Campaigners' fury over heritage centre plans

A stinging attack has been launched on Colchester Council’s planning department after it revealed it was set to recommend approval of a controversial development.


A statement released by Vincent Pearce, the council’s development services manager, said officers were minded to recommend approval of the Stour Valley Heritage Centre at Horkesley Park.


Colchester councillors are due to vote on the plans next month.


But the recommendation has drawn a furious response from the Stour Valley Action Group, which has consistently opposed the project.


In a statement, it said it was “appalled”.

Mr Pearce is due to meet with action group chairman Will Pavry later this week.

Comments (47)

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9:16am Tue 1 Jan 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

The question is:

Has Mr Pavry the resources available to him, which the Buntings have? If so it would would help the Action Group and no doubt persuade council officers to think differently on this matter!
The question is: Has Mr Pavry the resources available to him, which the Buntings have? If so it would would help the Action Group and no doubt persuade council officers to think differently on this matter! Say It As It Is OK?
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9:34am Tue 1 Jan 13

totallyfootball says...

Your cheque is no doubt in the post Mr Pearce!
Your cheque is no doubt in the post Mr Pearce! totallyfootball
  • Score: 0

11:54am Tue 1 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

The latest National Planning Policy Framework states that planning decisions should aim to "protect areas of tranquillity which have remained relatively undisturbed by noise and are prized for their recreational and amenity value for this reason". It's difficult to think of a better description for this area, but the application includes a car park the same size as the Community Stadium car park. Is this compatible? Of course it isn't.

Planning officers need to have a rethink.
The latest National Planning Policy Framework states that planning decisions should aim to "protect areas of tranquillity which have remained relatively undisturbed by noise and are prized for their recreational and amenity value for this reason". It's difficult to think of a better description for this area, but the application includes a car park the same size as the Community Stadium car park. Is this compatible? Of course it isn't. Planning officers need to have a rethink. Simon Taylor
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12:00pm Tue 1 Jan 13

rhetoric says...

Tattification rolls on. This should bring the hordes of spendaholics to browse the "gift shops" and "heritage items".
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Of course, from what we hear on these postings, more traffic is really, truly needed in Colchester.
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One day it is possible that such a Centre could be overgrown and forgotten and returned to Nature to a certain extent, but not until our children and possibly grandchildren are gone.
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The scents and sounds of a summer evening in the countryside are so different from those in my younger day, and probably soon to be lost for ever, in the pursuit of cash.
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How very, very sad the possibility of this deveopment makes me.
Tattification rolls on. This should bring the hordes of spendaholics to browse the "gift shops" and "heritage items". . Of course, from what we hear on these postings, more traffic is really, truly needed in Colchester. . One day it is possible that such a Centre could be overgrown and forgotten and returned to Nature to a certain extent, but not until our children and possibly grandchildren are gone. . The scents and sounds of a summer evening in the countryside are so different from those in my younger day, and probably soon to be lost for ever, in the pursuit of cash. . How very, very sad the possibility of this deveopment makes me. rhetoric
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12:40pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Ontheball says...

Boring!
Boring! Ontheball
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12:51pm Tue 1 Jan 13

hughie-s says...

"One day it is possible that such a Centre could be overgrown and forgotten and returned to Nature to a certain extent"

Would be deemed a brownfield site and covered in little boxes.
"One day it is possible that such a Centre could be overgrown and forgotten and returned to Nature to a certain extent" Would be deemed a brownfield site and covered in little boxes. hughie-s
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12:56pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

The hordes of spendaholics are more likely to turn up to all the extra events; commercial markets and other noisy activities every weekend. That's the only way they can hit their visitor targets and why they need such a massive car park.
The hordes of spendaholics are more likely to turn up to all the extra events; commercial markets and other noisy activities every weekend. That's the only way they can hit their visitor targets and why they need such a massive car park. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Jess Jephcott says...

I wish the Bunting family every success with this exciting new venture. It can only be good for Colchester in general by bringing much needed visitors to the region. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit and it is people with vision, like the Buntingsm that we need. I look forward to visiting the heritage park.
I wish the Bunting family every success with this exciting new venture. It can only be good for Colchester in general by bringing much needed visitors to the region. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit and it is people with vision, like the Buntingsm that we need. I look forward to visiting the heritage park. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
I wish the Bunting family every success with this exciting new venture. It can only be good for Colchester in general by bringing much needed visitors to the region. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit and it is people with vision, like the Buntingsm that we need. I look forward to visiting the heritage park.
I couldn't disagree more, Jess.
Colchester is a fantastic place to visit, but we must recognise and treasure our assets, whether they are ancient or modern, urban or rural. I see no difference between trashing our archaeological assets and trashing our tranquil landscape assets - which is what this proposal would do.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I wish the Bunting family every success with this exciting new venture. It can only be good for Colchester in general by bringing much needed visitors to the region. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit and it is people with vision, like the Buntingsm that we need. I look forward to visiting the heritage park.[/p][/quote]I couldn't disagree more, Jess. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit, but we must recognise and treasure our assets, whether they are ancient or modern, urban or rural. I see no difference between trashing our archaeological assets and trashing our tranquil landscape assets - which is what this proposal would do. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Hamiltonandy says...

