Below is a bit more info about the concept I wrote about in the Moulsham Times. I would like your opinion as would the young architect that put the design together.
First of all below is an extract from the Draft Local Plan which was submitted to the Planning Inspector, as this is what the concept was based on.
At least I was successful in getting the original changed from just 200 houses to what is stated above, yes, I know it's not what a lot of people want to see which is to keep it as it is, but, I have to be realistic and base it on what is most likely to happen. This is based on planning guidelines and law, it is based on my experience on the planning committee and it is based on current Government legislation and policy, all of which is trying to make it easier for developers to build, most of the time in my opinion to the detriment of existing residents. I know in my heart of hearts that we are unlikely to stop development on this site.
So, what do we do, do nothing, protest with no plan B, or protest and have a plan B which is to influence the final plan as much as we can. I want to get as much public consultation as possible, and they (Chelmsford City Council) have promised extensive public consultation and i believe they will do this but will make sure that it does happen.
So this is my first attempt to gauge what people really think about the potential development of John Shennan.
Below is the concept drawing with the main design features labelled. Below the drawing I have provided a short paragraph explaining each one.
Click the drawing to download a copy of the drawing plus other concept considerations.
John Shennan Village Green
This concept provides up to three story apartments and believe it or not there are nearly 200 dwellings in this plan, the reason was to establish whether the Local Plan requirement could be achieved. This would be a mix of independent living, housing association & commercial dwellings. The current feedback I received at the Local Plan hearing, indicated that there would be at least 35% affordable housing as part of any development.
Retained Green Space/Wood
As you can see there is still a substantial amount of green space available. Some of this could be planted up to establish a more wooded area, this could also provide screening between the existing houses and the new development. And actually the sports pitch counts towards the green space provision. So our many dog walkers will still have lots of space to exercise their pets.
With the loss of our community centre back in 2009 we looked for other available space, but at the time John Shennan was not an option due to the excessive amounts of methane, so i was very shocked to find the methane had reduced to negligible levels, such that development was now an option. So for me my thoughts were then, could we build a new community centre on John Shennan, without an enabling development. By enabling I mean that developers usually contribute to infrastructure, this can include community buildings. Could we realistically expect to fund it without developer contributions, actually I think we could, it would be a massive challenge though.
This concept plan is a unique design which incorporates :
It's unique because it is designed around the concept of a cricket pavilion overlooking the sports pitch but with community facilities at the core of the design.
Small Astro Turf Area
This would be a small multi use all weather area and could be utilised by the pre school nursery for their outside play space. This would also be using for netball, five a side, basketball, etc etc
Sports Pitch (Cricket in this plan)
Sport England were most insistent in their comment on this potential development, they recognised the reduction of green space, but that it was not currently used for sports activities. So the potential was to "provide a substantial area of improved accessible local open space which will include sports". This particular view of the concept produces 7 Sport England size cricket pitches, this could equally be football pitches. It is recognised however thatt provided sports quality pitches would be expensive, I think however provision should be provided to enable this to happen in the future if developer contribution was not forthcoming.
Princes Road Entrance/Exit
This is another difficult one as to create another exit could make it susceptible to rat running through the development. However some though has been given to this and because the design is semi-circular it make it a slightly longer distance than going alternative routes, this means that Sat-Navs will generally not take this route.
It could be an entrance or exit only to further control traffic issues. Additionally a 20 mph zone would be enforced to discourage people from taking the shortcut.
Parking between planted trees
The semi-circular design also provides a pleasant outlook as well as follow the sports pitch outline. Spaced at regular intervals would be trees, between the trees are parking spaces. These could be used for people attending sports matches & visitors to people living in the area, but one of the most beneficial aspects could be to facilitate safer parking for the school drop off with direct access to the link path between the schools.
All of the above assumes that John Shennan can be built on and that it is a viable proposition for developers. As I have said before it has only been identified in the Local Plan for potential development, this doesn't mean it will happen. I do however, based on discussions with interested parties (not developers) that it will happen, however being an opposition Liberal Democrat Councillor means I am not privy to certain information.
I have asked for further discussions as soon as possible, so will update you as and when i can.
In the meantime please let me know what you think.
Cllr Mark Springett