Priory Business Strategy Submitted to TDC for Approval (click here for formatted version)

As part of the agreement to permit the enabling development reached at the second public inquiry, the Priory owners were required to submit a Business Strategy to TDC detailing how the main heritage assets at the Priory would be restored over the agreed period of 10 years.  It includes funding from the approved enabling development, grants and commercial funding matched against restoration costs. The Priory owners, in conjunction with the St Osyth Priory and Parish Trust, submitted this strategy for approval by TDC Planning Committee at its meeting on 12th March 2019.  At the start of proceedings, the Chief Planning Officer stated that following a number of meetings over the past 18 months they were in agreement on the proposed use of the buildings for a number of enterprises but there was no agreement on how the financial shortfall should be funded.  This amounts to between £26.5M and £32,4M depending on the amount of grant funding that might be obtained.  The strategy as submitted relies heavily on further enabling development throughout the District to raise sufficient funds.  However, the strategy did not identify the sites or scale of any such developments or the associated funds that would be generated.  The one site identified was Foot’s Farm on the outskirts of Little Clacton where a proposed 245 dwellings would contribute £1.76M which gave a measure of what would be required.  Committee members expressed concerns that if this were scaled up it might equate to several thousands of houses and if they approved the Strategy, they would be morally compelled to grant permission for these houses on sites as yet unknown. ...

TDC Decision on Progress of Priory Restoration Business Plan (click here for fully formatted version)

The TDC Planning Committee hava an item concerning the Priory on the agenda for their meeting on 12th March concerning the newly published business plan for progressing the restoration of the Priory. As part of the agreement reached at the second public inquiry in 2015 to permit the enabling development, the Priory owners were required to submit a Business Strategy to TDC detailing how the main heritage assets at the Priory would be restored over the agreed period of 10 years.  This has now been submitted for consideration by TDC Planning Committee at its meeting on Tuesday 12th March.  It shows that further enabling development will be needed throughout the district to complete the restoration project.  The Officers’ Report published in advance of the meeting recommends that the Business Strategy as submitted is not accepted.  The reasons for and against are far too long and complex to summarise here but details are available on the Planning Committee pages of the TDC website (www.tendringdc.gov.uk).  Try the following link or else search for ‘committee minutes’ and follow the links to get tothe agenda for the 12th March meeting.  https://tdcdemocracy.tendringdc.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=162&Year=0  The question remains if it is not accepted, what then? The Planning Committee meetings are usually held at the Weeley offices starting at...

Application by Priory Owners to Extend Time Limit on Wellwick Housing Estate (click here for formatted version)

Applications continue to appear thick and fast. This latest one (17/01843/FUL) requests that the time limit attached to the OUTLINE permission for the 190 dwellings in Wellwick pit is extended from three to five years which would secure it up to 18th March 2021.  The application in the form of a letter to TDC Planning Services states that the work done to date on restoring the Darcy House West Wing has been undertaken using personal funds which have now run out and additional funding is required which cannot be obtained until the s106 legal agreement is signed off.  Meanwhile the work has been paused. It appears the owners are having difficulty in progressing Wellwick.  It was offered around to selected potential developers a while ago at a price of £9 million which seems a modest amount for 16.3 hectares of building land but presumably there have been no takers. The application appears to be twofold – sign off the s106 and extend the time limit. If this is agreed, they say that work on progressing the Wellwick development will be put on hold and the Westfield development prioritised in order to obtain funds to progress the Priory repair. The letter states that ‘the proposed new build programme means that Wellwick will likely not be commenced until 2020/21, with the first units anticipated to be completed 2021/22’. However, it should not be forgotten that it was agreed by the chairman of the TDC Planning Committee at the meeting on 21st January 2014 (we have the audio recording) that the FULL application would need to go back before the Committee, so...

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...

Application by Priory Owners to Extend Time Limit on Wellwick Housing Estate (click here to see formatted version)

An application has been received by TDC (17/01843/FUL) to extend the time restriction attached to the OUTLINE permission for 190 dwellings in Wellwick pit from three to five years from 18th March 2016 (the date the formal letter of approval was issued).  This relates to the apparent failure to reach agreement on the necessary s106 legal agreement. Copy the address below to your browser to get to the list of documents. https://idox.tendringdc.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OYDGS7QB0LD00 The ‘condition 2’ referred to in the letter is shown below.  This states that the time limit of three years is a requirement of the Town & Country Planning Act and not a TDC limitation so we are unsure of the implication of this. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that the approval is OUTLINE and it was stated at the TDC Planning Committee meeting on 21st January 2014 that the FULL application would need to go back before Committee, so progress with Wellwick does not depend on an s106 agreement alone!    ...