The Buntings have spent over £1million on planning consultants and the interminable unending planning applications. The only way to recover this is to gradually turn their so called "heritage park" into a theme park with retail outlets to maximise income.
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Nothing material has changed from the original misleading prospectus. The destruction of the countryside is solely to turn relatively low value agricultural land into valuable retail development. Whatever promises the Buntings make the real purpose will be an entertainment and retail centre.
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It would be worth buying this agricultural land to farm just so we never hear from the Buntings ever again. The ruthless way the Buntings have trampled on all objections is clearly how they intend to continue. It is shameful behaviour by a wealthy family who put their greedy interests ahead of the community.
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If the Buntings cannot use this grade 1 agricultural land for farming they should sell it to those who can. Go on, sell it to those who care about the countryside and stop wasting everyones time and your money.
The Buntings have spent over £1million on planning consultants and the interminable unending planning applications. The only way to recover this is to gradually turn their so called "heritage park" into a theme park with retail outlets to maximise income. . Nothing material has changed from the original misleading prospectus. The destruction of the countryside is solely to turn relatively low value agricultural land into valuable retail development. Whatever promises the Buntings make the real purpose will be an entertainment and retail centre. . It would be worth buying this agricultural land to farm just so we never hear from the Buntings ever again. The ruthless way the Buntings have trampled on all objections is clearly how they intend to continue. It is shameful behaviour by a wealthy family who put their greedy interests ahead of the community. . If the Buntings cannot use this grade 1 agricultural land for farming they should sell it to those who can. Go on, sell it to those who care about the countryside and stop wasting everyones time and your money. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

If you read their tourism appraisal, every "heritage park" to which they compare their plans, in order to make the visitor targets look vaguely feasible, is already a countryside theme park. Their income is boosted by extra events: children's discos, balloon rides, cinemas and skating rinks, not to mention all the commercial markets. That is the only way it could possibly be profitable, but that is what also makes it incompatible with the setting.

The application needs to be judged on what it really is, not what they want us to think it is.
If you read their tourism appraisal, every "heritage park" to which they compare their plans, in order to make the visitor targets look vaguely feasible, is already a countryside theme park. Their income is boosted by extra events: children's discos, balloon rides, cinemas and skating rinks, not to mention all the commercial markets. That is the only way it could possibly be profitable, but that is what also makes it incompatible with the setting. The application needs to be judged on what it really is, not what they want us to think it is. Simon Taylor
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10:17am Wed 2 Jan 13

Jess Jephcott says...

I would be interested to know the impartiality of those that comment on this subject. I live in Fordham and have no personal or business connection with the Bunting family or with Great Horkesley. I support their plans for a heritage centre, just as I would have supported a plan for Colchester Zoo. It can only be good for Colchester.
I would be interested to know the impartiality of those that comment on this subject. I live in Fordham and have no personal or business connection with the Bunting family or with Great Horkesley. I support their plans for a heritage centre, just as I would have supported a plan for Colchester Zoo. It can only be good for Colchester. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 0

10:56am Wed 2 Jan 13

totallyfootball says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
I would be interested to know the impartiality of those that comment on this subject. I live in Fordham and have no personal or business connection with the Bunting family or with Great Horkesley. I support their plans for a heritage centre, just as I would have supported a plan for Colchester Zoo. It can only be good for Colchester.
Well that's one of the most stupid comments I have ever read on here. Is it any wonder why you have nothing against it, neither of those projects are on your doorstep? Maybe the Buntings would like to pay for a link to the A12 as there is no way the current road structure can handle the volume of traffic that can be created.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I would be interested to know the impartiality of those that comment on this subject. I live in Fordham and have no personal or business connection with the Bunting family or with Great Horkesley. I support their plans for a heritage centre, just as I would have supported a plan for Colchester Zoo. It can only be good for Colchester.[/p][/quote]Well that's one of the most stupid comments I have ever read on here. Is it any wonder why you have nothing against it, neither of those projects are on your doorstep? Maybe the Buntings would like to pay for a link to the A12 as there is no way the current road structure can handle the volume of traffic that can be created. totallyfootball
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Justice79 says...

totallyfootball wrote:
Jess Jephcott wrote:
I would be interested to know the impartiality of those that comment on this subject. I live in Fordham and have no personal or business connection with the Bunting family or with Great Horkesley. I support their plans for a heritage centre, just as I would have supported a plan for Colchester Zoo. It can only be good for Colchester.
Well that's one of the most stupid comments I have ever read on here. Is it any wonder why you have nothing against it, neither of those projects are on your doorstep? Maybe the Buntings would like to pay for a link to the A12 as there is no way the current road structure can handle the volume of traffic that can be created.
Really? that road seems to handle the many spectators who attend the Seniors PGA tour at the Stoke by Nayland club, and the through traffic from Colchester to Nayland, Stoke by Nayland, Leavenheath and Sudbury with little or no problems at all. as do the roads that serve Colchester Zoo which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

