Update  from Town and District Councillors – Agenda No. 10

Council Meeting 17th September 2020

Mayors Announcements (Councillor Steady)

22nd August – Met with the Boots Manager to discuss the problems experienced with their operation.  With Councillor Chapman.

25th August – Attended viewing of new Museum, with other Councillors.

Open Spaces (Councillor Steady)

Meeting arranged to discuss the tree planting initiative.

Regeneration ( Councillor Chapman)

Town Centre Update to be given at meeting.

Welfare and Services for the Elderly (Councillor Chapman)

Nothing to report.

Western Promenade (Councillor Howard and Chasney)

Sadly a dead Porpoise washed up on the prom steps, we suspect she was around 7 years old and may have been hit by a boat propeller.  Terry Hamilton (Grounds Manager) informed the appropriate maritime authorities and then buried her on council land.

The C.C.T.V cameras damaged on the Western Prom in the recent surge have now almost all been replaced with a superior system.

Western Promenade Play Area:

A meeting was held on site with Councillors Howard, Chasney, Carr and Terry Hamilton to further discuss the best solution to the renewing of the safety surfacing we are awaiting further estimates.

Skate Park:

Part of the Skate park is still cordoned off for safety issues.

Buoy:

After much debate, the Museum’s offer to appropriately give the buoy a home was agreed and arrangements made to move it from the hard to the Museum garden. We thank to kindnesses of both the Harbour who donated the buoy, and Rob Butcher who hand dug the footings and transported and sited the item in situ.  Rob also waived any charges for his part in support of the Museum.

BTC have agreed to fund sign writing on the buoy and to arrange for the solar-powered light to be refitted. We will also arrange a ceremony and press coverage. The buoy was put in place the same weekend  as Margaret Stone received her well-deserved BEM.

Batemans Café (Councillor Howard)

Lisa is still in litigation with her Builder, no further information at the present, she is still providing a service with her burger van in front of the new build.

Tendring District Council Report (Councillor Steady)

15th September – Attended Full Council Meeting.  This is a hybrid meeting, the first of its kind.  Some 30 Councillors will be attending in person at the Princess Theatre, the remainder attending virtually.  An interesting item on the agenda was the Annual Statement of Tendring District Council by the Leader of the Council.  Please see copy of this statement, attached.

Attended the following meetings virtually:

17th September – Local Highways Panel

17th September – North East Essex Garden Community Scrutiny Committee

Tendring District Council Report (Councillor Barry)

Attended the full TDC Planning Committee meeting via Skype on the 2nd September.

The Committee was dealing with the application for a development at Lower Farm Park. The proposal was for 5 Detached farmstead units, 36 retirement apartments and 104 timber lodges. This was a large scale development and there were 188 documents associated with the application covering all aspects of the plans including drainage, environmental issues, highway concerns, noise and light pollution, flood risk, impact upon plants and animals, ecological concerns, and the impact upon the town and its infrastructure.

This was a complex application that had attracted 89 objections and 13 letters of support. (See summary Appendix A)

The Town Council had changed its position from initially supporting the development to a neutral stance because of concerns about energy use and wastage, and other aspects of the development around sustainability and transport.

As a District Cllr I had received a number of representations from residents and felt obliged to address the planning committee to give some voice to those concerns. The main issues being the superficiality of the ecological assessment done by ECC and the threat to the tranquility of the area from traffic. The highways assessment had become outdated by announcements for increased numbers of pupils at the Colne School, and a recent planning approval for a development at Alresford (which would affect the Thorrington Cross junction and subsequent traffic flow.)

Brightlingsea resident Susie Jenkins spoke to the committee objecting to the plans after Stephen Smith from the developers had addressed the meeting. I spoke and made various points about the uncertain local govt future before asking the committee ‘how could the people of Brightlingsea be reassured that all the conditions attached to the plans, particularly the environmental mitigation and enhancement measures, would be monitored and delivered?’

