in the various consultations and that it is scenically important, having the best views in Wivenhoe of the estuary to the south of us and contributing to the setting of the Colne as seen from the river and land on the Fingringhoe side.  The recommendations come from consultants who refer back to a 2005 landscape study where the area was only rated as of moderate landscape value.  Any site visit must have been on a foggy day.  Part of the area scheduled for removal from the CPB is also close to an SSSI and a Special Protection Area.  You can see the documents at    text    maps

The recent consultation on the Preferred Options did not include this information but just said revisions were being considered.  If you think the area to the east of Ballast Quay should be included in the Borough;s Coastal Protection Belt then let the Borough know your views at


  • Thanks for making us aware of this @poopdecker, can you relink the maps please as both links appear to be the same. Is there there a concerted method by which we can object, or are individual emails to the Borough best?

  • Does this mean that the land can be built on or that they are going to let it flood?
  • We're talking about house-building here; none of the land from Ballast Quay road to the railway line is at flood risk, as they are all productive, sloping farmers fields...   :(
  • Sorry about the link - this is the one for the maps

  • Perhaps I should explain a bit more about the role of the Coastal Protection Belt.  This has a very long history and was started in response to Enterprise Neptune (a 1965 National Trust initiative) to try to protect the rural coastline from inappropriate development. This was picked up by the government of the day which produced circulars to Local Authorities urging them to identify land near to the coast which should be protected from development.  Essex produced an interim policy in 1966 and in 1984 redefined it.  This has remained in place and the 1984 boundaries are still part of the current Local Plan but relatively recently the responsibility of the defining the areas was passed to the Local Planning Authorities within Essex.  Colchester is proposing to amend the protected areas in its next Local Plan.  Some little bits have been added but some have been deleted including the Bowes Farm land to the east of Ballast Quay and Anglesey Road.  It is also proposed that the woods on the other side of the river at Rowhedge behind the new development  should be removed.

    The Coastal Protection Belt designation does not have a blanket ban on any development but In effect restricts development unless it requires a location near to the coast.
  • Removing CBP only means one thing I'm afraid......more houses.
  • It seems that CBC will not be satisfied until it has covered most of this part of Essex with residential housing, destroying the very things which make this area a pleasant place to live.
  • Appalling. I agree with poopdecker. Anyone who rates the view as 'moderate' needs to be questioned about their aesthetics and their agenda. 
  • Let's be clear about this, we on the Neighbourhood Plan Writing Group have been aware for a long time that the Coastal Protection Belt designation was so broad that it includes land up to Colchester Road on the western side and Alresford Road on the eastern side of Wivenhoe. That is why in the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan we created a new Policy called the Colne Protection Belt to protect important views of the river. Colchester Borough Council are supporting this policy and there is no suggestion that they want to see more houses on these important areas of land. Poopdecker is right, it will be helpful if people feel able to support the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan policy by responding to ''. about the need to preserve areas of land on the eastern side of Wivenhoe as unspoilt areas with fines views of the river and its estuary.   

  • Is there a deadline for registering objections?
  • The Review of the Coastal Protection Belt has just been posted as part of the Borough's emerging local Plan evidence base.  While not formally subject to consultation it is possible for individuals or groups to comment and possibly disagree with evidence base documents particularly when these were not available when the consultation of the Preferred Options was conducted (as was case the Coastal Protection Belt Review).  There is therefore no official deadline.
  • Ok, thanks.
  • If there are no plans to build on it then why not leave it as it is which will save CBC the cost of making the changes. 
  • CBC would like to at least have the option to build houses everywhere.
  • edited January 26
    The agenda [pdf] has been published for the next CBC Local Plan Committee that takes place at the Town Hall on 7 February. It includes the Coastal Protection Belt Review.

    From the Committee report: [p.275]

    "The Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan Working Group has challenged the removal of the area of land to the south east of Wivenhoe as they are seeking to protect this land from development through their emerging Neighbourhood Plan. The Council is working with the Neighbourhood Plan Group to identify an alternative approach for protecting this piece of land to avoid inconsistencies between the Coastal Protection policies in the Local Plan and Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan."
  • An update...

    The agenda [pdf] for the CBC Local Plan Committee on 27 March includes once again:

    Coastal Protection Belt Review

    It recommends the deletion from the Review of the land at Bowes Road Wivenhoe, and the deletion of the land to the north west of Wivenhoe.
  • The National Planning Policy Framework states

    114:Local planning authorities should:
    maintain the character of the undeveloped coast, protecting and
    enhancing its distinctive landscapes, particularly in areas defined as
    Heritage Coast, and improve public access to and enjoyment of the coast

    The latest report for the Local Plan Committee includes the following statement
    Note the revised criteria A does not include coastal views. This criterion is in line with NPPF objectives to protect the open, undeveloped and rural character of the coast (not views).

    The Bowes land (i.e. land leading down to the river from Millfields School) is to be part of the “open, undeveloped and rural character of the coast” .  It is adjacent to the estuary, it is open, it is rural, it is visible from the river and forms part of the rural setting of the Colne.  Including it would seem in line with the NPPF.   Tendring is proposing to include the adjacent river slopes in its CPB.  The farmland on the other side of the river is included in the Colchester proposals, some of it quite distant from the estuary.  It is difficult to understand why the consultants have proposed the deletion of the Bowes Land.

    Perhaps lobby your councillors?

  • So - are Colchester Borough Council attempting to encourage residential development of the land overlooking the Colne around Bowes Farm - and if so, who do we lobby in order to stop this happening?
  • The Borough is not currently pushing the land for development.  4 areas in total have been proposed for deletion from the Coastal Protection Belt.  This is what it says in the report for the next Local Plan Committee meeting:

    "The fact that these 4 areas will no longer be within the Coastal Protection Belt does not alter the fact that they are greenfield sites outside of any area designated for development. They will still be afforded protection from
    inappropriate development. It may be that some areas are protected by other designations such as the Colne Protection Belt being proposed in the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan."

    The Neighbourhood Plan is currently stalled because Natural England is holding up the Plan's going to examination.  The NP does propose that the Bowes Land should be incorporated in a "Colne Protection Belt" where the criterion for inclusion is visual intervisibility between the land and the river.  However the Plan has some stages to go before it is finally adopted and residents have yet to vote on it. 

  • Thank you for that information poopdecker.
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