Sir Bob to challenge permission to build 1,600 homes in north Colchester

Gazette: Sir Bob to challenge permission to build 1,600 homes in north Colchester Sir Bob to challenge permission to build 1,600 homes in north Colchester

A CONTROVERSIAL planning decision in Colchester will this afternoon be raised in Parliament by the town’s MP Sir Bob Russell.

Sir Bob has a question on the order paper to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, about the planning consent given for a 1,600 home estate in the north of the town despite strong opposition.

Lib Dem Sir Bob has described the proposed development as a “planning and environmental disaster."

Today Sir Bob will be asking about how the schools on the new estate will be paid for.

Essex County Council says it does not have the money – and Colchester Council, in recommending approval, failed to ensure that the Conditions of the Consent contained a legal agreement for the developer to fully fund the schools, which is a usual requirement.

Sir Bob said: “It is bad enough that this new estate will be a planning and environmental disaster. And we all know that it will add still further to the appalling traffic congestion currently experienced at North Station.

“The planning decision is all the more inexplicable with the knowledge that there is no funding to build the new schools.

“The planning decision is a monumental disaster from start to finish.”

Comments (28)

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11:03am Mon 20 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Finally Bob is listening! Hundreds of people are against this development without major changes to the North Station infrastructure and without proper funding in place for education.
Finally Bob is listening! Hundreds of people are against this development without major changes to the North Station infrastructure and without proper funding in place for education. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 17

11:35am Mon 20 Jan 14

Chris.Howell says...

I think you'll find Bob's been campaigning against these plans since they were first unveiled. Huge development on land that was never before considered ok for building on, not much money for new infrastructure, and no plans as to how Colchester will cope with the added traffic.

Bonkers!
I think you'll find Bob's been campaigning against these plans since they were first unveiled. Huge development on land that was never before considered ok for building on, not much money for new infrastructure, and no plans as to how Colchester will cope with the added traffic. Bonkers! Chris.Howell
  • Score: 19

11:37am Mon 20 Jan 14

Slamdoor312 says...

Bob Russell represents views of Colchester resident's !

That should merit a headline in it's own right
Bob Russell represents views of Colchester resident's ! That should merit a headline in it's own right Slamdoor312
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Mon 20 Jan 14

romantic says...

With Eric Pickles calling for whole new garden cities to be built, this will be yet another case where central govt overrides local govt anyway. As for the bit about failing to include the clause about funding for a school, that just about sums it up really! What is it with CBC and contracts?

Maybe Sir Bob should have a word with his son, who is one of the planners and could possibly find out why that clause would be forgotten about.
With Eric Pickles calling for whole new garden cities to be built, this will be yet another case where central govt overrides local govt anyway. As for the bit about failing to include the clause about funding for a school, that just about sums it up really! What is it with CBC and contracts? Maybe Sir Bob should have a word with his son, who is one of the planners and could possibly find out why that clause would be forgotten about. romantic
  • Score: 11

12:38pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

Well done Bob. I went on a walk with him to look at the prime arable land that would be swallowed up by this ill-judged scheme. Decisions like this bring the whole of the planning process into disrepute and inevitable suspicion. Who in their right mind would think this a good idea? So well done Bob I say. Somebody with some balls needs to take the initiative and who better than the town's MP?
Well done Bob. I went on a walk with him to look at the prime arable land that would be swallowed up by this ill-judged scheme. Decisions like this bring the whole of the planning process into disrepute and inevitable suspicion. Who in their right mind would think this a good idea? So well done Bob I say. Somebody with some balls needs to take the initiative and who better than the town's MP? Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 4

1:09pm Mon 20 Jan 14

AngryManNewTown says...