The committee recorded its vote which was 6-2 in favour of the application, but confirmed that the 30 conditions attached to the approval would have to be met, and any changes reported back to the committee. (See Appendix B for conditions)

It is clear that the town council will have an important role in monitoring the development and hopes to strike up a positive working relationship with the developers through a liaison group. The 30 conditions are fairly demanding and far reaching and if implemented will mitigate as far as possible some of the environmental impact on the area. There is no doubt that a development of this size will cause disruption to nearby properties with the movement of machinery and building equipment, and it will have an impact upon the town’s roads and infrastructure. It is hoped that in due course it will overall prove to be a positive asset for the town and wider area.

Attended a Scrutiny Committee meeting on 3rd September. Again this was via Skype and the agenda was focused on ‘Back to Business’ within Tendring as the pandemic begins to change the way we live. Set against impending change to local govt structures there was an urgency to deliver on projects to ensure that all TDC’s revenues and reserves were used wisely.

Attended Members Briefing 9th September. This was a pilot event with some members attending physically in the Princes Theatre and others (like me) via Skype. It seemed to work reasonably well with the thinking that a similar ‘hybrid’ meeting can take place for full council meeting on 15 Sep. There was a presentation by Mike Carran on the Tourism Strategy following a briefing by Ian Davidson on the Local Govt Reforms. Mike Carran gave a resume of the main events of the year mentioning Covid, the whale on the beach etc but of course forgetting to mention the floods which hit our town – a quick reminder from me prompted a hasty and positive response about addressing coastal protection and flood defence issues.

A verbal or brief written update will be given to Town Council following full TDC meeting on 15th Sept.

APPENDIX A

Summary of representations re Lower Farm Park development

Submitted to TDC planning committee 2.9.20

Representations

5.1 Brightlingsea Town Council would like change its previous comment, to a neutral position, however the Town Council would like to liaise with the owners in a structured way, to monitor and address some of the following points:-

– Going against apparent good practice with regard to energy use and supply with provision of, for example, wood burners but without provision of solar panels.

– Lack of parking.

– Sustainability of energy supplies.

– Development of Cycle Paths linking town and development.

Should the TDC Planning Committee be minded to grant approval BTC insist that the legal agreement relating to conditions is strictly adhered to particularly in relation to the requirement that no more than 60% of residential development can be occupied prior to the building of 50 lodges.

05.2 89 representations of objection have been received and 13 comments of support. The content of these representations are outlined below;

Objections

– Loss of important green space.

– Development is too big for the area and town.

– Areas for nature are being decreased.

– Infrastructure of town cannot cope with the development.

– Already too many holiday homes, care homes and housing in the town.

– Boundaries of Flag Creek need to be protected.

– More noise and pollution to local area.

– Town too busy at peak times already and only one road in and one road out.

– Destruction of abundant wildlife.

– Land should be turned into a country park.

– Site is located outside any development boundary.

– Loss of treasured country lane.

– Increased traffic congestion and carbon footprint.

– Affordable housing should be provided.

– Economic benefits to local area should be queried.

– Appropriate assessment required to assess impacts on nearby designated sites (RAMSAR, SAC etc).

– No traffic stats for camping/glamping uses.

– Extra burden on sewerage/drainage.

– Adverse impact on local resident’s amenity in terms of noise/light/privacy loss

– Light pollution impacts upon designated sites.

– Development is a Trojan horse to create housing development in the future

– Too close to marshland and designated sites.

– The damaging impact of the proposed development has been clearly described in detail in objections from others including Essex Wildlife Trust.

– The HRA is grossly misleading on the 3 separate occasions that the assessment says no easy pedestrian link to the designated site. In fact the nearest footpath runs alongside the site, joins up with Stoney Lane along the Northern edge of the site then runs straight downhill to the Colne Estuary.

– The HRA is misleading when it describes the land as “agricultural land” when it is in fact previously developed land described in the first invertebrate survey as Previously Developed Open Mosaic Habitat.

