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Cockaynes Lane

Land off Cockaynes Lane - Alresford - Essex

Our proposals for new homes and public open space on land to the south of Cockaynes Lane, Alresford.

  • Land off Cockaynes Lane

    We have received outline planning approval for a new residential development of up to 145 homes together with public open space on land to the south of Cockaynes Lane, Alresford. 

    The site which we are proposing for our new residential development covers an area of 6.5 hectares and is outlined in red on the map pictured right. Under our proposals, we will provide a mix of housing types to suit a range of purchasers with a proportion of the new properties to be made available as affordable homes for local people in housing need.

    More than a quarter (1.8 hectares) of the development site will be retained as public open space and amenity areas for the benefit of new and existing residents of the village.

    Access to the development for vehicles would be from Cockaynes Lane, and additionally we propose to provide pedestrian/cycle access to Station Road from the south-eastern corner of the site.

    Further details of our scheme are provided on this website, and you can view the information boards which were displayed during our pre-application public consultation in October 2014 by clicking here.

    Our final planning application is available to view by visiting Tendring District Council's online planning pages - search planning application reference number 14/01823/OUT.

    The planning application was refused by Tendring District Council in March 2015 and we lodged an appeal against the decision. 

    Following a Public Inquiry held in February 2016, the Planning Inspector granted outline planning approval for our development in June 2016. We will now begin the process of preparing a 'reserved matters' planning application to deal with detailed issues (e.g. property design, final layout and landscaping) not already established at outline stage.

  • The proposed development site

    The proposed development site covers an area of 6.5 hectares (approximately 16 acres). It is a greenfield site which is currently in agricultural use and also incorporates No 56 Station Road.

    The site is located to the south of Cockaynes Lane, bordered to the north-west by residential and commercial properties and to the east by existing homes in Station Road. The southern boundary of the site is defined by the railway line while former gravel extraction pits border the land to the west.

    Planning context

    Tendring District Council cannot currently demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land. This, together with the Government’s presumption in favour of sustainable development (as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework) has significant implications for how the Council is to consider and determine planning applications for proposed housing development.

    The current Local Plan was adopted in 2007. Its policies for housing are now out of date and not in accordance with national planning policy. This includes in relation to the settlement boundaries as identified in the Local Plan. In addition, and although the Council is in the initial stage of preparing a replacement Local Plan, this does not address the current shortfall in the supply of housing land which our scheme seeks to address.

    The resultant effect is that planning applications are more likely to be acceptable even on sites outside existing settlement policy boundaries, although this is subject to a number of requirements. These include that any sites for housing should be in sustainable locations. They should also be acceptable in all other respects, e.g. highways, no adverse flood risk and contribute to affordable housing.

    Site considerations

    Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area as they are at the moment. We record those features we will need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fix the way our scheme will have to be designed or give us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature, are shown here.

    Alresford Cons  Opps

    Traffic impact

    The national trip-generation database, TRICS, has been used to calculate expected traffic movements from the proposed development. It has been determined that the development will generate around 80 two-way trips during the morning weekday peak hour and around 90 two-way trips during the evening weekday peak hour, which represents an average of no more than three additional vehicles every two minutes during these times. With the proposed improvements to Cockaynes Lane (outlined in the 'What's proposed' section), the additional traffic that would result from the development can be safely accommodated by the local highways network.


    Car parking will be provided in accordance with the prevailing local authority standards, with an average across the site of two spaces per dwelling plus one additional space per four dwellings for visitors.


    The proposed development site is situated in an accessible location in close proximity to local transport links as well as existing facilities and services in Alresford. These are illustrated in the plan pictured below.

    Facilities Plan


    An Ecological Appraisal of the site has been undertaken, along with further protected species surveys for bats, dormice and reptiles. A summary of findings is set out below:

    - The majority of the site was found to be of low ecological value, although trees and hedgerows at the boundaries are of local importance.

    - A number of notable arable plants were found at the site, for which opportunities will be retained within proposed allotments.

    - Bat activity was found to be low across the site with no roosts identified.

    - No dormice were found to use the site.

    - A population of reptiles were found at the site boundaries, which will be retained and protected on site within informal open space areas.

    A range of enhancement opportunities are available as part of development, including creation of grassland and heathland habitats. The provision of orchard trees would provide foraging opportunities for birds and a range of invertebrates.

    Trees and hedgerow

    Mature trees and hedgerow located at or near to the boundaries of the site are considered to have ecological value as they are likely to provide opportunities for a range of wildlife.