And before you ask yes I live very close to the proposed site and would rather see something done with the area than a load of old decaying greenhouses.
[quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I would be interested to know the impartiality of those that comment on this subject. I live in Fordham and have no personal or business connection with the Bunting family or with Great Horkesley. I support their plans for a heritage centre, just as I would have supported a plan for Colchester Zoo. It can only be good for Colchester.[/p][/quote]Well that's one of the most stupid comments I have ever read on here. Is it any wonder why you have nothing against it, neither of those projects are on your doorstep? Maybe the Buntings would like to pay for a link to the A12 as there is no way the current road structure can handle the volume of traffic that can be created.[/p][/quote]Really? that road seems to handle the many spectators who attend the Seniors PGA tour at the Stoke by Nayland club, and the through traffic from Colchester to Nayland, Stoke by Nayland, Leavenheath and Sudbury with little or no problems at all. as do the roads that serve Colchester Zoo which attracts thousands of visitors every year. And before you ask yes I live very close to the proposed site and would rather see something done with the area than a load of old decaying greenhouses. Justice79
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Wed 2 Jan 13

totallyfootball says...

I think you will find the Zoo is very seasonal and is on the edge of town easily approachable by the A12? I am not in to golf but I would assume that the Seniors PGA tour is not every day of every week? If the greenhouses are such an eyesore complain or maybe the Buntings are doing it on purpose? I hope you continue to enjoy living there but somehow if this goes ahead I doubt it!
I think you will find the Zoo is very seasonal and is on the edge of town easily approachable by the A12? I am not in to golf but I would assume that the Seniors PGA tour is not every day of every week? If the greenhouses are such an eyesore complain or maybe the Buntings are doing it on purpose? I hope you continue to enjoy living there but somehow if this goes ahead I doubt it! totallyfootball
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Boris says...

Simon Taylor wrote:
Jess Jephcott wrote:
I wish the Bunting family every success with this exciting new venture. It can only be good for Colchester in general by bringing much needed visitors to the region. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit and it is people with vision, like the Buntingsm that we need. I look forward to visiting the heritage park.
I couldn't disagree more, Jess.
Colchester is a fantastic place to visit, but we must recognise and treasure our assets, whether they are ancient or modern, urban or rural. I see no difference between trashing our archaeological assets and trashing our tranquil landscape assets - which is what this proposal would do.
Simon, you are right, as is Andy Hamilton. And Jess is of course wrong. It is very peculiar that he wants to protect our archaeological treasures, but supports the Buntings' plan to destroy the countryside with their plan to set up a new Lakeside, by degrees.
Does Jess find the countryside boring, so that he feels development is good? He claims to have no axe to grind in favour of the Buntings' gimcrack "heritage centre", but he surely won't refuse their offer of free entrance tickets in return for his sterling work as their unpaid promoter.
And in answer to his other question, I am completely impartial. I live in town, and I come from a village to the south of Colchester. I have a few friends who live in Great Horkesley so I am aware of their concerns. With them, I support the Stour Valley Action Group, which hasn't got enough money to fill the necessary brown envelopes, let alone to pay those of us who take part in their demonstrations.
If Jess wants to find people with concealed interests, he is more likely to find them among the supporters of the multi-millionaire Bunting family.
[quote][p][bold]Simon Taylor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I wish the Bunting family every success with this exciting new venture. It can only be good for Colchester in general by bringing much needed visitors to the region. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit and it is people with vision, like the Buntingsm that we need. I look forward to visiting the heritage park.[/p][/quote]I couldn't disagree more, Jess. Colchester is a fantastic place to visit, but we must recognise and treasure our assets, whether they are ancient or modern, urban or rural. I see no difference between trashing our archaeological assets and trashing our tranquil landscape assets - which is what this proposal would do.[/p][/quote]Simon, you are right, as is Andy Hamilton. And Jess is of course wrong. It is very peculiar that he wants to protect our archaeological treasures, but supports the Buntings' plan to destroy the countryside with their plan to set up a new Lakeside, by degrees. Does Jess find the countryside boring, so that he feels development is good? He claims to have no axe to grind in favour of the Buntings' gimcrack "heritage centre", but he surely won't refuse their offer of free entrance tickets in return for his sterling work as their unpaid promoter. And in answer to his other question, I am completely impartial. I live in town, and I come from a village to the south of Colchester. I have a few friends who live in Great Horkesley so I am aware of their concerns. With them, I support the Stour Valley Action Group, which hasn't got enough money to fill the necessary brown envelopes, let alone to pay those of us who take part in their demonstrations. If Jess wants to find people with concealed interests, he is more likely to find them among the supporters of the multi-millionaire Bunting family. Boris
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Jess Jephcott says...

