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News

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North Essex garden communities: consultation on Local Plan document ends this month

North Essex garden communities: consultation on Local Plan document ends this month

Friday, September 20, 2019 We have already reported how plans to build three garden communities in north Essex took a dive when a planning inspector found them “unsound” and needing “significant” further work (see here). The proposals for West Tey (24,000 homes), West of Braintree (13,000) and East of Colchester (9,000) were contained in a […] Read more >

Stansted trying to bully council in fight to hike airport passenger numbers, says campaign group

Stansted trying to bully council in fight to hike airport passenger numbers, says campaign group

Friday, September 20, 2019 Campaigners have accused Stansted Airport of bullying in its bid to increase passenger numbers at the site. The airport operators have applied for planning permission to raise the number of passengers travelling through Stansted from 35 million to 43 million a year, a move backed by Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee […] Read more >

Here’s your chance to join consultation on 2,500-home scheme

Here’s your chance to join consultation on 2,500-home scheme

Friday, September 20, 2019 A consultation has just opened on plans to build up to 2,500 homes and a business park at Latton Priory, south of Harlow. The proposed development is part of the wider 23,000-home Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, which was approved by Harlow, Epping and East Herts councils in December. The London […] Read more >

Uttlesford Local Plan: what will the inspector decide?

Uttlesford Local Plan: what will the inspector decide?

Friday, September 20, 2019 More than two months has passed since examination of Uttlesford District Council’s new Local Plan began, so it is timely to serve a reminder of what might lie in store for residents. Examination started on Tuesday, July 2, after the council’s decision to write to planning inspectors saying they saw no […] Read more >

This year’s AGM (on October 5!) can be just part of a great day out at Cressing Temple Barns

This year’s AGM (on October 5!) can be just part of a great day out at Cressing Temple Barns

Enjoy tea at The Barns, Cressing Temple Monday, September 16, 2019 Here’s another reminder that this year’s Annual General Meeting of CPRE Essex is coming up quickly! It is being held at the fantastic venue of Cressing Temple Barns, near Braintree, on Saturday, October 5. The guest speaker will be Simon Amstutz, manager of the […] Read more >

Huge response to public consultation delays application for Lower Thames Crossing DCO

Huge response to public consultation delays application for Lower Thames Crossing DCO

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 A staggering total of almost 29,000 responses to the public consultation has caused Highways England to delay its planning application for the Lower Thames Crossing. The second tranche of consultation on the £6.8 billion road scheme pulled in 28,493 responses, meaning HE needs more time to analyse any new information and […] Read more >

Star Count attracts thousands as problem of light pollution shines bright

Star Count attracts thousands as problem of light pollution shines bright

Friday, August 9, 2019 A record 2,300 people took part in this year’s Star Count. The count, held over the first three weeks of February, revealed that just 2% of participants experienced the wonders of a truly dark sky full of stars, due to the impact of light pollution caused by street lighting and other […] Read more >

Felling licences are simple and free to obtain, so why are so many trees being axed illegally?

Felling licences are simple and free to obtain, so why are so many trees being axed illegally?

For this story we are indebted to our friends at the Forestry Commission, who have reported an increase in the number of cases of illegal tree-felling across East Anglia The area of woodland felled without a felling licence increased from 9.48 hectares in 2013-14 to 20.55 hectares in 2017-18. All reports of unlicensed felling are […] Read more >

New homes in Green Belt approved thanks to ‘very special circumstances’

New homes in Green Belt approved thanks to ‘very special circumstances’

“Very special circumstances” were cited as a planning inspector granted permission on appeal for almost 40 homes in the Green Belt. Epping Forest District Council had in June last year refused the plans at Stoneshot Farm near Nazeing, but inspector Helen Hockenhull has now overturned that decision. She granted consent to Haycross and Hogg Construction […] Read more >

Permitted development rights and the growth of ‘human warehousing’

Permitted development rights and the growth of ‘human warehousing’

The conversion of Terminus House, a 1960s office block in Harlow, into 214 flats made national news due to allegations of vulnerable people being placed in unsuitable accommodation and local services coming under pressure. It was claimed that problems had included a high number of calls to police, drug use and dealing and incidents of […] Read more >