Who gave the permission for the housing development? If it was CBC then he should be having a go at his OWN councillors. The planning committee at CBC is made up of 4 Liberal, 2 Labour, 3 Conservative and 1 from Highwoods. As CBC is run by a Lib Lab coalition, surly this should not have got past the first hurdle.
Who gave the permission for the housing development? If it was CBC then he should be having a go at his OWN councillors. The planning committee at CBC is made up of 4 Liberal, 2 Labour, 3 Conservative and 1 from Highwoods. As CBC is run by a Lib Lab coalition, surly this should not have got past the first hurdle. AngryManNewTown
  • Score: 6

2:29pm Mon 20 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

With the rate of building on the schemes already susposed to be "on the go"bob could well be pushing up daisies first.
With the rate of building on the schemes already susposed to be "on the go"bob could well be pushing up daisies first. stevedawson
  • Score: -1

3:58pm Mon 20 Jan 14

JamesColchesterEast says...

Sir Bob spoke a little after 14:30 today:

Sir Bob Russell: "Question 4, Mr Speaker"

Question 4: What requirements are there to ensure planning consent for major developments includes funding for new shools?

Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister:

It is clear from the National Planning Policy Framework that where development generates the need for investment in more school places, plans should be brought up to secure that investment, and of course local authorities will then also want to ensure that those plans can be funded.

Sir Bob Russell:

As the minister may be aware, the new development in the North of Colchester, there has been a lack of funding provision as part of the section 106 agreement. Will he therefore agree to speak with me, Myland Community Council and Essex County Council to see how we can retrieve the situation?

Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister:

Mr Speaker, I will of course be delighted to meet with my right honourable friend and recently knighted friend, and with whom so ever he wants to bring to see me. I would simply point out that question of the funding of those plans is not strictly a planning matter, but of course I will be delighted to see him.
Sir Bob spoke a little after 14:30 today: Sir Bob Russell: "Question 4, Mr Speaker" Question 4: What requirements are there to ensure planning consent for major developments includes funding for new shools? Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister: It is clear from the National Planning Policy Framework that where development generates the need for investment in more school places, plans should be brought up to secure that investment, and of course local authorities will then also want to ensure that those plans can be funded. Sir Bob Russell: As the minister may be aware, the new development in the North of Colchester, there has been a lack of funding provision as part of the section 106 agreement. Will he therefore agree to speak with me, Myland Community Council and Essex County Council to see how we can retrieve the situation? Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister: Mr Speaker, I will of course be delighted to meet with my right honourable friend and recently knighted friend, and with whom so ever he wants to bring to see me. I would simply point out that question of the funding of those plans is not strictly a planning matter, but of course I will be delighted to see him. JamesColchesterEast
  • Score: 5

6:52pm Mon 20 Jan 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

JamesColchesterEast wrote:
Sir Bob spoke a little after 14:30 today:

Sir Bob Russell: "Question 4, Mr Speaker"

Question 4: What requirements are there to ensure planning consent for major developments includes funding for new shools?

Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister:

It is clear from the National Planning Policy Framework that where development generates the need for investment in more school places, plans should be brought up to secure that investment, and of course local authorities will then also want to ensure that those plans can be funded.

Sir Bob Russell:

As the minister may be aware, the new development in the North of Colchester, there has been a lack of funding provision as part of the section 106 agreement. Will he therefore agree to speak with me, Myland Community Council and Essex County Council to see how we can retrieve the situation?

Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister:

Mr Speaker, I will of course be delighted to meet with my right honourable friend and recently knighted friend, and with whom so ever he wants to bring to see me. I would simply point out that question of the funding of those plans is not strictly a planning matter, but of course I will be delighted to see him.
SOUNDS ALL BOLES TO ME!
[quote][p][bold]JamesColchesterEast[/bold] wrote: Sir Bob spoke a little after 14:30 today: Sir Bob Russell: "Question 4, Mr Speaker" Question 4: What requirements are there to ensure planning consent for major developments includes funding for new shools? Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister: It is clear from the National Planning Policy Framework that where development generates the need for investment in more school places, plans should be brought up to secure that investment, and of course local authorities will then also want to ensure that those plans can be funded. Sir Bob Russell: As the minister may be aware, the new development in the North of Colchester, there has been a lack of funding provision as part of the section 106 agreement. Will he therefore agree to speak with me, Myland Community Council and Essex County Council to see how we can retrieve the situation? Nick Boles, Communities and Local Government Minister: Mr Speaker, I will of course be delighted to meet with my right honourable friend and recently knighted friend, and with whom so ever he wants to bring to see me. I would simply point out that question of the funding of those plans is not strictly a planning matter, but of course I will be delighted to see him.[/p][/quote]SOUNDS ALL BOLES TO ME! A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 4

7:06pm Mon 20 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

Democracy at work wonderful to behold.
Democracy at work wonderful to behold. stevedawson
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Mon 20 Jan 14

stewycaz says...

