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Proposals to the Local Development Forum from landowners in Langham



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Original sites put forward by landowners for development.

Williamson's Park and Ride proposals.

The Park and Ride in much more detail.


Info_page_two_pic_2_det.asp-sec_id=3888&tem_id=82&art_id=8925&id=8925&s contains an index of material on the proposals - including road traffic monitoring data!



Langham Parish Council's Official Response to the Williamson Proposals for a Park and Ride.




Re: Rep No 0055/234 Williamsons Developments in Langham

Strategic Planning Considerations

The Core Strategy is the result of years of work and consultation. Langham is well outside the North Growth Area and so all four of the suggested sites would contravene the principles and policies of the Core Strategy and should not even be considered for inclusion in the final document. If the proposals were to be included in the final document, it would overturn the foundations of the Core Strategy and the Borough Council would have to begin the whole process again!

Essentially, Langham comprises a minor village in the overall settlement hierarchy and the limited level of social infrastructure reflects this position.  Therefore, development at sites A to D essentially represent an alternative development strategy based on a ‘dispersal’ led approach to land use planning.  This approach not only represents a ‘U’ turn for the Core Strategy but is also at odds with the overall Regional Spatial Strategy set out in RSS14.  In addition, the sites further conflict with Government policy and guidance on the location of development and transport accessibly as set out in the aims and objectives of PPS1 (including the Planning and Climate Change Supplement concerning CO2 emission reduction) and PPG13 ‘Transport’ in particular.


Site Specific Considerations

Site ‘D’

Site D contravenes the whole principle of the LDF’s Transport Strategy which accepts that a Park and Ride site must have a "high quality connection to Colchester" and that the new A12 junction and the transit corridor are key factors. The Cuckoo Farm Park and Ride proposal set out in the Core Strategy fits well with the submissions for the North Growth Area, including access and transport facilities. The planned access to the A12 will be designed to accommodate access to the Park and Ride from the A12. The Williamson proposal is based on a remote site which is too far from the Town Centre, away from the North Growth Area, using inadequate country roads, with road access and a junction not designed for the density and weight of private and commercial traffic. It would also be adjacent to a large established settlement and require the sacrifice of good quality agricultural land.

Therefore, with the above in mind, a park and ride facility at Langham and on Site D in particular raises fundamental transport planning issues as summarised below:

·         The site is remote from Colchester Town Centre (approximately 8 km or 5 miles), which is too far to be a viable proposition in transport planning terms

·         The site is also remote from the edge of the built up area where congestion is first experienced, which again is too far to represent a realistic choice to persuade Colchester bound drivers to park their cars and transfer to a town centre bound bus

·         The site conflicts with the County Council’s investment programme for park and ride including the proposed site at Cuckoo Farm

·         Vehicular access for Colchester bound car and bus traffic is not only circuitous but would rely on use of a local road network through the village, which is not suitable to accommodate high traffic levels associated with such a park and ride facility

·         The site appears to be land locked and relies on a short piece of Park Lane to gain access to the main network, which would be highly unsuitable to serve this form of development

·         In addition, any proposal of this nature would have a deleterious effect, not only on Langham, but also on the neighbouring villages, especially Dedham, Stratford St. Mary, East Bergholt, Ardleigh and Boxted, due to increase in traffic, highway damage on small rural roads, and pressure for more intensive development of both commercial and residential sites. The proposal would affect the AONB, land zoned as agricultural, and the amenity value of the villages to the residents. Any intensification of road use on the rural roads about Langham would conflict with its role in the National Cycle Network.

The use of Site D for a type of Business Park would contravene Policy CE1 as well as the whole principle of the location of Employment Zones. There are already four established industrial areas and three established business areas and so there is no case for a new area being needed to provide local employment particularly of the scale envisaged. As with the Park and Ride suggestion the heavy vehicles servicing the proposed industrial area would have to use unsuitable rural roads. This is unfortunately inevitable with long established areas but is not acceptable with a new and large area, which will simply have the effect of drawing in traffic and activity which should be directed to the main urban areas.

Sites A, B and C

The cumulative impact of sites A, B and C would introduce a level of development which would be out of scale and inappropriate in the context of the Village.  This would effectively consolidate ribbons of development sprawled across the village, which again contravenes good planning practice.  Also, given the general lack of public transport provision in the area a further consequence of development on these sites would be an unavoidable increase in car borne trips relative to more sustainable settlements and locations in the Borough.

These sites all contravene Policy NE2 in that they are outside the village boundary but they are not for affordable housing. They are all on good agricultural land, not PDL, which is against the statement on pg 64, and against the statements about Rural Communities on pg 28. All of the sites would have entrances which would be dangerous and unsatisfactory. School Road is a narrow road but has two schools on it and sites A and B are either side of an industrial area which generates a lot of traffic and parked heavy vehicles.  Site C would have entrances which would be very close to the junction of Wick Road and Park Lane and both roads carry traffic which travels at well over 30mph, as shown by the frequent police checks.

The proposal goes against a number of recommendations of the final draft Langham Village Design Statement, amongst which are the protection of the local character of the village and small scale development in keeping with the Core Strategy document. The VDS is based in part on a questionnaire survey of the whole village, for which there was the response rate was over 60%. The questionnaire also suggests that Langham could absorb a small number of new houses during the Plan period but that a larger number would not be sustainable with our current infrastructure. For example the developer's figures show that the Primary School will be full after 2012 and secondary schooling is already a problem for Langham residents. The study makes great play with the way in which the proposals will provide for the sustainability of the village. This is presumption. The VDS questionnaire shows that the idea that Langham needs these developments to survive or to be in some way a better place is wrong in the minds of its inhabitants - the people who count.

Langham Parish Council objects very strongly to all the proposals and trust the above representations will assist the Council’s consideration and rejection of the ‘Alternative Sites’.