Essex CPRE: this year’s AGM is being held in October near Braintree

Essex CPRE: this year’s AGM is being held in October near Braintree

This year’s Annual General Meeting of CPRE Essex will be held at Cressing Temple Barns, Braintree, on Saturday, October 5. The guest speaker will be Simon Amstutz, manager of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Vincent Thompson, will also be attending. Tea will provided by Wilkins tea […] Read more >

Climate-change rules will be considered in delayed Stansted decision

Climate-change rules will be considered in delayed Stansted decision

UK Carbon Net Zero 2050 legislation will be brought into play when plans to expand Stansted airport are reconsidered. The airport’s bid to increase passenger numbers to from 35 million to 43 million a year was backed by Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee (courtesy of the chairman’s casting vote) in November last year. Full council […] Read more >

Need someone to talk to? Then there’s a helpline just for you

Need someone to talk to? Then there’s a helpline just for you

Earlier this year, our chairman David Knight celebrated the relaunch of the Uttlesford Farmers’ Café, a place that gave those who live and work in the countryside the opportunity to meet and talk with other people (see here). As he said at the time: “There are a worrying number of people in the agricultural world […] Read more >

‘Deeply upsetting’ decision as Hatfield Peverel housing schemes are backed

‘Deeply upsetting’ decision as Hatfield Peverel housing schemes are backed

It’s been one of the most high-profile battles against unnecessary development Essex has seen over the past couple of years, but that wasn’t enough to stop plans for 340 new homes in Hatfield Peverel being approved by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The news that James Brokenshire had granted planning […] Read more >

Care about the countryside? Then tell the next PM

Care about the countryside? Then tell the next PM

As you know, CPRE is strictly non-political. So, without any comment on the Conservative Party leadership contest, we simply present here your opportunity to tell the next Tory leader, and indeed Prime Minister, what matters most to you. The survey has been put together by the Conservative Party, which urges respondents to “tell us what […] Read more >

Colchester greenfield site approved for 420 new homes

Colchester greenfield site approved for 420 new homes

Another 420 homes are coming to Colchester. The borough council has approved a hybrid planning application by Mersea Homes and Hills Residential for the 17-hectare greenfield site at Heath Road, Stanway, on the edge of town after planning officers had concluded the development met both local and national planning policy. The application had sought outline […] Read more >

Climate change rally in London: your chance to join thousands of others in getting the message to our MPs

Climate change rally in London: your chance to join thousands of others in getting the message to our MPs

Some 10,000 people are expected at Westminster this week (Wednesday, June 26) to call for urgent action on climate change. Do you want to join them? The rally has been organised by Greener UK and The Climate Coalition, which says: “The government has taken a step forward by setting the long-term target of ending our […] Read more >

Here’s your chance to contribute to a green strategy for Essex

Here’s your chance to contribute to a green strategy for Essex

Essex, as most of are aware, is earmarked for extensive urban growth in the coming years, but all is not necessarily lost for our natural environment. The county council has produced a draft Green Essex Strategy to highlight the importance of establishing green infrastructure and spaces to accompany development over the next 20 years. And, […] Read more >

Elections prove our countryside matters to people, says Green Belt council

Elections prove our countryside matters to people, says Green Belt council

The extraordinary change in the composition of Uttlesford District Council resulting from May’s local elections was charted here, but there were of course eye-catching returns from much of the South East after the polls had closed. Such was the widespread shift in allegiance that the London Green Belt Council was moved to comment: “One of […] Read more >

Petition launched for Stansted application to be reconsidered

Petition launched for Stansted application to be reconsidered

Campaigners are still pressing for the recent decision to approve passenger numbers at Stansted Airport from 35 million to 43 million a year to be reconsidered. Stop Stansted Expansion has drafted a petition calling on that application to be referred back to Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee. Last month’s dramatic change of control at the […] Read more >

Thousands of homes and a media village could be coming to Purfleet

Thousands of homes and a media village could be coming to Purfleet

Always keen to highlight the positives in planning, we are happy to share news of a project that appears to represent genuine urban regeneration. Purfleet has been earmarked for a £1 billion project that could bring almost 3,000 homes to the town as well as a “media village” and a range of enhanced facilities. Thurrock […] Read more >

All change at Uttlesford. And at Stansted, too?

