The Inspector examining the North Essex Joint Spatial Plan has supported JB Planning Associates’ case that the proposed West of Braintree Garden Community should be removed from the Plan.
His advice is set out in a letter dated 15 May 2020, which can be viewed here. It advises the Councils of the further steps or Main Modifications necessary for the Plan to be made legally compliant and / or sound.
The Inspector’s letter identified fundamental concerns regarding the West of Braintree Garden Community, in particular:
· The Viability Appraisal shows that, with an appropriate 40% contingency allowance on transport and utilities infrastructure, it is below, or at best is at the very margin of, financial viability, contrary to advice in the PPG, and is not deliverable.
· Neither Rapid Transit System Route 3 nor Route 4 have been shown to be deliverable. This being entirely at odds with the Plan’s aspirations for integrated and sustainable transport networks.
The Inspector identified two main options:
· Propose and consult on Main Modifications to remove the West of Braintree and Colchester / Braintree Borders Garden Community proposals from the Plan; or
· Withdraw the Plan from Examination.
The failure of the West of Braintree Garden Community proposals to gain support from the North Essex Examination Inspector comes close on the heels of the withdrawal of the Uttlesford Local Plan on 30 April 2020. It proposed three Garden Communities, including part of the West of Braintree Garden Community located on the eastern edge of the district (with the bulk of the Garden Community located over the border within Braintree District).
The Uttlesford Local Plan Examination Inspectors recommended withdrawal of the Plan due to concerns over the lack of evidence justifying their designation and deliverability. Their advice can be viewed here.
JB Planning Associates produced an extensive range of technical evidence on behalf of our client Stebbing Parish Council and were actively engaged in the North Essex Joint Spatial Plan Examination Hearing Sessions to demonstrate the unsuitability of the proposed West of Braintree Garden Community, particularly in terms of its unsustainability.< back