MEGA CITY plans released - you need to see this...........

I'm angry, I'm shocked - otherwise no constructive comment. This is what was presented to the stakeholders last night on the new town plan proposals.


  • It's not 1 April, is it...?
  • No this really is what is being proposed. You can rest assured that Wivenhoe made very strong representations last night and my thanks go to those that attended. But what is truly shocking is that there were representatives from CBC, including cabinet members that said this was the first time they had seen these plans. I'm left with lots of questions but the first is - who is briefing the consultants, because this is insane. Later (tomorrow) I will post the density diagram that shows 100 houses per hectare to fit in the new total of 9000 houses on this site. As a heads up a medium density development is between 30 and 50 houses per hectare. So at a 100 this means 5 story flats to get the numbers in. That's mostly concentrated at the top of our village within the new district centre. 
    I was also told other things last night, that I'm waiting to check if I can put in the public domain. I will share when I can. The consultants weren't happy that I took this plan home, but I suspect they were trying to avoid a riot that was definitely brewing.

  • Clever use of colour on that plan, hard to tell where they are building and where they aren't

    50 shades of green

  • I've no strongly held views on developing the area but am curious as to what the underlying political motivations are... anyone care to explain? Seems to be boil down to Colchester wanting City status I think. All major parties have basically supported it so what gives?!?
  • It could have been worse. I see a few housing developments and lots of woods and open space. 

    In theory it will do less damage to the character of Wivenhoe than the two shipyard estates. The areas of "Employment" are rather nebulous and lead me to think they will be fast food joints and supermarkets. 

    I'd like the fields to stay obviously but if there has to be development then I'd rather this than a concrete jungle. 
  • @Andrea I always hate the phrase 'stakeholders.'

    Who else was there please?
  • edited April 12
    To make it clear what lies within the boundary of the current Wivenhoe ward here is a red line on top of the map supplied by Andrea.

    (previous Forum thread on this topic )
  • In answer to Jason's question - in total there were around 50 -60 people there. I don't know who everyone was - but from Wivenhoe Town Council there was myself and Asa. Bob Needham was there as a representative of Wivenhoe Society and the Neighborhood Plan group - as were Jane Black, Peter Hill and Neil Hopkins. There were two senior officers from Tendering district council and a TDC councilor but I cant remember any of their names. Karen Syrett and Ian Vipond were there as officers from Colchester Borough council. There were reps from ECC, and from David Locke Associates (who are the consultants working on this). Tim and Julie Young, Tina Bourne, Cyril Liddy, Rosalind Scott and Phil Fin from the labour group. Mark cory and Paul smith (leader of the council) and at least one other Lib dem. The Oxfords (Borough Councillors from Highwoods) and at least two other CBC Borough councillors. Chris Hill and Chris Lee were there from Greanstead. Plus members of Alresford, Elmstead and at least two other parish councils. The university was also represented.

  • I agree with @Mike that it could have been a lot worse. 

    Are there any means by which the woodland planting is guaranteed e.g. equivalent of a 106 agreement or some sort of land charge?
  • It must be a new concept in Garden City planning to have the district centre straddling an existing  arterial dual carriageway.  Given the idea is that the highest densities should also be adjacent to the District centre this also means a lot of housing in close proximity to the A133. 
  • Don't worry everyone, we were promised that there won't be a housing shortage in the post-Brexit utopia, so I can't see a need for this being approved in the long run.

    In all seriousness, Colchester needs more housing and more infrastructure. This looks like a positive development.
  • So the yellow 'residential' sections aren't overly large but will be very densely populated with low cost housing. Is that correct?
  • I really don't want to sound as though I'm scaremongering, but the proposed development needs to be looked at in the context of what it is likely to do to Wivenhoe, think in terms of the traffic levels, use of the station, people trying to access the amenities, a massive densely populated estate encroaching on the buffer that we do have, and that is likely to be permitted to creep closer as the development is "adjusted" ... Wivenhoe will be swallowed up and just become a part of Colchester as Stanway or Prettygate have been

    If we are complacent and permit it, Wivenhoe will swallowed up into a sort of Greenstead Extension before anyone realises what is happening. Dont be fooled by the largely green colour scheme that has been used, this is high density housing, rabbit warrens of narrow streets with tall buildings, isolated token patches of green that various developers will already be trying to negotiate rights to build on at the first opportunity.

