Braiswick News

Information added 25 April 2018

Fernlea parking survey

The Residents' Association recently launched a survey by way of forms delivered to homes in the Fernlea/ Stonecrop area asking for resident's views on whether some form of parking restrictions should be introduced. This follows many reports of difficulty turning into Fernlea from the main road due to parked cars and difficulty using drives in front of houses at the top of Fernlea - particularly during school drop-off and picking-up times.

The results of this exercise will inform the Association's committee as to whether there is support for parking restrictions and if so what form they should take. If there is sufficient support an application could be made to the North Essex Parking Partnership (the responsible body) although there is no guarantee that such an application would be successful or implemented in the near future. However the survey is a necessary first step.

If Fernlea/ Stonecrop residents have not yet responded to the survey or would like another copy of the form they can email the Secretary of the Association on ku.oc.evil|cesarb#ku.oc.evil|cesarb.

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Information added 25 April 2018

The Police have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a man’s body within St Mary’s car park on Balkerne Hill, Colchester, at around 8.55am, Monday, April 23.

They are continuing to carry out enquiries to establish the circumstances and the cause of his death.

Police urge anyone with information to contact: Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate on 101 quoting incident 224 of 23 April 2018 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Information added 25 April 2018

Information received from Colchester Neighbourhood Watch

The Colchester District Neighbourhood has advised of the following issues that residents should be aware of:

1. The first concerns an email supposedly from Lloyd’s Bank which may contain ‘ransomware’. The best advice is not to open the email but to delete it straight away. If you are a Lloyds customer check with Lloyds first and before taking any further action.

2. An incident has been reported concerning someone walking home in the dark who has been asked where they were going by the occupants of a parked car. The occupants of the car said that they were police officers but when asked refused to show any identification. Police will always show their identification and after an altercation the person reached home safely and the car drove off. Unfortunately the car registration was not noted. Residents are asked to take care and report anything similar, together with the registration, to the police.

3. Details of various scams concerning fraudulent crypto-currency investments (featuring fake endorsements), the Telephone Preference Service and false claims of debt can be found on the Colchester Neighbourhood Watch website. These and other potential frauds can be accessed by using Ctrl + Click to follow the link: - http://bit.ly/2q9cQwU

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Information added 20 March 2018

Gladman's appeal rejected by Inspector

Following the recent planning inquiry, the Government Inspector rejected the appeal of Messrs Gladman Developments against Colchester Council's refusal of outline planning consent for the provision of 122 homes on sites off Bakers Lane, Braiswick.

Reasons cited for the rejection included the scheme's conflict with the Council's policies of restricting building on unallocated greenfield sites outside of settlement boundaries. Other reasons included the dramatic change to the landscape which the development would cause and the lack of sustainability in terms of available modes of travel and access to facilities.

The Residents' Association regards the decision as a victory for local democracy and the robust defence of the original refusal put up by Colchester planners and their team at the inquiry.

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Information added 11 February 2018

Neighbourhood Watch message

We have received information, from Colchester Neighbourhood Watch, passed on from 'Action Fraud' concerning a warning about requests for payment of 'Phantom' debt. For more information, please click on the link that follows to access the Scam and Fraud Watch Blog on the Colchester Neighbourhood web site - http://bit.ly/2mLc9fK

They have also sent a reminder, that as the days grow longer, to adjust any timers you are using for inside and outside lights. Make your home look occupied at all times. Please click here for more information provided by the Metropolitan Police - http://bit.ly/2mogyWk

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Information added 11 February 2018

Gladman Developments - Planning Inquiry, Bakers Lane

The public planning inquiry following Gladman Development’s appeal against refusal of their outline planning application for 122 dwellings in land off Bakers Lane has been concluded. It took place from 30 January - 7 February at the Town Hall.

Three of the main contentions of the Gladman team at the inquiry were:

1. That Colchester Borough Council had failed to meet its published targets for the provision of new housing in the current (and soon to be superseded) Local Plan. Accordingly they put forward the argument that the buffer provided to allow for possible similar under- provision in the new Local Plan, currently being examined at a separate planning inquiry, was inadequate. Thus, they suggested, further sites such as Bakers Lane were required.

2. That the Bakers Lane proposals would provide ‘sustainable’ housing in the sense that the prospective future residents were able to use public transport, cycling and walking to access services such as shops, schools, heath facilities etc. Also that the extra demands made upon local roads, health facilities and schools etc. would not present problems for the respective providers of the services concerned.