– The designated sites themselves have not been assessed to provide information on the connectivity of the whole area.

– There was no period for Place Services to properly consult other local authorities or bodies regarding other plans or projects. Consequently there is no mention of Natural England’s proposed route of the Coastal Footpath or the Colne School expansion.

– Long drawn out building programme.

– No incentive after housing element is completed.

– Development is not a large job creator.

– Adverse impact on setting of listed building to the north.

– No junction capacity assessments have been undertaken.

Support

– Overriding demand for top quality holiday accommodation in Tendring area.

– Development meets the needs of the tourism market.

– Attracts more affluent tourists to spend more money in the local area boosting the economy.

– Site is located ideally in terms of access to good transport links.

– Development suits all year round short break market which is increasing in popularity.

– Boosts local economy and creates jobs.

– Turns old quarry site into something good for town.

– Regenerates unused land.

– A great endorsement of the town and excellent use of space which is not heavily dependent on local infrastructure.

APPENDIX B

Recommendations and Conditions and Reasons in respect of Lower Farm Park Development

Approved by TDC planning Committee 2.9.20. The committee requested that any amendments to the plans should be brought back to the full planning committee for consideration.

  1. Recommendation
    1. The Planning Committee is recommended to grant planning permission subject to the following conditions and informatives and the prior completion of a section 106 legal agreement with the agreed Heads of Terms, as set out in the table below:

CATEGORY

TERMS

Affordable Housing Provision

Offsite contribution – £799,000

Financial contribution towards RAMS.

£125.58p per permanent dwelling unit

(excludes tourism lodges)

Open Space – Baynards Rec

Contribution based on the 5 x 4 bedroom properties

Over 60’s Restriction to Apartments

Residential Occupation – Trigger Points

No more than 60% occupation of Residential elements prior to 50 holiday lodges being constructed, the glamping area and all civil engineering (accesses/paths/landscaping) is installed)

    1. Conditions and Reasons
        1. The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

Reason – To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

        1. No above ground works shall be commenced until precise details of the manufacturer and types and colours of the external facing and roofing materials to be used in construction of all elements of the development have been submitted to and agreed, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. Such materials as may be agreed shall be those used in the development.

Reason – The development is publicly visible and therefore sympathetic materials are a visually essential requirement.

        1. No above ground works shall take place until there has been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority a scheme of hard and soft landscaping works for the site, which shall include any proposed changes in ground levels and also accurately identify spread, girth and species of all existing trees, shrubs and hedgerows on the site and indicate any to be retained, together with measures for their protection which shall comply with the recommendations set out in the British Standards Institute publication “BS 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction.”

Reason – In the interest of visual amenity and the character of the area.

        1. l changes in ground levels, hard landscaping, planting, seeding or turfing shown on the approved landscaping details shall be carried out during the first planting and seeding season (October – March inclusive) following the commencement of the development or in such other phased arrangement as may be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Any trees or shrubs which, within a period of 5 years of being planted die, are removed or seriously damaged or seriously diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority agrees in writing to a variation of the previously approved details.

Reason – In the interest of visual amenity and the character of the area.

        1. Prior to the construction above damp proof course, a scheme for on-site foul water drainage works, including connection point and discharge rate and pumping station details, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Prior to the occupation of any phase, the foul water drainage works relating to that phase must have been carried out in complete accordance with the approved scheme.

Reason – To prevent environmental and amenity problems arising from flooding.

        1. No works shall take place until a detailed surface water drainage scheme for the site, based on sustainable drainage principles and an assessment of the hydrological and hydro geological context of the development, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme should include but not be limited to:

• Verification of the suitability of infiltration of surface water for the development. This should be based on infiltration tests that have been undertaken in accordance with BRE 365 testing procedure.

• Limiting discharge rates to 7.7l/s for all storm events up to an including the 1 in 100 year rate plus 40% allowance for climate change.