My interest is in bringing Colchester to its peak as a visitor destination. This plan looks to me like a good one, coming at a time when farming is a shadow of its former self - as evidenced by the decaying greenhouse eyesore that will disappear when this plan goes ahead, the lack of dairy cattle in our fields, chicken farms no more, etc. I am heartily fed up with all the naysayers, the like of which has prevented Jumbo being converted to a useful purpose, who oppose anybody with a bit of vision - or with a bit of money to spend. How is this going to destroy the countryside? What a ridiculous statement. It will enhance the countryside and make it more accessible to visitors, bring jobs and wealth creation, bring visitors into town to spend money on our other attractions, fill our hotels, etc. My particular interest will be an opportunity to see the heavy horse in action, as Mr Mills used to do so well back in the 80s. I seem to remember that the nimbys opposed him too! And as to whether the Buntings are multi-millionaires, what has that got to do with anything? Good luck to them.
My interest is in bringing Colchester to its peak as a visitor destination. This plan looks to me like a good one, coming at a time when farming is a shadow of its former self - as evidenced by the decaying greenhouse eyesore that will disappear when this plan goes ahead, the lack of dairy cattle in our fields, chicken farms no more, etc. I am heartily fed up with all the naysayers, the like of which has prevented Jumbo being converted to a useful purpose, who oppose anybody with a bit of vision - or with a bit of money to spend. How is this going to destroy the countryside? What a ridiculous statement. It will enhance the countryside and make it more accessible to visitors, bring jobs and wealth creation, bring visitors into town to spend money on our other attractions, fill our hotels, etc. My particular interest will be an opportunity to see the heavy horse in action, as Mr Mills used to do so well back in the 80s. I seem to remember that the nimbys opposed him too! And as to whether the Buntings are multi-millionaires, what has that got to do with anything? Good luck to them. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 0

5:12pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Im_Like_HELLO says...

I am not sure Colchester Council own any part of Horksley Park as is implied in the above comments? Owners of land have to make it work for them if they are to keep themselves and their families alive. Of course, if the owners are after big bucks rather than a sustainable living then that is a different matter and Stour Valley Action group are right to oppose the plan.
I am not sure Colchester Council own any part of Horksley Park as is implied in the above comments? Owners of land have to make it work for them if they are to keep themselves and their families alive. Of course, if the owners are after big bucks rather than a sustainable living then that is a different matter and Stour Valley Action group are right to oppose the plan. Im_Like_HELLO
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Wed 2 Jan 13

rhetoric says...

Jess, I think you should say bringing Colchester to its "trough" rather than its "peak"!
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You have stuck your neck out on this matter, but really the proposed development is just that - development. It will add nothing of value to Colchester except maybe a few low paid jobs. As farmland it would probably employ a few people on proper union wages.
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How many theme parks etc can this part of England sustain? It would be sad in the extreme if building and change goes ahead and then the project falls flat on its face.
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For those who want to know how England used to look, and how it used to function, there are facilities now that are vastly under-used.
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Most of the families who will descend on Horkesley are not and never will be truly interested in the history of the area or of farming, it's just another destination for the weekend with some shopping possibilities and an entertainment or two to keep the children quiet.
Jess, I think you should say bringing Colchester to its "trough" rather than its "peak"! . You have stuck your neck out on this matter, but really the proposed development is just that - development. It will add nothing of value to Colchester except maybe a few low paid jobs. As farmland it would probably employ a few people on proper union wages. . How many theme parks etc can this part of England sustain? It would be sad in the extreme if building and change goes ahead and then the project falls flat on its face. . For those who want to know how England used to look, and how it used to function, there are facilities now that are vastly under-used. . Most of the families who will descend on Horkesley are not and never will be truly interested in the history of the area or of farming, it's just another destination for the weekend with some shopping possibilities and an entertainment or two to keep the children quiet. rhetoric
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Jess Jephcott says...

Sorry. It is simply my view. Let the majority view prevail. But just remember, Colchester Zoo was once farmland, just like at Horkesley.
Sorry. It is simply my view. Let the majority view prevail. But just remember, Colchester Zoo was once farmland, just like at Horkesley. Jess Jephcott
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8:34pm Wed 2 Jan 13

totallyfootball says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
Sorry. It is simply my view. Let the majority view prevail. But just remember, Colchester Zoo was once farmland, just like at Horkesley.
How can you keep making comparisons when they are two totally different business ventures? One is on the edge of town and not in the middle of the countryside!
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: Sorry. It is simply my view. Let the majority view prevail. But just remember, Colchester Zoo was once farmland, just like at Horkesley.[/p][/quote]How can you keep making comparisons when they are two totally different business ventures? One is on the edge of town and not in the middle of the countryside! totallyfootball
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

The question has been asked and the "nimby" accusation made. It was only a matter of time.

I live in north Colchester, about 6 miles (as the crow flies) from the site, but my family has very close ties with Great Horkesley and has even crossed paths with the applicant. One of my grandfathers was village Scout Master, the other was a church sidesman and the photograph of working horses at Horkesley in David May's book was taken by my grandmother. A great uncle was a horseman at Lower Dairy farm, overlooked by the site.

Anyone who knows the area and the view from the churchyard across the Stour Valley is hardly likely to be impartial. Why should we be? We visit it now because it is special, it is tranquil, it is (apart from the distant pylon) unspoilt, it is beautiful. It is also accessible to everyone. Go now, Jess, before it's ruined!

