Consultation on ECC Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions

Closed 12 Dec 2019

Opened 31 Oct 2019


Consultation on ECC Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions

Essex is proud to have been at the forefront of development of housing, industry and infrastructure for many years now. It provided support for two of the post-war New Towns and other developments such as major town expansions like Witham and the creation by Essex County Council (ECC) of a fundamentally new settlement in South Woodham Ferrers, established using clear master planning and design guide principles. On this basis we have a clear track record in facilitating development. There will in future be even greater pressure on the county to provide housing, employment and the infrastructure that goes with it, including the forthcoming proposals for the large Garden Communities which it is envisaged will be provided in Essex, the development of Bradwell Power Station and the third Thames crossing.

It should also be recognised that Essex is a uniquely diverse county containing in equal measure, thriving urban environments and sweeping open rural landscapes which residents naturally wish to see retained and enhanced where possible. Planning is about achieving the right balance between conserving the best of the environment and providing for people’s needs through development. What we all - developers and local authorities - are looking for is high quality development which is sympathetic to its surrounding environment, whether this is in an urban or rural context.

Because of these challenges and ever-changing needs, we feel we need a more dynamic approach to the management of development in our County, ensuring the right balance between those competing needs and facilitating much needed infrastructure provision through whole-heartedly advocating the national policy desire to operate a plan led system. The only way of appropriately managing our infrastructure needs is to ensure a holistic approach to our County’s development requirements, allowing proper assessment of impact and enabling resistance to speculative development proposals.

There have been many and various changes to the planning system in the recent past aimed at accelerating development, particularly housing. There is an inherent danger that increased pace of delivery will compromise the provision of accompanying infrastructure unless authorities like ECC adopt a more transparent and collaborative approach with the development industry. This updated guide is aimed at providing exactly that – a clear and transparent way for the development industry to understand our expectations and how to approach the provision of development should they wish to do business in Essex. In return we commit to a high quality and professional approach in our engagement with the planning process – advocating development that is compliant with emerging or adopted local plans and resisting speculative applications that have not demonstrated adequate assessment of their impact in the light of these Local Plans and provided appropriate mitigation.

That’s why we are issuing, through this latest edition of our Developers’ Guide, a call to developers to help us meet this challenge. To succeed over the longer term here in Essex we need an innovative partnership with developers where we all look further into the future to ensure a steady pipeline of sustainable development. One change for example, is a new requirement for developers to assist in addressing the perceived
shortage of labour in connection with the construction industry, by contributing towards new apprenticeships and encouraging interest in this industry. Other additions include requirements for contributions to be made towards waste and recycling and libraries.

Why your views matter

We are consulting on the Developers guide and are asking for comments in relation to changes which have been made and the additional expectations made throughout the document.


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  • Community development
  • Schools
  • Adult learning
  • Early years
  • Skills and competences
  • Waste
  • Recycling
  • Health
  • Public Health
  • Highways
  • Public transport
  • Community transport
  • Policy making