• Provide sufficient storage to ensure no off site flooding as a result of the development during all storm events up to and including the 1 in 100 year plus 40% climate change event.

• Demonstrate that features are able to accommodate a 1 in 10 year storm events within 24 hours of a 1 in 100 year event plus climate change.

• Final modelling and calculations for all areas of the drainage system.

• The appropriate level of treatment for all runoff leaving the site, in line with the Simple Index Approach within the CIRIA SuDS Manual C753.

• Detailed engineering drawings of each component of the drainage scheme.

• A final drainage plan which details exceedance and conveyance routes, FFL and ground levels, and location and sizing of any drainage features.

• A written report summarising the final strategy and highlighting any minor changes to the approved strategy.

The scheme shall subsequently be implemented prior to occupation.

Reason

• To prevent flooding by ensuring the satisfactory storage of/disposal of surface water from the site.

• To ensure the effective operation of SuDS features over the lifetime of the development.

• To provide mitigation of any environmental harm which may be caused to the local water environment

• Failure to provide the above required information before commencement of works may result in a system being installed that is not sufficient to deal with surface water occurring during rainfall events and may lead to increased flood risk and pollution hazard from the site.

        1. No works shall take place until a scheme to minimise the risk of offsite flooding caused by surface water run-off and groundwater during construction works and prevent pollution has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority. The scheme shall subsequently be implemented as approved.

Reason – The National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 163 and paragraph 170 state that local planning authorities should ensure development does not increase flood risk elsewhere and does not contribute to water pollution.

        1. No works shall take place until a Maintenance Plan detailing the maintenance arrangements including who is responsible for different elements of the surface water drainage system and the maintenance activities/frequencies, has been submitted to and agreed, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority.

Should any part be maintainable by a maintenance company, details of long term funding arrangements should be provided.

Reason – To ensure appropriate maintenance arrangements are put in place to enable the surface water drainage system to function as intended to ensure mitigation against flood risk.

        1. The applicant or any successor in title must maintain yearly logs of maintenance which should be carried out in accordance with any approved Maintenance Plan. These must be available for inspection upon a request by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason – To ensure the SuDS are maintained for the lifetime of the development as outlined in any approved Maintenance Plan so that they continue to function as intended to ensure mitigation against flood risk.

        1. The development hereby permitted shall not be commenced until the pipes within the extent of the site, which will be used to convey surface water, are cleared of any blockage and are restored to a fully working condition.

Reason – To ensure that drainage system implemented at the site will adequately function and dispose of surface water from the site.

        1. No development shall commence, including any groundworks, until a Construction Method Statement has been submitted to, and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The Construction Method Statement shall provide for:

– safe access to/from the site;

– the parking of vehicles of site operatives and visitors;

– the loading and unloading of plant and materials;

– the storage of plant and materials used in constructing the development;

– the erection and maintenance of security hoarding including decorative displays and facilities for public viewing, where appropriate;

– wheel washing facilities;

– measures to control the emission of dust and dirt during construction;

– a scheme for recycling/disposing of waste resulting from construction works;

– details of hours of deliveries relating to the construction of the site;

– details of hours of site clearance or construction;

– a scheme to control noise and vibration during the construction phase, including details of any piling operations.

The approved Construction Method Statement shall be adhered to throughout the construction period for the development.

Reason – To ensure that on-street parking of construction vehicles and materials storage In the adjoining streets does not occur, in the interests of highway safety and to control delivery/working hours in the interests of residential amenity.

        1. Prior to occupation of the development, the road junction/access at its centre line shall be provided with a visibility splay with dimensions of 2.4 metres by 90 metres in a south east direction and 2.4 metres by 120 metres in a north west direction, as measured from and along the nearside edge of the carriageway. Such vehicular visibility splays shall be provided before the road junction/access is first used by vehicular traffic and retained free of obstruction above 600mm at all times.

