Local Plan Hearing

December 27, 2018

As mentioned in the Moulsham Times I include links (below) to the documents presented to the Local Plan Hearing.


First I include the article from the Moulsham Times (which incidentally is on-line, see here


"I would like to thank people who have commented so far on the John Shennan Playing Field concept. I know it was a surprise for a lot of people including myself to see the notices go up stating that John Shennan was going to be included in the Local Plan consultation, as a site of potential development of 200 houses.  I did try and get it registered as a Village Green but it was already too late and it seemed inevitable that we would be faced with some sort of development that took away the green space it offers.


For the last few weeks an HMG Planning Inspector has been looking at the Draft Local Plan as part of a hearing, and on the 29th of November I was able to take a seat at the table and represent a local resident who had submitted a comment during the Regulation 19 phase of the consultation. We wanted to get over the impact that a development would have on John Shennan, the three main issues were Traffic,  Green Space reduction & School Spaces. You can see the full submission plus attachments on my blog (see below).


The Traffic issues we would face are the first and obvious impact that 200 houses would have, we did suggest as the concept did, access onto Princess Road, but were told this was not possible because of it being a strategic route and therefore no roads should come off or on. We all know they have already broken this rule with the new housing that went up 10 or so years ago. I also think the concept could solve the parking issues at Moulsham Schools.


Green Space reduction, the Council had to concede that I was correct in my facts that Moulsham Lodge already had a negative hectare provision and we were already at minus 10.37 hectares, so any reduction would make that worse. However, it was recognised that the green space is not of good quality and would require significant investment to make all of it a playable surface. Sport England themselves had commented specifically on John Shennan and had said the same, they also said that the reduction of green space could be offset by providing a smaller area of better quality, so, more use than just than the dog walkers!


School spaces, the Draft Local Plan plus existing planning obligations will give us in the region of an extra 20,000 homes by 2036, this will generate about 8,000 people of school age, by my calculation there is only provision for around 4,000 to 5,000 school places in the local plan, furthermore a representative form Essex County Council did not dispute my numbers at the hearing, worryingly they had not produced the next ten year plan for school places as part of the local plan evidence.


What does all this mean? In reality I can see no reason that the planning inspector will remove JS from the Local Plan. Then, we are faced with the potential of a developer building up to 200 homes.  Don’t panic just yet, it’s not all bad news. I believe we have an opportunity to influence what does happen on JS, in fact already some of my suggestions made it into the site requirements on the latest draft. They have promised a public consultation and we need to use this and turn out in numbers to comment on whatever is proposed, whenever that may be, because in reality it could be next year or it could be in 10 years. My gut feel is that it will be sooner rather than later. I’ll keep you informed best I can in the coming weeks and months. Regards, Mark


Email mark.springett@chelmsford.gov.uk tel 07411 808731 also on Twitter & Facebook"


Link to submitted hearing document


Link to Spedding Date on Gloucester Av


Link to Planning Inspector document for Waltham Glen Community Centre Site


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