It's not particularly the houses that are causing the problem (although it is nice to look out of my garden on mile end road and see green fields) but unless you live / work in colchester you cannot appreciate the complete disaster that is traffic around colchester. We cannot cope with 1600 more houses which means at least 1600 more cars on our roads. Coupled with the roads they are building between a12 and myland, it's starting to turn horrible to live. Please council, listen to what we are telling you! Please Bob Russell., argue your heart out!!
It's not particularly the houses that are causing the problem (although it is nice to look out of my garden on mile end road and see green fields) but unless you live / work in colchester you cannot appreciate the complete disaster that is traffic around colchester. We cannot cope with 1600 more houses which means at least 1600 more cars on our roads. Coupled with the roads they are building between a12 and myland, it's starting to turn horrible to live. Please council, listen to what we are telling you! Please Bob Russell., argue your heart out!! stewycaz
  • Score: 8

7:56pm Mon 20 Jan 14

jim_bo says...

CBC got the planning 106 agreement wrong....there's the story.

Sack the bleeding lot of them and start again as the constant co ck ups make them the weakest part of this council.
CBC got the planning 106 agreement wrong....there's the story. Sack the bleeding lot of them and start again as the constant co ck ups make them the weakest part of this council. jim_bo
  • Score: 11

8:26pm Mon 20 Jan 14

AngryManNewTown says...

jim_bo wrote:
CBC got the planning 106 agreement wrong....there's the story.

Sack the bleeding lot of them and start again as the constant co ck ups make them the weakest part of this council.
And they should be held to account for it!!!! We need a change in political leadership at CBC this administration just aint working for whats right for the town.
[quote][p][bold]jim_bo[/bold] wrote: CBC got the planning 106 agreement wrong....there's the story. Sack the bleeding lot of them and start again as the constant co ck ups make them the weakest part of this council.[/p][/quote]And they should be held to account for it!!!! We need a change in political leadership at CBC this administration just aint working for whats right for the town. AngryManNewTown
  • Score: 6

8:57pm Mon 20 Jan 14

jut1972 says...

CBC knew this at the time! The ECC approval didn't include school funding and the idiots still voted it through. Worse if Bob had pulled rank and told his cllrs which way to vote it wouldn't have gone through.

This is an empty gesture for Bob to get a soundbite locally. If he pulls it off I'llshake his ghand and apologise but he must think we are as stupid as the planning committee to fall for this.
CBC knew this at the time! The ECC approval didn't include school funding and the idiots still voted it through. Worse if Bob had pulled rank and told his cllrs which way to vote it wouldn't have gone through. This is an empty gesture for Bob to get a soundbite locally. If he pulls it off I'llshake his ghand and apologise but he must think we are as stupid as the planning committee to fall for this. jut1972
  • Score: 10

10:45pm Mon 20 Jan 14

omgwtfbbq says...

congestion would be a lot less around north station if cycles kept to cycle routes and buses kept to bus routes.
people learnt to read, so they know KEEP CLEAR
congestion would be a lot less around north station if cycles kept to cycle routes and buses kept to bus routes. people learnt to read, so they know KEEP CLEAR omgwtfbbq
  • Score: 0

10:48pm Mon 20 Jan 14

omgwtfbbq says...

congestion would be a lot less around north station if cycles kept to cycle routes and buses kept to bus routes.
people learnt to read, so they know KEEP CLEAR written on a road isn't just to make it look pretty, the same with lane markings.
congestion would be a lot less around north station if cycles kept to cycle routes and buses kept to bus routes. people learnt to read, so they know KEEP CLEAR written on a road isn't just to make it look pretty, the same with lane markings. omgwtfbbq
  • Score: 1

10:56pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

jut1972 wrote:
CBC knew this at the time! The ECC approval didn't include school funding and the idiots still voted it through. Worse if Bob had pulled rank and told his cllrs which way to vote it wouldn't have gone through.