All change at Uttlesford. And at Stansted, too?

As most must now be aware, last month’s local-government elections saw some extraordinary results, one of the most remarkable of which occurred right here in the Tory heartland of Essex, where the Conservatives lost control of Uttlesford District Council to the Residents’ Association. CPRE Essex always takes a politically neutral stand, but the Tories’ loss […] Read more >

What Thames estuary growth plans could mean for climate change… and accountability

What Thames estuary growth plans could mean for climate change… and accountability

The government’s backing of proposals to target the Thames estuary for massive development flies in the face of wider calls to tackle climate change, according to one of CPRE’s leading lights in the area. In June last year the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission published a report calling for the building of more than a […] Read more >

For she’s a jolly good Fellow!

For she’s a jolly good Fellow!

Congratulations to Tricia Moxey, CPRE Essex vice-chairman, who has been awarded a British Naturalists’ Association Fellowship. Tricia was honoured at the association’s conference on Saturday, May 11, an event that saw a rich and varied range of talks. Tricia said: “The speakers were outstanding in explaining their particular areas of research. “Professor Sarah Wanless spoke […] Read more >

£1 billion: how local charities could benefit from the deposit return system

£1 billion: how local charities could benefit from the deposit return system

One in five people using a UK-wide deposit return system would donate the deposits they had paid on drinks cans and bottles to charity all the time, producing potential annual donations of more than £1 billion to good causes. The results came from a survey carried out by ICM Unlimited and published by CPRE on […] Read more >

Aviation and its impact on the environment: your chance to attend a free talk

Aviation and its impact on the environment: your chance to attend a free talk

With the issue of expansion at Stansted Airport still very much alive, you might be interested in a free talk on aviation being held just round the M25 in Surrey. The Impact of Aviation Growth on Local Communities and Climate Change is being given by Tim Johnson, director of the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), in […] Read more >

Celebrate the glory of Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley at this very special forum

Celebrate the glory of Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley at this very special forum

The Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley comprise one of the many glories of Essex (even if we do have to share it with neighbouring Suffolk!). Next month you can learn a little more about this wonderful area at the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Forum being held at the fantastic Shrubs Farm Barn, […] Read more >

Overwhelmed by the scale of development in Essex? Here we help you understand quite what is going on

Overwhelmed by the scale of development in Essex? Here we help you understand quite what is going on

Many of us are aware that the natural beauty of our glorious county of Essex is threatened like never before. We experience it through the constant grind of cement-mixers and bulldozers, but sometimes the bureaucratic process is not so clear. Here CPRE Essex planning expert Michael Hand casts some light on what is driving the […] Read more >

Setting up the planning system to fail

Setting up the planning system to fail

Richard Bate, planning professional and long-time CPRE supporter, delivers a withering analysis of government housing policy How often have you heard it said that if only the planning authorities would release more land for housing, then the builders would build more houses and prices would come down? This is the fundamental belief across the government […] Read more >

Stansted expansion plan hits a delay

Stansted expansion plan hits a delay

Stansted Airport’s bid to increase passenger numbers to 43 million a year has been delayed (at the very least). Back in November last year, Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee had backed the expansion (a 66 per cent hike on last year’s figure), courtesy of the chairman’s casting vote. This was expected to be confirmed by […] Read more >

Love Essex and its countryside? You can prove it by voting on Thursday

Love Essex and its countryside? You can prove it by voting on Thursday

All of Essex’s local boroughs and districts, as well as Chelmsford city and Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock councils, will be holding elections on Thursday (May 2). Local authorities control many of the decisions that we care passionately about at CPRE Essex. We depend on their decisions to keep our towns and villages vibrant, to ensure there […] Read more >

The word is out! You can help our children re-engage with nature

The word is out! You can help our children re-engage with nature

Few people would argue that, as a society, we are in danger of losing contact with our natural world. A combination of work pressure and myriad leisure options means the joys of wildlife and environment are lost to many. Perhaps the saddest aspect of this is the growing disconnect between children and nature. In a […] Read more >

Bats at Marks Hall: a conservation success story

Bats at Marks Hall: a conservation success story

Simon Leatherdale tells the fascinating, and encouraging, story of how a positive approach and determination to succeed helped develop one of the most important bat hibernation sites in the country Essex is not renowned for its bats. With over-development, ever-increasing industry and the intensive ‘pharma-cist’ style of agriculture, it is no surprise that the number […] Read more >

North Weald targeted for hundreds of homes: decision next month?