(Don't I remember people in Fordham recently objecting to CSH in Wormingford because of the threat of increased traffic through their village?)
The question has been asked and the "nimby" accusation made. It was only a matter of time. I live in north Colchester, about 6 miles (as the crow flies) from the site, but my family has very close ties with Great Horkesley and has even crossed paths with the applicant. One of my grandfathers was village Scout Master, the other was a church sidesman and the photograph of working horses at Horkesley in David May's book was taken by my grandmother. A great uncle was a horseman at Lower Dairy farm, overlooked by the site. Anyone who knows the area and the view from the churchyard across the Stour Valley is hardly likely to be impartial. Why should we be? We visit it now because it is special, it is tranquil, it is (apart from the distant pylon) unspoilt, it is beautiful. It is also accessible to everyone. Go now, Jess, before it's ruined! (Don't I remember people in Fordham recently objecting to CSH in Wormingford because of the threat of increased traffic through their village?) Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

11:36pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Hamiltonandy says...

The trouble with the Buntings so called Heritage centre concept is there is nothing there we cannot see elsewhere. Contrast this with the astonishing and popular expansion of the unique Colchester Zoo. It started small and gradually grew in status.
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Unfortunately the Buntings believe they can concrete over huge areas of the countryside just to make money for themselves. I do not know how they can sleep at night knowing how much time and money has been wasted on their wacky delusions.
The trouble with the Buntings so called Heritage centre concept is there is nothing there we cannot see elsewhere. Contrast this with the astonishing and popular expansion of the unique Colchester Zoo. It started small and gradually grew in status. . Unfortunately the Buntings believe they can concrete over huge areas of the countryside just to make money for themselves. I do not know how they can sleep at night knowing how much time and money has been wasted on their wacky delusions. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
Sorry. It is simply my view. Let the majority view prevail. But just remember, Colchester Zoo was once farmland, just like at Horkesley.
You're entitled to your view. Colchester Zoo was once farmland, but so was Severalls Business Park. Neither of those straddle the boundary of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ironically, the Royal Academy currently has an exhibition: "Constable, Gainsborough, Turner and the Making of Landscape", which runs until 17 February. The Stour Valley has a pivotal role in the history of British art, and this is one of the reasons for its designation as an AONB.

Maybe a genuine visitor centre would be an asset, as visitor centres for Gosbecks and the Roman Circus surely would be. But if the cost included a huge car park on the Abbey Field, a fairgound on top of the starting gates, endless commercial markets and partial destruction, just so that it was profitable enough, I think most of us would agree that the cost was too high.

The "Horkesley Park" application is for 8950 square metres of D2 class use (which covers cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls, swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations) with a 748 space car park. That doesn't sound like a genuine visitor centre to me.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: Sorry. It is simply my view. Let the majority view prevail. But just remember, Colchester Zoo was once farmland, just like at Horkesley.[/p][/quote]You're entitled to your view. Colchester Zoo was once farmland, but so was Severalls Business Park. Neither of those straddle the boundary of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ironically, the Royal Academy currently has an exhibition: "Constable, Gainsborough, Turner and the Making of Landscape", which runs until 17 February. The Stour Valley has a pivotal role in the history of British art, and this is one of the reasons for its designation as an AONB. Maybe a genuine visitor centre would be an asset, as visitor centres for Gosbecks and the Roman Circus surely would be. But if the cost included a huge car park on the Abbey Field, a fairgound on top of the starting gates, endless commercial markets and partial destruction, just so that it was profitable enough, I think most of us would agree that the cost was too high. The "Horkesley Park" application is for 8950 square metres of D2 class use (which covers cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls, swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations) with a 748 space car park. That doesn't sound like a genuine visitor centre to me. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

"And before you ask yes I live very close to the proposed site and would rather see something done with the area than a load of old decaying greenhouses"

"This plan looks to me like a good one, coming at a time when farming is a shadow of its former self - as evidenced by the decaying greenhouse eyesore that will disappear when this plan goes ahead"

Honestly! The applicant is fully entitled to remove the old greenhouses now, and some people remember that is what they planned to do if their business became unprofitable when they originally bought the land. The fact that they are continuing to allow them to decay is suggestive of how much they really care.
"And before you ask yes I live very close to the proposed site and would rather see something done with the area than a load of old decaying greenhouses" "This plan looks to me like a good one, coming at a time when farming is a shadow of its former self - as evidenced by the decaying greenhouse eyesore that will disappear when this plan goes ahead" Honestly! The applicant is fully entitled to remove the old greenhouses now, and some people remember that is what they planned to do if their business became unprofitable when they originally bought the land. The fact that they are continuing to allow them to decay is suggestive of how much they really care. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Thu 3 Jan 13

jut1972 says...

I'm with Sdapeze on this one. The current site is not an AONB, its near to one, its some old greenhouses that will be removed and replaced with something that will bring in tourists and offer people jobs.
I'm with Sdapeze on this one. The current site is not an AONB, its near to one, its some old greenhouses that will be removed and replaced with something that will bring in tourists and offer people jobs. jut1972
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Thu 3 Jan 13

KateCJ says...