Reason – To provide adequate inter-visibility between vehicles using the road junction / access and those in the existing public highway in the interest of highway safety.

        1. No unbound material shall be used in the surface treatment of the vehicular access within a minimum of 6 metres of the highway boundary.

Reason – To avoid displacement of loose material onto the highway in the interests of highway safety.

        1. Prior to occupation of the development, the proposed road junction at its bell mouth junction with Robinson Road shall be constructed at right angles to the highway boundary and to the existing carriageway to a carriageway width of 5.5 metres with minimum radius kerbs of 6 metres based on and in principal with drawing no. IT1671/SK/01 Rev A; with a flanking single footway 2m in width returned around the radius kerb only with tactile paving to provide a pedestrian link to the existing footway on the opposite side of Robinson Road.

Reason – To ensure that all vehicular traffic using the junction may do so in a controlled manner and to provide adequate segregated pedestrian access, in the interests of highway safety.

        1. Any gates provided at the vehicular access shall be inward opening only and shall be set back a minimum of 6 metres from the back edge of the carriageway.

Reason – To enable vehicles using the access to stand clear of the carriageway whilst gates are being opened and closed and to allow parking off street and clear from obstructing the adjacent carriageway in the interest of highway safety.

        1. There shall be no discharge of surface water onto the Highway.

Reason – To prevent hazards caused by water flowing onto the highway and to avoid the formation of ice on the highway in the interest of highway safety.

        1. The proposed development shall not be occupied until such time as the relevant vehicle parking areas indicated on the approved plans, including any parking spaces for the mobility impaired, have been hard surfaced, sealed and marked out in parking bays. The vehicle parking areas and associated turning area shall always be retained in this form. The vehicle parking shall not be used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles that are related to the use of the development unless otherwise agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

Reason – To ensure that on street parking of vehicles in the adjoining streets does not occur in the interests of highway safety and that appropriate parking is provided.

        1. The Cycle and Powered Two-wheeler parking shall be provided in accordance with the EPOA Parking Standards. The approved facilities shall be secure, convenient, covered and provided prior to occupation and retained at all times.

Reason – To ensure appropriate cycle and powered two-wheeler parking is provided in the interest of highway safety and amenity.

        1. No occupation shall take place until such time as the public footpaths 161_8 & 161_27 (just beyond Marsh Farm) have been the subject of infrastructural improvements required for the upgrade of the natural surface by providing planings with timber edging; the extent to be agreed with the Highway Authority and has been provided entirely at the Developer’s expense.

Reason – To make adequate provision within the highway for public footpath 8 and 27 (part) These areas currently have a natural surface so would benefit from an upgrade (a layer of planings with timber edging) due to the additional pedestrian traffic generated as a result of the proposed development.

        1. All mitigation and enhancement measures and/or works shall be carried out in accordance with the details contained in the Ecological Assessment (Green Ecology, Nov 2017 updated Aug 2018) and Ecology Clarifications letter (Honace, 25 June 2019) as already submitted with the planning application and agreed in principle with the local planning authority prior to determination.

This may include the appointment of an appropriately competent person e.g. an ecological clerk of works (ECoW,) to provide on-site ecological expertise during construction. The appointed person shall undertake all activities, and works shall be carried out, in accordance with the approved details.

Reason – To conserve and enhance Protected and Priority species and allow the LPA to discharge its duties under the UK Habitats Regulations, the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 as amended and s40 of the NERC Act 2006 (Priority habitats & species).

        1. A lighting design scheme for biodiversity shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority prior to the first occupation of the development. The scheme shall identify those features on site that are particularly sensitive for bats and that are likely to cause disturbance along important routes used for foraging; and show how and where external lighting will be installed (through the provision of appropriate lighting contour plans, lsolux drawings and technical specifications) so that it can be clearly demonstrated that areas to be lit will not disturb or prevent bats using their territory.

