WoB Bites

Dates & Topics for the Inspector's Hearings
Published in WoB Bites

The dates for the Inspector's hearings have now been published. You can see a summary below, or read/download the full document: IED/019, and the Inspector's guidance notes: IED/020.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings which will be held at Colchester Stadium.

Dates & sessions as follows:

14 January : Habitats Regulation Assessment pm Employment / Housing numbers

15 January : Build out rates pm Delivery mechanisms & State Aid

16 January : Infrastructure

21 January : Viability technical seminar

22 January : Viability

23 January : Sustainability Appraisal

30 January : Discussion about amendments propose by authorities


NEGC: what are they doing now?
Published in WoB Bites

Why are NEGC (North Essex Garden Communities Ltd - the wholly owned council property development company) for West of Braintree, West Tey and East Colchester, having selected groups going to NEGC stakeholder workshops when we have just finished the public local plan consultation and still in the planning inspector’s examination period?

Should not the councils wait until the inspector has decided first on the local plan before wasting more tax payers money (over £7m currently) and time on this project of ‘unprecedented scale of ambition’* that he might find unsound for a 2nd time.

Surely this is not the right way for councils to treat existing communities.

* from NEGC’s own presentation.

UDC WoB:Viability
Published in WoB Bites

UDC Local Plan Viability study does not take into account Interest on Land Acquired (contrary to Harman guidance and as found unsound by Inspector Clews in the NEA examination):

If the finance costs on land acquisition are not included, the viability analysis is unsound.

They are categorically not included as land being paid for throughout the development is not a mitigating factor as this approach still incurs huge interest - see the now correct Hyas analysis for NEA examination for the same WOB site which also acquires land over time - the interest cost is many multiples that shown in the UDC viability analysis.

If viability analysis which does not include Interest on Land Acquisition is found sound despite this being directly contrary to guidance and having a large impact, it would clearly be a matter for Judicial Review, but of course this should be avoided.