North Weald targeted for hundreds of homes: decision next month?

A decision is anticipated this spring on proposals for a ‘garden village’ development at the former North Weald Golf Club. Quinn Estates and Redrow Homes submitted the plans to Epping Forest District Council that include 555 homes, a 70-bed retirement complex and 70-bed nursing care accommodation, as well as sports facilities and schools. The developer’s […] Read more >

A million new homes, two development corporations… and a very special friend to make it all happen

A million new homes, two development corporations… and a very special friend to make it all happen

Back in September, we wrote: “If you thought development pressure on Essex could not get any worse, there is some sobering reading from the Thames Estuary Growth Commission. “This advisory body to the government is urging ‘joint spatial plans’ to be created in both Essex and Kent to support the building of more than a […] Read more >

Tom Fyans: The benefits of going brownfield

Tom Fyans: The benefits of going brownfield

The benefits of brownfield development were extolled by Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive of CPRE, during a flying visit to Ashford in Kent. Tom was giving the speech ‘Why town centre regeneration matters for CPRE, the countryside charity’ before the AGM of CPRE Kent’s Ashford committee on Wednesday last week (March 6). Sporting a swish […] Read more >

Decision day could be close for Dedham Vale AONB campaigners

Decision day could be close for Dedham Vale AONB campaigners

One of the most delightful areas of Essex lies on the northern fringe of the county on its boundary with Suffolk. Much of this landscape is incorporated within the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Beauty, a designation that a group of campaigners believe should be extended north-west towards Sudbury, strengthening the protection of a broader […] Read more >

May date set for reopening of appeal on 265-home scheme

May date set for reopening of appeal on 265-home scheme

Campaigners must wait until May before a resumption in the battle to save a stretch of farmland from housing development. The saga began with land agent Gladman Developments Ltd applying to Braintree District Council for planning permission for the building of 300 houses off Church Street, Bocking. The three fields targeted are still being farmed […] Read more >

Gladman plans for more than 200 new homes are turned down

Gladman plans for more than 200 new homes are turned down

Some good news to gladden your step as spring approaches! Plans by Gladman Developments Ltd for more than 200 new homes in Tiptree have been turned down. The land agent had been seeking planning permission for the development of 206 properties on greenfield land off Barbrook Lane. A Gladman planning report had said: “The proposals […] Read more >

A short hop over the bridge and you can be listening to CPRE deputy chief exec Tom Fyans

A short hop over the bridge and you can be listening to CPRE deputy chief exec Tom Fyans

Fancy making the short journey over to the Garden of England next week to hear Tom Fyans, CPRE deputy chief executive? Of course you do! Tom will be speaking at an open meeting in Ashford, Kent, and everyone is welcome. Tom, who is also national director of campaigns and policy, is giving his talk ‘Why […] Read more >

Southend project for 1,600 homes in town centre: this could be genuine regeneration

Southend project for 1,600 homes in town centre: this could be genuine regeneration

And now for something completely different: a large housing development that doesn’t entail the loss of swathes of Essex countryside. The Queensway area of Southend is being targeted in a project that can be genuinely labelled ‘regeneration’ as it seeks to build some 1,600 homes, of which 500 will be affordable. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is […] Read more >

Airfield could be hosting almost 5,000 homes

Airfield could be hosting almost 5,000 homes

North Essex, already facing the threat of three proposed “garden communities”, has a new mass development to consider: almost 5,000 new homes on the former airfield at RAF Wethersfield. While the proposals for the garden communities – at West Tey (24,000 homes), West of Braintree (13,000) and East of Colchester (9,000) – are struggling to […] Read more >

