A CAMPAIGN group has asked council bosses to put a hold on deciding on a bid for 120 homes at the Essex County Hospital site.

Colchester People’s Assembly has written to Colchester Council planning committee chairman Cyril Liddy urging for a halt on the decision.

County Hall’s development firm Essex Housing is behind the scheme for Lexden Road, which will preserve the historic buildings but offer just four affordable properties.

In a letter to Mr Liddy, the campaign group set out six reasons the decision should be delayed.

It said: “We believe this is an ideal location to build council housing which will go towards meeting the needs of the many people on the housing register. There are some 3,000 plus people on the housing register at the moment.

“We also believe we can make any future development an exemplary one, taking inspiration from developments such as the new Goldsmith Street council estate in Norwich which provides high quality green, sustainable and environmentally friendly housing.”


The letter said the site “represents a great opportunity” to make a difference to the community and argues it is in a conservation area.

It adds: “The current proposals of 120 homes are badly thought through and feel strongly inappropriate for the site, failing to meet the needs of the housing crisis we have in our town.

“The proposal as it currently stands has a huge issue around parking.

“We believe if we build more green homes targeted to renters, young people and elderly couples we can reduce car park usage.”

Profits from the development, if approved by Colchester Council, will go back into funding services via the council and NHS.

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: “The former Essex County Hospital site is not in the ownership of the council.

“The council, as the local planning authority, can only determine the plans as they have been submitted.

“The Colchester People’s Assembly would need to persuade the applicant to submit an alternative scheme for the planning committee to be able to consider it.

“Although the planning committee is not sitting at present, there are short-term alternative arrangements in place for them to be able to do so.”