There are so many reasons to object to this disingenuously titled Heritage Centre - or is it now a Visitors' Centre since it's new marketing strategy came into play? We all know what it really is and the comments above make it clear that no one (except perhaps Jess) is fooled by the Buntings blundering around the countryside pretending they care for it or about it. Is that why three enormous, unsightly, weed-filled mis-shapen containers sit on the hard standing just passed the entrance to the greenhouses? The reason given for these monstrosities is that people dared to park up there and have a cup of tea. Oh the irony!

Anyway, the point is that we now need to focus our energy on why the Council appear to have lost their marbles: when their own advisers are recommending refusal, why are they indicating acceptance? Has the world gone mad?
There are so many reasons to object to this disingenuously titled Heritage Centre - or is it now a Visitors' Centre since it's new marketing strategy came into play? We all know what it really is and the comments above make it clear that no one (except perhaps Jess) is fooled by the Buntings blundering around the countryside pretending they care for it or about it. Is that why three enormous, unsightly, weed-filled mis-shapen containers sit on the hard standing just passed the entrance to the greenhouses? The reason given for these monstrosities is that people dared to park up there and have a cup of tea. Oh the irony! Anyway, the point is that we now need to focus our energy on why the Council appear to have lost their marbles: when their own advisers are recommending refusal, why are they indicating acceptance? Has the world gone mad? KateCJ
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Grabber says...

After Lord H and the expenses scandal councilors need to find extra income via brown envelopes that could explain why they are now indicating acceptance.
After Lord H and the expenses scandal councilors need to find extra income via brown envelopes that could explain why they are now indicating acceptance. Grabber
  • Score: 0

10:56pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

It is indeed curious why the Council's planning service is ignoring its own reports and those of its consultants, (paid for by us), in deference to the applicant. The ultimate conclusion of their Planning Policy Response is unambiguous and confirms what we know:

"Whilst if successful the proposal would deliver a number of benefits, and this is supported under planning policy, the proposal would also conflict with numerous policies as set out above. The Britton McGrath Associates report makes clear the proposal is not considered viable as proposed and therefore there is considerable uncertainty as to if these benefits would be delivered. Planning policy object to the proposal as there is considerable conflict with national, regional, and local policies as set out above in particular with regards to the proposal's unsustainable location for a major development, the high levels of unsustainable travel, and the scale and impact of the development proposed."

The applicant's response to is typically ill-tempered and unconvincing, claiming that the Council's analysis is flawed and tainted, and that it had agreed not to produce a document in this way.

There is another twist. Today (3 January 2013) the regional East of England Plan, on which the applicant had pinned much of its argument, has been revoked as part of the Government's strategy to transfer more decision-making to local communities and individuals. The applicant claims that the regional plan still applies but, as of today, it doesn't.
It is indeed curious why the Council's planning service is ignoring its own reports and those of its consultants, (paid for by us), in deference to the applicant. The ultimate conclusion of their Planning Policy Response is unambiguous and confirms what we know: "Whilst if successful the proposal would deliver a number of benefits, and this is supported under planning policy, the proposal would also conflict with numerous policies as set out above. The Britton McGrath Associates report makes clear the proposal is not considered viable as proposed and therefore there is considerable uncertainty as to if these benefits would be delivered. Planning policy object to the proposal as there is considerable conflict with national, regional, and local policies as set out above in particular with regards to the proposal's unsustainable location for a major development, the high levels of unsustainable travel, and the scale and impact of the development proposed." The applicant's response to is typically ill-tempered and unconvincing, claiming that the Council's analysis is flawed and tainted, and that it had agreed not to produce a document in this way. There is another twist. Today (3 January 2013) the regional East of England Plan, on which the applicant had pinned much of its argument, has been revoked as part of the Government's strategy to transfer more decision-making to local communities and individuals. The applicant claims that the regional plan still applies but, as of today, it doesn't. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

11:32pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Reginald47 says...

Excellent idea. About time the rural areas took some of the strain.
Excellent idea. About time the rural areas took some of the strain. Reginald47
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

KateCJ wrote:
There are so many reasons to object to this disingenuously titled Heritage Centre - or is it now a Visitors' Centre since it's new marketing strategy came into play? We all know what it really is and the comments above make it clear that no one (except perhaps Jess) is fooled by the Buntings blundering around the countryside pretending they care for it or about it. Is that why three enormous, unsightly, weed-filled mis-shapen containers sit on the hard standing just passed the entrance to the greenhouses? The reason given for these monstrosities is that people dared to park up there and have a cup of tea. Oh the irony!

Anyway, the point is that we now need to focus our energy on why the Council appear to have lost their marbles: when their own advisers are recommending refusal, why are they indicating acceptance? Has the world gone mad?
"Is that why three enormous, unsightly, weed-filled mis-shapen containers sit on the hard standing just passed the entrance to the greenhouses?"