This is an empty gesture for Bob to get a soundbite locally. If he pulls it off I'llshake his ghand and apologise but he must think we are as stupid as the planning committee to fall for this.
Totally agree, I was at the planning meeting and they knew the education funding was not in place. They also knew about the concerns surrounding North Station but they voted it through simply because this development would not impact on their own areas.

What we need from you Bob is real action to get Eric Pickles to call this in and properly investigate because, as it is now, the Planning Committee in Colchester are a joke and too many people suspect underhand tactics were used to get this development through the outline planning stage!
[quote][p][bold]jut1972[/bold] wrote: CBC knew this at the time! The ECC approval didn't include school funding and the idiots still voted it through. Worse if Bob had pulled rank and told his cllrs which way to vote it wouldn't have gone through. This is an empty gesture for Bob to get a soundbite locally. If he pulls it off I'llshake his ghand and apologise but he must think we are as stupid as the planning committee to fall for this.[/p][/quote]Totally agree, I was at the planning meeting and they knew the education funding was not in place. They also knew about the concerns surrounding North Station but they voted it through simply because this development would not impact on their own areas. What we need from you Bob is real action to get Eric Pickles to call this in and properly investigate because, as it is now, the Planning Committee in Colchester are a joke and too many people suspect underhand tactics were used to get this development through the outline planning stage! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 8

11:25am Tue 21 Jan 14

romantic says...

Bob Russell is right to query this, although TBH not sure if Parliament is actually the place to bring up what is basically a local planning issue. With all due respect, the Minister will probably not have much knowledge of this at his fingertips and will need to check the facts.

The place to query this is behind the scenes, and actually the first port of call has to be CBC planners. If they have signed off on this project without insisting on the school building clause, that is surely a screw-up by CBC. The developer is not going to voluntarily bring the issue up.

The Minister, when he looks into this, will almost certainly come to the same conclusion: this would be a normal clause in the contract, but it is not there, nobody in CBC planners queried this, everything has been passed. The ball will be passed from person to person until a scapegoat is found, but sadly I think it will be hard to get this reversed.

Legal challenge would reach the same conclusion: if you're signing off the biggest development for many years, make sure the contract is right. I regularly need to draw up 6-figure contracts, and I will spend a fair bit of time making sure that everything is very clear, unambiguous and watertight. It might delay things by a week or two at the start, but saves a lot more hassle at the end.
Bob Russell is right to query this, although TBH not sure if Parliament is actually the place to bring up what is basically a local planning issue. With all due respect, the Minister will probably not have much knowledge of this at his fingertips and will need to check the facts. The place to query this is behind the scenes, and actually the first port of call has to be CBC planners. If they have signed off on this project without insisting on the school building clause, that is surely a screw-up by CBC. The developer is not going to voluntarily bring the issue up. The Minister, when he looks into this, will almost certainly come to the same conclusion: this would be a normal clause in the contract, but it is not there, nobody in CBC planners queried this, everything has been passed. The ball will be passed from person to person until a scapegoat is found, but sadly I think it will be hard to get this reversed. Legal challenge would reach the same conclusion: if you're signing off the biggest development for many years, make sure the contract is right. I regularly need to draw up 6-figure contracts, and I will spend a fair bit of time making sure that everything is very clear, unambiguous and watertight. It might delay things by a week or two at the start, but saves a lot more hassle at the end. romantic
  • Score: 2

4:41pm Tue 21 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

So we dont worry about another 1600 homes just about school provision.Gove comes up with plenty of cash for "free schools".lol.
So we dont worry about another 1600 homes just about school provision.Gove comes up with plenty of cash for "free schools".lol. stevedawson
  • Score: -4

6:56pm Tue 21 Jan 14

jut1972 says...

I agree with Romantic , CBC have approved a plan and have taken a commercial risk. They are assuming ECC will provide the cash.