Green Belt under the cosh…and it’s particularly bad news for one Essex district

Green Belt under the cosh…and it’s particularly bad news for one Essex district

The onslaught of development on the Metropolitan Green Belt is increasing – and an Essex district faces taking the biggest hit of all. Data collected by eight CPRE branches in and around the capital show that 56 of 66 local authorities are targeting Green Belt land for residential development. And the local authority planning the […] Read more >

Eyes to the skies, the Star Count starts tomorrow

Eyes to the skies, the Star Count starts tomorrow

This year’s Star Count (see here) goes live tomorrow (Saturday, February 2). Organised by CPRE, it gives you the chance to become ‘citizen scientists’ by taking part in a cosmic census helping to map our dark skies. The nationwide Star Count, supported by the British Astronomical Association, runs for the first three weeks of February […] Read more >

Approval of Stansted passenger hike sparks independent probe

Approval of Stansted passenger hike sparks independent probe

The decision by Uttlesford District Council to approve an increase in passenger numbers at Stansted Airport has prompted an independent investigation. Two councillors, Mark Lemon and Barbara Light, had asked for the local authority’s scrutiny committee to review November’s handling of the application, which was passed on the chairman’s vote. And on Tuesday last week […] Read more >

Count the stars and see how lucky we are (or otherwise)

Count the stars and see how lucky we are (or otherwise)

Sometimes television or film shows us night skies that are quite simply jaw-dropping. They portray millions of stars, together forming a spectacle that in places turns an otherwise black sky white. Others might be more fortunate enough to take holidays in places that allow them to be dazzled directly in person. One thing is certain, […] Read more >

Draft Environment Bill contains ‘significant unanswered questions’

Draft Environment Bill contains ‘significant unanswered questions’

“The draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill sets out how we will maintain environmental standards as we leave the EU and build on the vision of the 25 Year Environment Plan.” These underwhelming words from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announcing last month’s (December 2018) publication of draft clauses for the first […] Read more >

Lower Thames Crossing: our response

Lower Thames Crossing: our response

One of the most exacting challenges of recent months has been the looming prospect of the Lower Thames Crossing, a project that has been billed as this country’s biggest new-road scheme since the building of the M25. Its environmental benefits are, of course, dubious at best. The new road would take up a large chunk […] Read more >

The clock is counting down! Have your say on the Lower Thames Crossing

The clock is counting down! Have your say on the Lower Thames Crossing

Remember, remember, the 20th of December… Yes, Thursday, December 20, is the last day you can submit your comments on Highways England’s plans for the new Lower Thames Crossing. We know that the pollution, congestion and delays at the existing Dartford-Thurrock crossings are intolerable, and agree that action needs to be taken to protect the […] Read more >

Green infrastructure? Be clear what it is and then get involved in your local consultation

Green infrastructure? Be clear what it is and then get involved in your local consultation

Do you know what green infrastructure is? The likelihood is that you know about much of what it comprises even if you’re not familiar with the term itself. And if you live in or around Maldon, you now have the chance to contribute to how green infrastructure evolves in your district as the local authority […] Read more >

You can have a say on plans for a revamped M25-A12 junction

You can have a say on plans for a revamped M25-A12 junction

You might, or might not, have spent precious minutes (hours?) of your life at the junction of the M25 with the A12 and be delighted to know that up to £100 million is to be spent on upgrading it. You might, or might not, be unhappy at both the amount of land the intended scheme […] Read more >

Stansted expansion approved but fight is not over yet

Stansted expansion approved but fight is not over yet

Plans to expand the number of passengers using Stansted Airport have been approved. However, the decision by Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee to back the planning application was a tight call and depended on the chairman’s casting vote. The Essex airport had applied to grow passenger numbers to 43 million a year (a 66 per […] Read more >

Advice day will focus on rural crime

Advice day will focus on rural crime

It has been described as one of the countryside’s biggest growth industries, but rural crime is no laughing matter for those afflicted by it. The issue is being brought into focus at an advice day being held this month near Braintree at which you can get crime-prevention advice and information from Essex Police and exhibitors. […] Read more >

Involved with your Neighbourhood Plan? Then we have some good news

Involved with your Neighbourhood Plan? Then we have some good news

They don’t always get the attention they should, but Neighbourhood Plans represent one way in which people can get involved in the planning process for their local area. Although you needn’t be a planning expert, the prospect of tackling such an important issue might at first seem a little daunting, so two training sessions have […] Read more >