Are these the containers for which planning permission was refused in July?
[quote][p][bold]KateCJ[/bold] wrote: There are so many reasons to object to this disingenuously titled Heritage Centre - or is it now a Visitors' Centre since it's new marketing strategy came into play? We all know what it really is and the comments above make it clear that no one (except perhaps Jess) is fooled by the Buntings blundering around the countryside pretending they care for it or about it. Is that why three enormous, unsightly, weed-filled mis-shapen containers sit on the hard standing just passed the entrance to the greenhouses? The reason given for these monstrosities is that people dared to park up there and have a cup of tea. Oh the irony! Anyway, the point is that we now need to focus our energy on why the Council appear to have lost their marbles: when their own advisers are recommending refusal, why are they indicating acceptance? Has the world gone mad?[/p][/quote]"Is that why three enormous, unsightly, weed-filled mis-shapen containers sit on the hard standing just passed the entrance to the greenhouses?" Are these the containers for which planning permission was refused in July? Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

11:38pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

Reginald47 wrote:
Excellent idea. About time the rural areas took some of the strain.
A politically motivated comment?
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: Excellent idea. About time the rural areas took some of the strain.[/p][/quote]A politically motivated comment? Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

7:53am Fri 4 Jan 13

jim_bo says...

So Simon it appears our useless council planning dept is making a U turn and giving the green light.

Can we stop this or perhaps the Buntings have knobbled them?

Funny how if I put a poster up they would be ringing the alarm bells yet if I want to build a car park over a protected area then that's fine.
So Simon it appears our useless council planning dept is making a U turn and giving the green light. Can we stop this or perhaps the Buntings have knobbled them? Funny how if I put a poster up they would be ringing the alarm bells yet if I want to build a car park over a protected area then that's fine. jim_bo
  • Score: 0

10:35am Fri 4 Jan 13

local gossip says...

So Boris reckons Buntings are multi-millionaires? The rumour I hear is that the busy B's have long since frittered daddy's tomato fortune on their daft schemes & the wild flowers, cart horses etc are just a smokescreen to get change of use from agricultural to retail so they can sell the site to a developer.
So Boris reckons Buntings are multi-millionaires? The rumour I hear is that the busy B's have long since frittered daddy's tomato fortune on their daft schemes & the wild flowers, cart horses etc are just a smokescreen to get change of use from agricultural to retail so they can sell the site to a developer. local gossip
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Fri 4 Jan 13

jim_bo says...

Local Gossip, that would explain the Chinese investment group that were seen looking at the site some time back.
Local Gossip, that would explain the Chinese investment group that were seen looking at the site some time back. jim_bo
  • Score: 0

12:03am Sat 5 Jan 13

local gossip says...

Word is that the Chinese got fed up & left so it'll probably end up as a shopping mall or somesuch. Obviously no problem getting permission round here - 3 expensive independent consultants commissioned by the Council + their own Spatial policy Unit all told Planning Services not to touch the scheme with a bargepole & not only did they ignore the lot but they even made some grubby little deal with Buntings to keep it all secret. Pearce & his gang have betrayed the Dedham Vale and shafted CBC's ratepayers. Serve them right if B trousers the loot & b***ers off without giving them their cut.
Word is that the Chinese got fed up & left so it'll probably end up as a shopping mall or somesuch. Obviously no problem getting permission round here - 3 expensive independent consultants commissioned by the Council + their own Spatial policy Unit all told Planning Services not to touch the scheme with a bargepole & not only did they ignore the lot but they even made some grubby little deal with Buntings to keep it all secret. Pearce & his gang have betrayed the Dedham Vale and shafted CBC's ratepayers. Serve them right if B trousers the loot & b***ers off without giving them their cut. local gossip
  • Score: 0

2:27am Sat 5 Jan 13

Boris says...

local gossip wrote:
So Boris reckons Buntings are multi-millionaires? The rumour I hear is that the busy B's have long since frittered daddy's tomato fortune on their daft schemes & the wild flowers, cart horses etc are just a smokescreen to get change of use from agricultural to retail so they can sell the site to a developer.
You may be right, after all there have been countless cases of family firms built up over the centuries and then quickly brought to their knees by one generation of spendthrifts.
I do not know the Buntings personally and I am certainly not their accountant. There appear to be quite a few of them, judging by the number of people named Bunting who wrote most of the letters of support for their planning app. But they own land all the way from Horkesley to Nayland, they own the successful Carter's Vineyard in Boxted, they own Westwood Park. With the price of farmland these days they have to be millionaires many times over - even though the millions may be shared among a large family.
I agree with you that the Suffolk Punches are only there as a temporary wheeze to convince the planners that they have something to offer. Not that Vincent Pearce will have needed much convincing.
[quote][p][bold]local gossip[/bold] wrote: So Boris reckons Buntings are multi-millionaires? The rumour I hear is that the busy B's have long since frittered daddy's tomato fortune on their daft schemes & the wild flowers, cart horses etc are just a smokescreen to get change of use from agricultural to retail so they can sell the site to a developer.[/p][/quote]You may be right, after all there have been countless cases of family firms built up over the centuries and then quickly brought to their knees by one generation of spendthrifts. I do not know the Buntings personally and I am certainly not their accountant. There appear to be quite a few of them, judging by the number of people named Bunting who wrote most of the letters of support for their planning app. But they own land all the way from Horkesley to Nayland, they own the successful Carter's Vineyard in Boxted, they own Westwood Park. With the price of farmland these days they have to be millionaires many times over - even though the millions may be shared among a large family. I agree with you that the Suffolk Punches are only there as a temporary wheeze to convince the planners that they have something to offer. Not that Vincent Pearce will have needed much convincing. Boris
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Sat 5 Jan 13

local gossip says...

