West Mersea

Welcome to the Public Consultation pages for West Mersea.

Brierley Paddocks is identified as being suitable for residential and community development within the emerging Colchester Borough Council Local Plan, which defines where new development should be located to provide for the needs of the Borough up to 2033.

The adoption of the Council’s Local Plan has been delayed, therefore City & Country submitted an outline planning application in February 2019 for 200 new homes and 0.5 hectares of community/commercial use. The proposed scheme also included for two vehicular access points onto East Road and Seaview Avenue, alongside 30% affordable housing, open space, a children’s play area, new footpath and cycle links and financial contributions towards local infrastructure. This outline application sought to establish the scale and nature of the development and set the parameters for which more detailed proposals would be required to conform to.

This application was rejected by the Council in August 2019. Naturally, City & Country are disappointed by this decision, particularly as there is an accepted requirement to boost housing supply in the area. This site remains suitable and capable of delivering sustainable development. As a result, an appeal will be lodged against the Council’s decision. Alongside this appeal, we have also submitted a revised planning application which is due to be determined in Autumn 2019.

A consultation event was held with the local community and stakeholders in November 2018. The display boards and feedback questionnaire from this event can be found under the document section.

The current Colchester Borough Council Local Plan is out of date; however, the Council is at an advanced stage in the preparation of a new Local Plan.

The emerging Local Plan identifies West Mersea as one of three Rural District Centres, as it is one of the largest of the Borough’s sustainable settlements that provides essential services and facilities

to both the local community and the surrounding area. The Council considers that West Mersea is suitable for growth during the Plan period up to 2033.

City & Country has promoted Brierley Paddocks as part of Colchester Borough Council’s Local Plan process to address this identified need for development.

At the first stage of the emerging Local Plan process, the site was allocated for 200 dwellings, however, in the second iteration this was reduced.

The emerging Local Plan, now states that the following mixed-use development at Brierley Paddocks will be supported by the Council:

  1. 100 new dwellings of a mix and type of housing to be compatible with surrounding
  2. development
  3. A satisfactory vehicular access
  4. New public open space; and
  5. Community facilities if identified in the Neighbourhood Plan

Residents may be aware that another site in West Mersea has also been proposed for residential development at Dawes Lane for 100 new dwellings; public open space; and recreational facilities. This results in a total allocation of 200 dwellings for West Mersea.

Progress on the emerging Local Plan has stalled due to concerns raised by the Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State regarding justification of the Garden Settlements. Further work is now required by the Council and adoption of the Local Plan is now anticipated to be mid-2020 at the earliest.

In the interim, West Mersea may become vulnerable to speculative applications on other sites, on the basis that the Council must be able to demonstrate a continuous five-year supply of deliverable

housing sites. An early application and grant of consent at Brierley Paddocks could help the local community resist such proposals.

It is recognised that the site is allocated for 100 dwellings in the emerging Local Plan submitted for Examination. However, development for a greater number of houses would ensure the most efficient use of the land, in accordance with national planning policy. The site provides and opportunity for and can accommodate more development than that currently identified in the emerging Local Plan. This position is supported by its initial allocation by the Council for 200 dwellings.