Missed the AGM? Then you missed something special…

Missed the AGM? Then you missed something special…

The busy world of CPRE Essex was brought into focus at the weekend during the county branch’s AGM. Marks Tey village hall was the setting on Saturday afternoon (October 6) as the necessary details of the previous year’s business were gone through in the professional manner we have come to expect from the group. Vice-chairman […] Read more >

Lower Thames Crossing: you can have your say on it from today

Lower Thames Crossing: you can have your say on it from today

In the week that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report telling us we need to take immediate action to curb catastrophic climate change, we learn of the opening of the next stage of consultation on plans for the new Lower Thames Crossing (LTC). The consultation website bills it as the solution to […] Read more >

Two top speakers will grace CPRE Essex’s AGM

Two top speakers will grace CPRE Essex’s AGM

Just a little reminder: the Essex branch of CPRE is holding its AGM this weekend – and there are two very special speakers to inform and entertain you after the formal business has been completed. Sam Harding, director of CPRE’s national litter programme, will be giving a talk entitled, perhaps unsurprisingly, Litter Picking Programme. Then […] Read more >

How Essex councils feature in Green Belt-building table

How Essex councils feature in Green Belt-building table

Our recent story (here) showing almost half a million new homes are targeted for land to be released from the Green Belt is particularly poignant in Essex, which hosts three of the top 10 Green Belt-building councils in the country. A Local Government Chronicle article presents data from the Ministry of Communities, Housing & Local […] Read more >

The sorry tale of one of our favourite animals… what future for the hedgehog?

The sorry tale of one of our favourite animals… what future for the hedgehog?

When was the last time you saw a hedgehog? Such a question usually draws the response, with either an air of resignation or a smirk as though the whole thing’s a bit of joke: “One that isn’t squashed on the road, you mean?” However, even that doesn’t ring true any more and we could just […] Read more >

Book soon for the CPRE Essex AGM!

Book soon for the CPRE Essex AGM!

The Essex branch of CPRE is in great shape and wants to share with members recent successes and its plans for the future. Hence you are all invited to next month’s AGM. It is being held at Marks Tey village hall on Saturday, October 6 (2.45pm for 3pm). A busy afternoon will comprise the formal […] Read more >

If you thought the Green Belt was safe, you might want to think again

If you thought the Green Belt was safe, you might want to think again

Anyone who believed Green Belt designation might mean land was safe from development would appear to be sadly misguided if CPRE analysis is anything to go by. This organisation’s figures reveal that almost half a million new homes are targeted for land to be released from the Green Belt – and very few of those […] Read more >

Talk puts the focus on Epping Forest Green Belt

Talk puts the focus on Epping Forest Green Belt

The future of the Green Belt in Epping Forest is very far from secure if proposals in the district council’s Local Plan come to fruition. Tricia Moxey, CPRE Essex vice-chairman, will be tackling the thorny issue of the Plan and what it might mean for the district when she gives a talk in Loughton next […] Read more >

South Essex in the firing line for colossal housing growth

South Essex in the firing line for colossal housing growth

If you thought development pressure on Essex could not get any worse, there is some sobering reading from the Thames Estuary Growth Commission. This advisory body to the government is urging “joint spatial plans” to be created in both Essex and Kent to support the building of more than a million homes. The two counties […] Read more >

Uttlesford campaigners highlight threat of housing onslaught

Uttlesford campaigners highlight threat of housing onslaught

Campaigners are stepping up their efforts to block proposals for new settlements in Uttlesford. Consultation on the draft Uttlesford District Local Plan closed on Monday, August 13, but the StopNUtown group still hopes that plans for 5,000 houses on some 1,100 acres of chalk hills north-east of Great Chesterford on the Essex-Cambridgeshire boundary can be […] Read more >

Government’s new planning rule book: ‘it’s a developers’ charter’

Government’s new planning rule book: ‘it’s a developers’ charter’

CPRE has slammed the government’s revised planning rulebook, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), as a “speculative developers’ charter”. In a damning early critique, the organisation says the government has not fulfilled its promise to “build attractive and better-designed homes in areas where they are needed”. Indeed, the document, published on Tuesday, July 24, continues […] Read more >