Don't be fooled by appearances Boris. B's have sold or tried to sell half of their empire & word is that the rest is in hock to the bank.
Don't be fooled by appearances Boris. B's have sold or tried to sell half of their empire & word is that the rest is in hock to the bank. local gossip
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

The more I investigate this story, the more incredulous it becomes!
The more I investigate this story, the more incredulous it becomes! Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

Oops...the more incredible it becomes, and the more incredulous I become...
Oops...the more incredible it becomes, and the more incredulous I become... Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Sun 6 Jan 13

jim_bo says...

5th application Simon and now the backing of the Head of Planning.

It's appears its going to be built whether we want it or not!

Personally I think it stinks and Vincent Pearce should be suspended on Monday Morning pending an independant investigation.
5th application Simon and now the backing of the Head of Planning. It's appears its going to be built whether we want it or not! Personally I think it stinks and Vincent Pearce should be suspended on Monday Morning pending an independant investigation. jim_bo
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Edmund Chinnery says...

I agree about Vincent Pearce. But considering the planners behaviour over a certain Tiptree issue and how the councillors have gone along with them. As much as I'd like to see what is suggested, not with the present councillors. Simon I have duly noted every thing what you have posted with others. You can count on me for donation or two for the judicial review, as that's what it seems it will have to come down if we're to stop the buntings
I agree about Vincent Pearce. But considering the planners behaviour over a certain Tiptree issue and how the councillors have gone along with them. As much as I'd like to see what is suggested, not with the present councillors. Simon I have duly noted every thing what you have posted with others. You can count on me for donation or two for the judicial review, as that's what it seems it will have to come down if we're to stop the buntings Edmund Chinnery
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Simon Taylor says...

I hope it can be avoided, but it certainly looks like we're heading for Judicial Review territory.
I hope it can be avoided, but it certainly looks like we're heading for Judicial Review territory. Simon Taylor
  • Score: 0

9:25am Mon 7 Jan 13

Jess Jephcott says...

We had this in Fordham, where a planning application was forced through, against the wish of the residents. The residents lost and went to appeal, spending their own money on representation and still losing. They had a good case against the traffic that would need to use an unclassified road through a village with very narrow streets, so narrow that two lorries could not pass each other and no room for footpaths, etc. You lot need to wake up to reality as this proposed project is located on a straight, main, classified road. If Fordham couldn't win, this will sail through.
We had this in Fordham, where a planning application was forced through, against the wish of the residents. The residents lost and went to appeal, spending their own money on representation and still losing. They had a good case against the traffic that would need to use an unclassified road through a village with very narrow streets, so narrow that two lorries could not pass each other and no room for footpaths, etc. You lot need to wake up to reality as this proposed project is located on a straight, main, classified road. If Fordham couldn't win, this will sail through. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Mon 7 Jan 13

jut1972 says...

jim_bo wrote:
5th application Simon and now the backing of the Head of Planning.

It's appears its going to be built whether we want it or not!

Personally I think it stinks and Vincent Pearce should be suspended on Monday Morning pending an independant investigation.
Yeah real good reason to suspend someone.. advising an applicant on an application.
[quote][p][bold]jim_bo[/bold] wrote: 5th application Simon and now the backing of the Head of Planning. It's appears its going to be built whether we want it or not! Personally I think it stinks and Vincent Pearce should be suspended on Monday Morning pending an independant investigation.[/p][/quote]Yeah real good reason to suspend someone.. advising an applicant on an application. jut1972
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Tue 8 Jan 13

rhetoric says...

Jess, the fact that some people lose their battle does not mean that the rest of the human race should give up, lie down and let the ruthless trample over them.
.
If people have the guts to stand up against something they think is out of order, who are you to **** their efforts with an example of a resistance that went wrong?
.
You may have a good case by stating that the infrastructure re. roads is much better around the proposed "theme park/farm exhib", but that should not prevent those with strong beliefs about their choice of countryside from fighting on.
Jess, the fact that some people lose their battle does not mean that the rest of the human race should give up, lie down and let the ruthless trample over them. . If people have the guts to stand up against something they think is out of order, who are you to **** their efforts with an example of a resistance that went wrong? . You may have a good case by stating that the infrastructure re. roads is much better around the proposed "theme park/farm exhib", but that should not prevent those with strong beliefs about their choice of countryside from fighting on. rhetoric
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Tue 8 Jan 13

rhetoric says...

In case anyone is wondering, the word asterixed out is "d a m n" used not as a swear word but part of the English language!
In case anyone is wondering, the word asterixed out is "d a m n" used not as a swear word but part of the English language! rhetoric
  • Score: 0

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