Bob could find out how to rectify the situation by asking those Cllrs who approved the plan, they obviously know how the funding will be provided, the only other conclusion is they are inept at their job and need firing.

Maybe they would like to comment? Maybe Bob should ask them directly.
I agree with Romantic , CBC have approved a plan and have taken a commercial risk. They are assuming ECC will provide the cash. Bob could find out how to rectify the situation by asking those Cllrs who approved the plan, they obviously know how the funding will be provided, the only other conclusion is they are inept at their job and need firing. Maybe they would like to comment? Maybe Bob should ask them directly. jut1972
  • Score: -2

1:26am Wed 22 Jan 14

James Harrington says...

i am sorry for all of you and the above posts
but you do realise do you not that no matter what sir bob has to say no one is going to listen.
this is big business talking here and i am afraid the green backs will be making most of the headway.
they do not give two hoots about the likes of you and i or the little man/woman in the street.
wasted words on a lost cause. blame colchester council and mr teflon
they are all powerful to kick the little man about, but when it comes to hitting the big boys, the london legal eagle brigade get called in to shoot them down.
money talks here the contractors will win, they have the most cash and the clout.
the only concessions you might get is some plants and a few quid for a play area.
you do realise it is petty cash out of £400,000.000 yes £400 Million we are talking here?
and by the way they don't care either.
i am not saying it as spite, its out of experience.
the deal is done and sir bobs efforts will vapour into the ether.
i am sorry for all of you and the above posts but you do realise do you not that no matter what sir bob has to say no one is going to listen. this is big business talking here and i am afraid the green backs will be making most of the headway. they do not give two hoots about the likes of you and i or the little man/woman in the street. wasted words on a lost cause. blame colchester council and mr teflon they are all powerful to kick the little man about, but when it comes to hitting the big boys, the london legal eagle brigade get called in to shoot them down. money talks here the contractors will win, they have the most cash and the clout. the only concessions you might get is some plants and a few quid for a play area. you do realise it is petty cash out of £400,000.000 yes £400 Million we are talking here? and by the way they don't care either. i am not saying it as spite, its out of experience. the deal is done and sir bobs efforts will vapour into the ether. James Harrington
  • Score: 9

9:38am Wed 22 Jan 14

Boudicathepessimist says...

I agree with you, what makes you laugh is that the fields they are going to build on are flooded at the moment, at least when Cants are growing something on the land it helps, when it is concreted over where will the water go.
I agree with you, what makes you laugh is that the fields they are going to build on are flooded at the moment, at least when Cants are growing something on the land it helps, when it is concreted over where will the water go. Boudicathepessimist
  • Score: 3

9:12pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Suffolkcommuter says...

Stop this development now! Not sure anyone is in agreement. We don't need bus lanes either!

Why should poor people using buses get to work quicker than me in my Mercedes? How about a commuter lane!
Stop this development now! Not sure anyone is in agreement. We don't need bus lanes either! Why should poor people using buses get to work quicker than me in my Mercedes? How about a commuter lane! Suffolkcommuter
  • Score: -1

10:59pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Reginald47 says...

AngryManNewTown wrote:
Who gave the permission for the housing development? If it was CBC then he should be having a go at his OWN councillors. The planning committee at CBC is made up of 4 Liberal, 2 Labour, 3 Conservative and 1 from Highwoods. As CBC is run by a Lib Lab coalition, surly this should not have got past the first hurdle.
Ever heard of planning law? You can't just turn things down because you don't want them.
[quote][p][bold]AngryManNewTown[/bold] wrote: Who gave the permission for the housing development? If it was CBC then he should be having a go at his OWN councillors. The planning committee at CBC is made up of 4 Liberal, 2 Labour, 3 Conservative and 1 from Highwoods. As CBC is run by a Lib Lab coalition, surly this should not have got past the first hurdle.[/p][/quote]Ever heard of planning law? You can't just turn things down because you don't want them. Reginald47
  • Score: 0

9:55am Thu 23 Jan 14

James Harrington says...

