1.1 This Plan has been prepared by Braintree District Council to provide a framework for the development of the area for the period to 2011. Over the last ten to fifteen years the District has seen many changes. It is inevitable that change will continue. It is important, however, that changes are in keeping with the character of the District and help to protect and enhance the natural and built environment. This Plan therefore sets out a vision of how the District Council wishes the area to develop.
The Plan is based on sustainability principles which seek to guide development in such a way as to conserve and protect resources and not to compromise future generations in meeting their own needs.
1.2 The Plan sets out the policies and proposals to guide and promote development in the Braintree District for the period 1996 to 2011. It replaces the Braintree District Local Plan 1995, which covered the period from 1986 to 2001.
1.3 The Plan is being prepared in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as a statutory Local Plan.
1.4 In planning for the future of the District, the Council does not have a free hand. This Plan must be consistent with planning guidance at the national, regional, and county levels. In this respect the Plan interprets and develops in detail those aspects of the Essex and Southend on Sea Replacement Structure Plan, adopted in April 2001, as far as they are relevant to this District.
1.5 Publication of this Plan follows the production of an Issues Report in September 1998, a paper on sustainability criteria for the allocation of development sites in July 2000, the preparation of an urban capacity study in April 2001, the publication of a First Deposit Draft in January 2002, a Revised Deposit Plan in May 2003, Pre-Inquiry Changes in November 2003 and Modifications in March 2005. A sustainability appraisal of the Plan’s policies and proposals has been carried out and is published as a separate document.
The Plan also complements and draws on the work carried out in connection with the Council’s Quality of Life Plan, and Best Value Performance Plan and Community Strategy.
1.6 The Plan consists of a Written Statement and Proposals Map. Within the Written Statement policies are distinguished by the use of highlighted bold type. The Plan should be read as a whole; although some policies are cross-referenced, proposals will be considered in relation to all of the Plan. The supporting text that accompanies these policies sets out the reasoning behind the policies and should also be considered as planning guidance. The Proposals Map consists of a plan covering the whole District, together with a series of insets providing greater details for the towns, town centres, and villages. The Ordnance Survey mapping included within this publication is provided by Braintree District Council under licence from the Ordnance Survey, in order to fulfil its function as local planning authority. Persons viewing this mapping should contact Ordnance Survey copyright for advice where they wish to licence Ordnance Survey mapping for their own use.
1.7 This Plan will form one component of the Development Plan for the area, which is used as the basis for determining planning applications for the District. The other components of the Development Plan are:-
The Essex and Southend-on-Sea Replacement Structure Plan - Adopted April 2001
The Essex Minerals Local Plan - Adopted First Review
The Essex and Southend-on-Sea Waste Local Plan - Adopted September 2001
1.8 The Plan is supported by a number of technical background papers as follows:-
Urban Capacity Study and Review
Residential Land Availability Study
Employment Land Availability Study
Braintree Retail Study
Essex Local Transport Plan
Braintree District Transportation Strategy
Review Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal
Public Open Space Survey
These are available for reference, or purchase from the District Council, with the exception of the Essex Local Transport Plan, which is available from Essex County Council.