Application by Priory Owners to Build Next to Allotment Site Rejected (click to see formatted version)
As most people will know by the time this article is read, the Priory owners submitted a new planning application for a further 7 dwellings in St Osyth. This time it relates to outline permission for the corner of land between Clacton Road and Bypass Road at the end of the allotments. The entry road is onto Clacton Road through the existing hedgerow. There is of course no footpath and there does not appear to be any pedestrian access identified. This land is owned by the Priory having been bought by a previous owner, Mr Somerset de Chair, so he could erect a board advertising the Priory way back in the days when it was open as a visitor attraction.
The decision to reject this application was issued by Tendring District Council on 17th November 2017. Whether this decision will be challenged by the applicants by means of an appeal remains to be seen. One argument put forward by a number of local developers to support their applications is the Council’s inability to prove a five years housing supply and this argument has been supported by Government inspectors on appeal. This may seem surprising in view of the applications for thousands of houses which have been given approval over the past year. Close to the village, 84 houses on a plot to the rear of No. 80/84 St Johns Road (St Osyth side of the St John’s Nursery) have just been approved and an outline application for up to 950 residential units on land running between Rouses Lane and Jaywick Lane is awaiting a decision. These add to the huge numbers in other rural areas of Tendring. However, it is not simply the number of houses ‘approved’ but those that are ‘deliverable’ within five years that count – i.e. the number likely to be completed in this period. Some developers have recently been accused by TDC of ‘land banking’ – obtaining planning permission but not attempting to start construction. In that case, the numbers do not count and they are able to make further applications. Although planning permissions are granted with an expiry date, according to present rules it is easy to extend the date indefinitely by making a token start (for example by digging a hole and filling it with concrete to form a token footing, as has been done at the White Hart) thus banking the application whilst others are submitted. We believe this rule should be changed to require a substantial and significant start be made in order that planning permission is extended.