High Court dismisses attempt to halt Colchester development

High Court dismisses attempt to halt Colchester development

A bid by a rival developer to block development of the Northern Gateway scheme in Colchester has failed. Tollgate Partnership, which is promoting the Tollgate Village development in Stanway, had applied for a judicial review of Colchester Borough Council’s approval of the Northern Gateway project. Tollgate argued that the council’s backing of the scheme, put […] Read more >

As Essex prepares for a vast increase in population, new protocol aims to streamline planning

As Essex prepares for a vast increase in population, new protocol aims to streamline planning

Essex has a new planning protocol. The document, put together by local authorities and developers in the county, is intended to create “a more efficient and effective application process”, while it should also help resource planning departments”. The development of the Essex Planning Protocol was driven by “a significant predicted growth in the Greater Essex […] Read more >

Castle Point agrees to step up the pace on Local Plan

Castle Point agrees to step up the pace on Local Plan

Castle Point Borough Council is to speed up its Local Plan timetable in a bid to stop central government taking over the process. The local authority has also agreed to produce a joint spatial plan with five other local planning authorities in south Essex – Basildon, Brentwood, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock – and the county […] Read more >

Garden communities plan hits the rocks

Garden communities plan hits the rocks

Plans to build three garden communities in north Essex have been savaged by a planning inspector, who found them “unsound” and needing “significant” further work. The proposals  for West Tey (24,000 homes), West of Braintree (13,000) and East of Colchester (9,000) were contained in a Section 1 Local Plan put together by Braintree District Council, […] Read more >

CPRE Essex: we have a new chairman

CPRE Essex: we have a new chairman

Essex has a new chairman – and he is ready and raring to go as we step up our efforts to keep the county the very special place it still is. It will not be easy. The pressures of development are arguably greater than ever before. The clamour to build houses to help fire the […] Read more >

Meet David Knight, the new man at the helm

Meet David Knight, the new man at the helm

Taking on the chairmanship of CPRE Essex is no light task, but in David Knight we believe we have just the man for the job. Of course there is no one better placed to tell you a little about himself than David, so over to the new chairman: “I have lived in Essex all my […] Read more >

The battle to save the countryside around Harlow

The battle to save the countryside around Harlow

The concept of Harlow and Gilston Garden Town has been around for a long time. Originally tagged Harlow North, the proposal for some 10,000 new homes on greenfield land on the Essex-Hertfordshire border has preyed on local residents’ peace of mind and quality of life for years. Now, it seems, the planned ‘garden town’ could […] Read more >

We can use brownfield sites for a million homes… and save our countryside

We can use brownfield sites for a million homes… and save our countryside

It might seem obvious to many of us, but if we focus attention on building on brownfield (previously developed) land rather than greenfield sites, we will be both making better use of derelict urban and post-industrial land and safeguarding our countryside from development. However, not everyone would appear to agree and CPRE’s contention that we […] Read more >

Stansted: north Essex escapes the worst but threat of expansion still hovers

Stansted: north Essex escapes the worst but threat of expansion still hovers

The announcement in June that the government was backing a third runway at Heathrow Airport made front-page news – and campaigners against Stansted expansion were of course relieved that the Essex airport didn’t feature in a story that has something of a never-ending feel to it. Stansted had already failed to make the final round […] Read more >

Hatfield Peverel in the spotlight as BBC camera crews visit

Hatfield Peverel in the spotlight as BBC camera crews visit

Essex took centre stage when BBC’s Countryfile visited Hatfield Peverel. The TV cameras were in the village, close to the A12 between Chelmsford and Witham, for a feature on land agents that look to exploit planning loopholes and force through housing developments outside adopted Local Plans and against residents’ wishes. National attention focused on the […] Read more >

What are we to make of the 25 Year Environment Plan?

What are we to make of the 25 Year Environment Plan?

The publication earlier this year of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan met – as perhaps is the case with most things emanating from our political leaders – a mixed response. It was difficult to argue against the principles it embraced and most commentators have broadly welcomed the plan, although it has been criticised for […] Read more >