Boudicathepessimist wrote:
I agree with you, what makes you laugh is that the fields they are going to build on are flooded at the moment, at least when Cants are growing something on the land it helps, when it is concreted over where will the water go.
If i can help here at all?
It is quite common place to build on wetlands these days. Engineering has come on leaps and bounds with drainage membranes and pipe channelling.
Then there is Piling (Pile-ing): The common Pile is an Orga type Pile about 40 Feet high, each house normally gets about 6 of them between 3 to 6 feet wide, up to 40 feet deep filled with steel rods and concrete.
It would take heaven and earth to move the houses.
In some cases not all, I would say the Orga Pile is a better foundation than a standard footing.
Building on wetlands is quite safe.
I do feel sorry for all this upset and concern over the political arguments and hope that it will not channel to much thought away from other issues.
I must repeat it is very difficult to fight big business especially with the amounts of monies talked about here in this project.
I hope this helps your concern?
JH.
[quote][p][bold]Boudicathepessimist[/bold] wrote: I agree with you, what makes you laugh is that the fields they are going to build on are flooded at the moment, at least when Cants are growing something on the land it helps, when it is concreted over where will the water go.[/p][/quote]If i can help here at all? It is quite common place to build on wetlands these days. Engineering has come on leaps and bounds with drainage membranes and pipe channelling. Then there is Piling (Pile-ing): The common Pile is an Orga type Pile about 40 Feet high, each house normally gets about 6 of them between 3 to 6 feet wide, up to 40 feet deep filled with steel rods and concrete. It would take heaven and earth to move the houses. In some cases not all, I would say the Orga Pile is a better foundation than a standard footing. Building on wetlands is quite safe. I do feel sorry for all this upset and concern over the political arguments and hope that it will not channel to much thought away from other issues. I must repeat it is very difficult to fight big business especially with the amounts of monies talked about here in this project. I hope this helps your concern? JH. James Harrington
  • Score: 2

11:11am Thu 23 Jan 14

JamesColchesterEast says...

The developer is, I believe, legally bound to act in the best interests of its shareholders, so might not be able to back-track on the schools funding, even if the management wanted to.
The developer is, I believe, legally bound to act in the best interests of its shareholders, so might not be able to back-track on the schools funding, even if the management wanted to. JamesColchesterEast
  • Score: 1

12:43pm Thu 23 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

Not a fan of Bob at all but back him 100% on this. If there is to be building it needs to be on a lot smaller scale with parcels of land left so there is the divisions between horkesley mile end and braiswick. Also it shouldn't be full of cheap low quality housing to be snapped up by the London councils to send their unwanted to us
Not a fan of Bob at all but back him 100% on this. If there is to be building it needs to be on a lot smaller scale with parcels of land left so there is the divisions between horkesley mile end and braiswick. Also it shouldn't be full of cheap low quality housing to be snapped up by the London councils to send their unwanted to us angryman!!!
  • Score: 2

8:50pm Sun 26 Jan 14

jut1972 says...

Reginald47 wrote:
AngryManNewTown wrote:
Who gave the permission for the housing development? If it was CBC then he should be having a go at his OWN councillors. The planning committee at CBC is made up of 4 Liberal, 2 Labour, 3 Conservative and 1 from Highwoods. As CBC is run by a Lib Lab coalition, surly this should not have got past the first hurdle.
Ever heard of planning law? You can't just turn things down because you don't want them.
ever heard of ignoring the presented evidence?
ever heard of voting this through so that your area isn't blighted?

that's what happened Reg.
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AngryManNewTown[/bold] wrote: Who gave the permission for the housing development? If it was CBC then he should be having a go at his OWN councillors. The planning committee at CBC is made up of 4 Liberal, 2 Labour, 3 Conservative and 1 from Highwoods. As CBC is run by a Lib Lab coalition, surly this should not have got past the first hurdle.[/p][/quote]Ever heard of planning law? You can't just turn things down because you don't want them.[/p][/quote]ever heard of ignoring the presented evidence? ever heard of voting this through so that your area isn't blighted? that's what happened Reg. jut1972
  • Score: -1

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