    Under our proposals we will be preserving the majority of existing boundary trees and hedgerow. Although a short section of hedgerow will be removed, this loss will be compensated through new tree and hedge planting at the site boundaries and throughout the development site.

    Landscape and Visual Appraisal

    A Landscape and Visual Appraisal has been undertaken as part of the supporting information for the planning application. The appraisal considered the key views from the surrounding area and found that views of the site were limited as a result of the surrounding flat topography, existing vegetation and the site’s location to the rear of existing development. As a result, the proposals will be well contained and any landscape effects on the wider landscape, or the neighbouring townscape, will be limited.

    Landscape principles

    The appraisal has informed the preparation of our illustrative masterplan which has adopted the following key landscape principles:

    - Development set back from Cockaynes Lane and new landscaping provided to maintain the semi-rural character of the Lane.

    - Centrally located area of open space and play area provided within easy reach of the new homes.

    - A landscaped buffer provided adjacent to the railway line.

    - New footpath links provided around the perimeter of the site and connections to the station.

    - Development to respect the setting and outlook of Cockaynes House through new open space and landscaping.

    - New orchard planting to reflect the site’s former use.

    - New native and ornamental landscaping to create a pleasant environment for new residents.

    Flood risk and drainage

    The proposed development site is located in Flood Zone 1, which means it is at the lowest risk of flooding from rivers and other watercourses (1-in-1,000-year risk).

    A Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) will be used to manage surface water run-off within the site. This will ensure that run-off rates from the development will be no greater than current greenfield levels and will not increase the risk of flooding to neighbouring land.

    Our SUDS proposals are likely to include techniques which will allow excess surface water to gradually drain away, such as porous paving, swales and soakaways. The geology of the site largely falls within the Kesgrave Catchment Sub Group of sand and gravel, which would support the use of the drainage measures we are proposing.

  • About our proposals

    The image below shows the illustrative masterplan which forms the basis of our planning application.

    The outline planning application seeks to establish the principle of residential development on this site together with the means of access. If outline planning permission is subsequently granted, we would deal with detailed matters relating to layout, scale, landscaping and dwelling design in a separate ‘reserved matters’ application.

    Alresford Masterplan FINAL Web

    The illustrative masterplan for our proposed development. Click on the image for an expandable view.


    Cockaynes Lane access proposals

    Following the refusal of our initial planning application by Tendring District Council in March 2015, we made some amendments to our initial access proposals for Cockaynes Lane. These amendments were presented at the February 2016 Public Inquiry and were accepted by the Planning Inspector as part of the approval of our outline planning application at appeal. The amended Cockaynes Lane access proposals are illustrated in the plan pictured below.

    Approved CL Access

    Our amended access proposals for Cockaynes Lane.

    Station Road access proposals

    Taylor Wimpey has an option to acquire No 56 Station Road to enable access to the development to be provided in this location. The potential to provide vehicular access to the development from this location, opposite the junction with Cox Road, has been explored with Essex County Council (ECC) in its role as the local highways authority.

    However, ECC Highways has stated that it is unable to support the creation of a vehicular access in this location as it would effectively create a new crossroads. In their view crossroads have a history of being accident sites.

    ECC Highways also requires all side roads to be a minimum distance apart. ECC Highways does, however, support the provision of a secondary access at 56 Station Road for use by pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles only. This would offer easy access to Alresford’s railway station and local facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.

    Our secondary pedestrian and cycle access proposals for Station Road are illustrated in the plan pictured below.

    Station Road Access

    Design considerations - Cockaynes Lane

    The images shown below illustrate how our proposed new homes could look when viewed from Cockaynes Lane. We have taken care to ensure the development is sensitive to its surroundings, with the new homes designed to be in keeping with the surrounding area in the following ways:

    - Sensitive treatment to Cockaynes Lane frontage and highways works sensitive to the character of the Lane.

    - New tree planting.

    - Retention of existing hedgerow wherever possible.

    - Opportunity for new dwellings to reflect traditional local building styles and materials.

    - Replacement hedgerow planting where existing hedgerow is lost. Amenity of existing houses respected.

    CL Design

  • Application timeline

    June 2016 - Outline planning approval granted by Planning Inspector

    February 2016 - Appeal against refusal of outline planning application heard at Public Inquiry

    March 2015 - Outline planning application refused by Tendring District Council

    December 2014 - Outline planning application submitted to Tendring District Council

    October 2014 - Emerging development proposals presented to the local community during public consultation