3.1 Our vision is that by 2026 a more sustainable future will have been secured for all the people and places in Braintree District and the natural environment will have been protected and enhanced. Braintree, Witham and Halstead will be thriving market towns with regenerated town centres and their historic character and green spaces protected. Most growth will have been provided in Braintree and Witham, including a new mixed use neighbourhood to the northwest of Braintree, comprising housing, employment and community uses and new neighbourhoods with housing and community facilities to the south- west and north-east of Witham. There will be a new business park close to the A120 at Great Notley. The key service villages of Coggeshall, Earls Colne, Hatfield Peverel, Kelvedon, Sible Hedingham and Silver End will have provided local housing, jobs and services for the adjoining rural areas. There will have been regeneration of former factory sites in Silver End and Sible Hedingham, which will have enhanced these villages. The need to adapt to climate change will influence the location and design of development. All development across the District will have been built to the highest design and resource efficiency standards and environmental assets will be protected and enhanced. Development will provide the necessary infrastructure and affordable housing provision and will have enhanced historic towns and villages and minimised the impact on the local and global environment.
3.2 To improve the well-being of people and communities in the Braintree District now and for future generations- ensuring that local needs are met, that development is sustainable and accessible and that our historic towns, villages and attractive countryside are maintained, improved and protected.
3.3 The aims of the Core Strategy reflect those of the Sustainable Community Strategy which are:
3.4 The following twelve key objectives have been developed, which reflect and underpin the vision and aims for Braintree District. These objectives form the basis for the policies set out in this Core Strategy:-
To ensure that all development is sustainable and minimises the use of scarce natural resources and addresses the causes and potential impacts of climate change, encourages renewable energy, and promotes the development of previously developed land and urban regeneration to limit the extent of greenfield land required and concentrates new growth at the most sustainable locations. To ensure that development avoids flood risk areas and reduces future flood risk where possible. To prevent a deterioration in water quality and where possible to take measures to improve it.
To reduce the need to travel by locating development in sustainable locations where it will enable people to access employment, housing, retail provision, public transport and key services; such as education, healthcare, recreational facilities and open space
To ensure that development makes the necessary provision for infrastructure and community facilities to meet the existing and future needs of the District
To meet the housing needs of all sections of the community, by providing an adequate amount and range of high quality accommodation, in particular "affordable housing" and that required for special needs.
To provide and retain employment to support the District's economy in sustainable locations and to provide local employment opportunities, to seek to reduce travelling outside the District to work and to improve skills attainment.
To make it safer and, easier for the community to travel to jobs and key services by improving sustainable forms of transport such as public transport, walking and cycling and seeking to reduce carbon emissions.
To maintain and develop vibrant and prosperous main towns of Braintree, Witham and Halstead, by encouraging new development and regeneration schemes that support their function as major service centres, with a range of good quality employment, shops, services and cultural provision
To maintain and develop the function of the key service villages to support the adjoining rural areas, by encouraging the retention and provision of employment, shops and services and the regeneration of appropriate sites.
To maintain and support services, community facilities and appropriate employment in the rural communities to meet their local needs.
To preserve and enhance the historic character and locally distinctive identity of the District, to ensure that new development provides high quality, environmentally friendly design and to improve the public realm.
To protect, restore and enhance the natural habitats, biodiversity, landscape character, amenity and environmental quality of the countryside and the open spaces and green corridors within towns and villages and improve ecological connectivity across the District.
To enable the provision of accessible and varied opportunities for leisure and recreational activities, including the provision of accessible green spaces, as part of a network of multi-functional green infrastructure, in order to promote healthy lifestyles and social inclusion.