Flagstaff Rd New Builds

Taylor Wimpey looks set to get the green light from the CBC Planning Committee to build housing on the site of the old Garrison along Flagstaff Road.

Planning will vote on the officer’s report when it next meets at the Town Hall on 6 November.

The application asks for:

“The ERECTION of 138 residential units, along with demolition of buildings and the creation of access, car and cycle parking, landscaping and open space.”

This is a sensitive application as eight of the buildings are locally listed, and the whole of the application site is located within the Garrison Conservation Area.

The officer’s report [pdf, p.47] recommends:

“Approved subject to signing of Section 106 Agreement.”

The Flagstaff Road site also includes the historic Roman Circus. The CBC planners have been astute enough to put forward the Section 106 suggestion of:

“Free public access to be secured in perpetuity to the Roman Circus Open Space.”

Endless comments have been sought – and answered – ahead of the report being published.

English Heritage offer up:

“On balance, English Heritage believes this application will result in an enhancement of the conservation area and will better reveal the significance of the Roman Circus.”

We did have a bit of an ARF moment when we read that one of the few objections came from Lexden Restoration, a rival developer that has more of a heritage angle to construction:

“The previously consented scheme for Area B1b was for a mixed-use scheme which was in accordance with the original Garrison Master Plan. The current application proposes only residential uses and conflicts with the Council’s current policy.”

Lexden Restoration coincidentally has a planning app for consideration in the very same Committee meeting, with the proposed building of a brand new fish restaurant down at the historic Wivenhoe Quay.

It’s a delicate balance this planning lark. You don’t want Sunny Colch to remain an historic relic, but then again you don’t want a manufactured new town to spring up overnight.

Unless you live in New Town

The Flagstaff Road report seems to just about get it right: preserve the old, build the new.

Never stand still.