    The area that is suggested as being "employment" is tiny, it certainly isn't going to provide employment for all those people so we are simply going to get a huge area of people who commute - more traffic, more air pollution, more parking issues, more congestion / traffic jams. People will be trying to use the station to get to London just as they do now, only there will be a lot more of them - it isn't a well thought through plan that takes a holistic view of people and what they need, its a land grab. A token Park and Ride isn't going to solve any issues, there should be something like a comprehensive tram network based on a good analysis of where people want to travel and where they want to travel to, e.g. Colchester Station at rush hour, Colchester on the weekend. A few lines designated as mass rapid transit system isn't a "plan", its an aspiration or an excuse. A proper proposal would show a massively developed station capable of handling the traffic that this will generate

    Its also worth considering the fact that the so called green buffers are mostly open on one side so it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that phase 2 will be to build in the same way on the other side of those buffers which will turn the whole of this side of Colchester into a large, dense sprawling urban conurbation 

    It truly is a destructive and horrifying proposal, we should be forming a body to fight this, not treating it as some sort of hypothetical proposition - it is a real and genuine attempt to destroy the character of the town. Complaining after the event WILL be too late, act now.
  • kstkst
    edited April 12
    Totally agree with NickT, but even with  "A proper proposal would show a massively developed station capable of handling the traffic that this will generate"  wouldn't help as we are still stuck with  2 railway lines and and a major pinchpoint at Liverpool St station
  • 6608 Dwellings to 9000 Dwellings, and this is only the first draft.
  • kst raises a very good point, this area simply doesn't have the infrastructure to cope with an increase in population, particularly a step change like this - the railway service is already stretched to the point where its essentially a 5 day service, the road infrastructure, especially close to town is over-stretched and the public transport seems to be a sort of haphazard overlay that is a permanent source of frustration.

    I don't know precisely what has been done to alleviate the situation but there have been some very alarming figures bandied about about the number of times raw sewage is discharged into the Colne and that is barely a trickle at low tide - I don't see anything on the plan to resolve that issue and it will only get worse with climate change bringing rain in short heavy bursts as we have already seen start to happen.

    One wonders if the proposal isn't just intended as an "Aunt Sally" to lull people into the idea before the full horror is unleashed ...
  •  Colchester wanting City status I think. 
    Britain's oldest town.........and newest city

    I think that's quite catchy
  • Does 9000 on this site alone mean they have abandoned the West Colchester City plan? I thought they needed to build 9000 in total to meet the Conservative Government quota..?

    Did they indicate where the new population (presumably of 18,000 if average 2 per house) was going to seek employment? Presumably not in the tiny little business areas depicted.

  • Or in the rest of Colchester ... it's hard to see where there is any employment for that number of people locally so logically, they'll be commuting, probably mostly to London with all that that implies 
  • @poopdecker I agree, the concentration of housing and DC around the A133 seems bizarre.  Personally I don't have a massive problem with development on the other side of the A133, but when it starts coming onto the this side, that sprawl does look concerning.  9,000 is a big number!
    The MRT is probably down as something similar to that which they've done in north Colchester at cuckoo Farm/Northern approach - partially designated bus lanes and the like, hardly a comprehensive system, and hardly based on a marker of success given what we've seen in Colchester!
    Getting a new connection to the a120 would be great, but we'd soon lose that benefit with 9,000 extra households trying to use it.
  • I find this all just very sad. Poor little Wivenhoe. RIP 

  • This is the density diagram for the site.
    Pale yellow is 25 houses per hector 
    Yellow is 30-40 houses per hector 
    Orange is 50-60 houses per hector 
    Red is 100 houses per hector 
    Currently that's around 1500 houses this side of the A133. Wivenhoe currently has around 3200 houses so our infrastructure / facilities clubs etc will have to take a 30 percent increase. 
  • Well at least we have enough pubs....although with no tapas bar or bakehouse definitely not enough restaurants.... or space in general. Are they planning on building a new school too then? God knows where the teachers will come from...

    Having recently had to wait a month for a doctors appointment that's probably another area that will need to be addressed 
  • Indeed, will they all be piling down Phillip Rd to see the sawbones? Or will there be a new health centre as part of the development.

    These and other questions will doubtless be answered at the public meetings CBC are no doubt planning to hold in Wivenhoe and Greenstead...

  • But our schools and surgery are already at bursting point.....
  •  bellabee said:
    I find this all just very sad. Poor little Wivenhoe. RIP 
  • Hello Pitfall,

    Don't know about the Surgery, but if you look at the plan Andrea posted, their are no less than four Primary Schools and a Secondary School indicated. I'd be very surprised if a doctors surgery wasn't included as GP services are run more like business these days and circa 9000 homes would present a good opportunity.
  • edited April 12
    It's a huge development for sure. And yes, clearly people will head to Wivenhoe to get on the train. Colchester train station is pretty inaccessible from here. Unless they built a branch line or something, but that's unlikely.

    I hope the pictures don't represent the quality of the architecture - it's very uninspiring and soulless, and very Croydon or Chelmsford. It's a pity when there are so many good examples of innovative architecture mostly done through community self-building. They are crying out to get a look in on some decent land, and are interested in lifestyle innovations (work/live places, permaculture, shared community facilities etc etc.) as well as providing housing.

    I guess if you want to oppose this you'll need to start looking at legal action.
  • What timescale are they working to?
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