New Developments Update – Education, Transport and Housing
Young children needing schooling? As developments grow MCC will continue to press for information on plans for primary and secondary schools. Cllr Pete Hewitt and Braiswick resident Chris Law recently met with Essex County Council. Their education headlines:
- Requirements are produced on a rolling ten year plan. The next plan is expected to be published in January 2018 and will be based on 2016/17 data.
- Chesterwell schools: the target date agreed with the Trinity College Trust (Chesterwell/Gilberd/Manningtree) for Chesterwell School opening is September 2020.
- The secondary will have 5 form entry expanded to 6 then possibly 8 for September 2021. This will educate up to GCSE.
- The primary start will be 2 form entry anticipated to be September 2024.
- Completion: The full site will be completed at the same time, i.e. September 2021
New Developments – Transport and Congestion – Latest News
Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council have recently met. They agreed to work closely on areas of traffic congestion, acknowledging the changes and pressures arising from new developments. Priority actions include looking at North Station Roundabout to investigate options to improve the flow of vehicles, buses and cyclists through this gateway junction to the town centre, and to plan a long term vision for the High Street in Colchester! This is good news. But don’t expect quick change!
Other Development Headlines for Myland / Mile End – updated!
Q1: How many new houses?
A1. This will depend on planning consents, builder progress and the housing market – so it is difficult to say with precision! But what we know suggests an extra 1600 homes at Chesterwell and 700 at Severalls and some 300 off Mill Road at the site of the Rugby Club. Chesterwell and Severalls are underway, building will continue for many years, up towards the A12 and in an arc below it towards Colchester North Station.
Q2. Will the local traffic infrastructure be enough?
A2. We think not. The Northern Approach Road has been very helpful but we share concerns about the impacts on other local roads. Issues on turning right towards Chesterwell, Severalls and Great Horkesley have been raised. Early change seems unlikely. Traffic light ‘phasing’ will be monitored and adjusted. But bus services will be extended and there will be cycle and footpaths from the new housing down towards North Station and towards Colchester centre.
Q3. Will there be shops and facilities on the new developments?
A3. Yes! And we are now seeing early design plans. But the details are not yet available and will depend on consultations with potential tenants. We hope for shops and or small supermarkets, a GP surgery, cafe and or pub! But we await the details. There will be new community centres, on Severalls and Chesterwell, the trigger points being progress on the developments, so perhaps 5 years away or 2022 or so.
Q4. What about green space?
A4. An additional parcel of nearby land will be allocated by extension of the current Fords Lane recreation grounds in Mile End. This will house one of the new community centres and could include new sports facilities and or open space on which MCC will seek local views. Chesterwell Wood will be retained as part of a wider park extending to the A12. Some 4.5 hectares of land at the Mill Road Rugby grounds will be kept as open space (village green) which is 11-12 acres. The new developments will also retain some ‘green’ areas as with the grassy paths and meadow grass and flowers by Fords Lane and some fine old trees as on the Bloor developments. MCC priorities include connecting this up, where we can.
Q5. What is the MCC role? How can they help as north Colchester develops?
A5. MCC will help ensure Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council know what the local community needs. We have a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ that will help shape what happens. In partnership with them and by engagement with the developers we hope to make the most of what we have and will see develop. We will equip the new community centres and related facilities. We will make community improvements wherever we can, on which we will consult. And we will share what we know when we can, as a community and information hub for others.
For more information contact the MCC Clerks, MCC Chair John Stewart, Planning lead Pete Hewitt, or other councillors. Or contact me – David King – as the MCC lead on communications – and give us feed-back on this update. You can call 07738522641 or email firstname.lastname@example.org