All external lighting shall be installed in accordance with the specifications and locations set out in the scheme and maintained thereafter in accordance with the scheme. Under no circumstances should any other external lighting be installed without prior consent from the local planning authority.

Reason – To allow the LPA to discharge its duties under the UK Habitats Regulations 2017, the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 as amended and s40 of the NERC Act 2006 (Priority habitats & species.

        1. A Biodiversity Enhancement Layout, providing the finalised details and locations of the enhancement measures contained within the Ecological Assessment (Green Ecology, Nov 2017 updated Aug 2018) and Ecology Clarifications letter (Honace, 25 June 2019), shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority prior to the first occupation of the development.

The enhancement measures shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and all features shall be retained in that manner thereafter.

Reason – To enhance Protected and Priority Species and allow the LPA to discharge its duties under the s40 of the NERC Act 2006 (Priority habitats & species).

        1. A Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP) shall be submitted to, and be approved in writing by, the local planning authority prior to occupation of the development.

The content of the LEMP shall include the following:

a) Description and evaluation of features to be managed.

b) Ecological trends and constraints on site that might influence management.

c) Aims and objectives of management.

d) Appropriate management options for achieving aims and objectives.

e) Prescriptions for management actions.

f) Preparation of a work schedule (including an annual work plan capable of being rolled forward over a five-year period).

g) Details of the body or organisation responsible for implementation of the plan.

h) Ongoing monitoring and remedial measures.

The LEMP shall also include details of the legal and funding mechanism(s) by which the long-term implementation of the plan will be secured by the developer with the management body(ies) responsible for its delivery. The plan shall also set out (where the results from monitoring show that conservation aims and objectives of the LEMP are not being met) how contingencies and/or remedial action will be identified, agreed and implemented so that the development still delivers the fully functioning biodiversity objectives of the originally approved scheme. The approved plan will be implemented in accordance with the approved details.

Reason – To allow the LPA to discharge its duties under the UK Habitats Regulations 2017, the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 as amended and s40 of the NERC Act 2006 (Priority habitats & species).

        1. The  hereby approved tourist lodges shall be occupied for holiday purposes only and shall not be occupied as a person’s sole or main place of residence. The owners/operators of the site shall maintain an up to date register of the names of all owners/occupiers of holiday homes on site and of their main home addresses. The register shall be made available at all reasonable times for inspection by the local planning authority.

Reason – To safeguard the tourist use of the site and to prevent permanent residential use in this unsuitable location.

        1. The development hereby approved shall comprise of a maximum of 104 holiday lodges and no touring caravans.

Reason – To ensure the number of units is compatible with the size and layout of the site.

        1. Prior to its first construction full details of the play area shall be provided including scaled drawings of the various pieces of play equipment, surfacing and boundary treatments. The play area shall be constructed in accordance with the approved details and retain as such thereafter.

Reason – In the interests of visual amenity.

        1. Prior to the first occupation of the private housing and tourist accommodation a detailed electric vehicle charging point scheme shall be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be installed as approved prior to occupation and retained thereafter.

Reason – In the interests of sustainable transport.

        1. No development shall commence until the applicant/developer has submitted to the Local Planning Authority, in writing, a Local Recruitment Strategy to include details of how the applicant/ developer shall use their reasonable endeavours to promote and encourage the recruitment of employees and other staff in the locality of the application site, for the construction of the development. The approved Local Recruitment Strategy shall be adhered to therein after.

Reason – To promote and encourage the recruitment of employees and other staff in the locality of the application site.

        1. Prior to the first occupation of the tourist accommodation a public access strategy that outlines details to enable local public access onto the site and use of the park facilities, shall be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Local Planning Authority. The approved strategy shall be adhered to at all times thereafter.

Reason – To facilitate local public access into the site in the interests of promoting health and amenity benefits to local residents.

        1. There shall be no use of motorboats or engine powered watercraft on the water features across the site at any time.

Reason – In the interests of amenity and ecological reasons.

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