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Executive Summary

Introduction and Background

The revised planning system introduced under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, introduced Local Development Frameworks, a portfolio of documents, which set out how development will be managed. The Core Strategy is the principal document and sets out the overall spatial vision and objectives, spatial strategy, core policies and how the strategy will be implemented and monitored.

Spatial Portrait, Vision, Aims and Objectives

The vision for the Braintree District is that by 2026 a more sustainable future will have been secured for all the people and places in Braintree District. The three towns will be thriving with regenerated town centres and new growth delivered. The key service villages will have provided local housing, jobs and services, with regeneration taking place on identified sites. All development in the District will have been built to the highest design and energy efficiency standards, which will have enhanced historic towns and villages and minimised the impact on the local and global environment.

The aims of the Core Strategy reflect those in the Sustainable Community Strategy. In order to deliver these, the strategy identifies twelve key objectives 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.

Spatial Strategy

The preferred spatial policy statement for the Braintree District aims to preserve and enhance the character of the rural heartland of the District and to concentrate the majority of new development and services in the main towns and key service villages where facilities and services already exist.

A Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment identified sites for 3,372 dwellings between 2010 and 2026 in Braintree District, which are mainly on sites within Local Plan development boundaries at the main towns and key service villages. In order to meet the evidence of local housing need, which supported the East of England Plan housing requirements, a further 1,265dwellings are required. The Council is therefore proposing to allocate strategic growth locations at;


  • Land to the north-west of Braintree - off Panfield Lane
    - 600 dwellings and associated community uses, 15ha of employment land and site for football club
  • Land to the south-west of Witham - off Hatfield Road
    -600 dwellings and associated community uses
  • Land to the north-east of Witham (in Rivenhall Parish) - off Forest Road
    -300 dwellings and associated community uses.
  • There is also a proposal for a business and innovation park at land to the west of A131 at Great Notley which will contain 18.5ha of B1, B2, B8 and C1 uses.


The Core Strategy aims to meet the housing needs of all sectors of the community, by providing an adequate amount, range and quality of accommodation. Affordable housing is a key priority and the policy identifies a site threshold and percentage target for affordable housing provision, (which differs between urban and rural sites) when affordable housing provision will be required to be directly provided by the developer or in certain circumstances in the form of a financial contribution. The Council must also make provision for gypsy and travellers and travelling showpersons. Further sites will be needed in the District in line with the 2009 Essex Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and criteria for site selection are included within this policy.


The Council aims to provide a minimum of 14,000 net additional jobs between 2001 and 2026 in accordance with the aim of achieving a prosperous local economy. This will be achieved by developing existing employment sites in the main towns, key service villages, Earls Colne Airfield and Sturmer, on the regeneration sites at Sible Hedingham and Silver End and by the allocation of 15ha of general employment land as part of the growth location to the north-west of Braintree - off Panfield Lane and an 18.5ha innovation and enterprise business park on land to the west of the A131 at Great Notley.

Braintree District also covers a large rural area, which contains nearly 50% of its residents. There is, therefore, a need to protect the countryside from inappropriate development.

Finally, the retail hierarchy for the District is set out and areas for town centre regeneration are identified in Braintree at land to the east of the Town Hall Centre and land to the west of George Yard, in Witham at the Newlands Shopping Centre and in Halstead around The Centre, Weavers Court and land to the east of the High Street.


This Chapter sets out the proposed Core Planning Policy in relation to the aim of 'promoting accessibility for all'. The Council will work with partners to improve accessibility to reduce congestion and reduce the impact of development upon climate change. Future development will be located in accessible locations to reduce the need to travel. However, there will still be the requirement for key transport projects to help deliver growth which are also listed in this policy.


This Chapter sets out policies in relation to sustainable development, the natural and built environment, biodiversity and open spaces, sport and recreation. The policies aim to ensure the landscape character, biodiversity, wildlife habitats, agricultural land and historic features are protected and enhanced, together with the environmental quality of towns and villages, to promote and secure the use of alternative energy sources, sustainable construction, urban drainage, to minimise waste and pollution and to ensure that all developments are located away from flood risk areas.

Delivering the Strategy

The implementation of the Core Strategy will require effective co-ordination from a range of public and private bodies, to ensure that infrastructure services and facilities are delivered in a timely, efficient and effective manner. The policy sets out the way infrastructure will be funded, the timings of provision and how the loss of existing services will be resisted. In addition, a table containing infrastructure required to delivery growth is contained in this chapter.

Monitoring Framework

It is essential that the implementation and the impact of policies in Core Strategy are monitored. Table 3 lists objectives and targets set out in the Core Strategy, together with the performance measures which will be monitored in order to assess whether targets and objectives are being achieved. The table also identifies who will be responsible for collecting the performance information.

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