3. That the effect on the character and appearance of the area would not be significant.

These and other contentions of Gladman Developments were vigorously opposed by the Colchester Borough Council team which included expert consultants. Councillors Brian Jarvis (Lexden and Braiswick) and Martin Goss (Mile End) spoke at the inquiry opposing the development as did Robert Waites (Hon. Secretary Braiswick Residents’ Association).

Copies of all the documents and proofs of evidence presented at the inquiry can be examined on Colchester Council’s planning website: http://www.planning.colchester.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=B13D44478374BF8B5DE11401DB082AB3?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=170200

The decision of the Planning Inspector (Mark Dakeyne) is expected to be issued on or before 29/03/2018.

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Information added 24 January 2018

A message from the Colchester Neighbourhood Watch

The 'Herbert Protocol' is a national scheme which is being introduced in Essex by Essex Police, in partnership with other agencies, including the Alzheimer’s Society, Essex Search and Rescue, Essex County Council and the unitary authorities of Thurrock and Southend. The scheme encourages carers to complete a form compiled of useful information, which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person with dementia going missing.

Many people care for someone with Alzheimer's or know someone who does.

Residents interested in participating in the above scheme can use the link- http://bit.ly/2FVi5JR - which will take you to the Neighbourhood Watch's partnership page where further links to the information sheet and form are to be found.

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Information added 2 January 2018

Gladman's development site proposed in West Bergholt

An application for outline planning consent for a site in West Bergholt has been submitted on behalf of Messrs Gladman. The application can be viewed on Colchester Council's planning website under application number 173127. The site in question is land adjacent to Hill House Farm, Colchester Road, West Bergholt and is for up to 97 homes. As was the case with the other Gladman proposals (for Bakers Lane), the West Bergholt site is not included in the new Local Plan for Colchester and is thus very much a speculative proposal.

Although the period for making comments expires in theory today (2 January 2018), it is understood from Councillor Lewis Barber that he has made representations to the Council planners that it be extended due to the intervening Christmas and New Year period. Thus if residents have any comments on the proposals they should make these to the Council as soon as possible either directly via the planning website or email.

The Association has submitted formal objections to the proposal on the grounds of disregard for the democratically approved Local Plan, the increase in traffic, the effect on local schools and further erosion of the green buffer between Colchester and West Bergholt.

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Information added 29 November 2017

Meeting held with Essex County Council concerning Braiswick Primary School and Fernlea

On 28th November 2017, our Honorary Secretary Rob Waites and ECC Councillor for Mile End Division Anne Turrell, met Councillors Grundy (Cabinet Member for Highways) and Mitchell (Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways), together with officers from the Highways and Education Departments. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the various issues arising from the growth of school traffic using Fernlea.

Among the matters discussed were the commuter parking at the top of Fernlea, parental parking at the end of Fernlea near to the school exit, the speed and lack of care that a minority of parents exercise when driving from the school premises using the Fernlea exit and the proposed 20 mph zone for Fernlea/ Stonecrop. Rob Waites made the point that residents had no complaints about the School Management who had and were acting proactively to minimise the affect of the school on residents.

The meeting was very useful and it was agreed by the ECC Cabinet Members that a formal ‘STOP’ line would be provided where the school exit meets the Fernlea pavement/ dropped kerb. We await a time scale and exact details of the markings but it is worth noting that as a general rule the Highways Authority prefers to paint such markings in warmer weather as it helps adherence of the paint to the road surface.

It was further confirmed that the application for the 20 mph zone was currently being considered and it was likely that we would hear more on this in the New Year.

A useful discussion was also had on the problem of commuter parking at the top of Fernlea which obstructs the 2 way passage of traffic, particularly at school dropping-off or pick-up times when the flow of traffic from the school is virtually continuous. In the light of this discussion the question of making a formal case, to the North East Essex Parking Partnership, for some extension of waiting restrictions further down Fernlea will be discussed by the Association with our elected representatives on both Essex and Colchester Councils. Such a move would require the support of residents before any application could be made.

We will keep you in touch with developments on all of the above issues

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Information added 23 November 2017

Braiswick Residents' Association AGM

The annual general meeting of the Association was held on 14 November at Colchester Golf Club. The meeting was well attended by 55 residents who, apart from receiving the reports of the Chairman and Treasurer and reelecting Officers and Committee members for 2017/18, heard presentations from Anne Turrell (ECC Councillor for Mile End Division) and Councillors Brian Jarvis, Dennis Willetts, Lewis Barber (all Colchester Borough Council Lexden & Braiswick Ward).

The Councillors also took questions from the floor on matters of local concern and interest.

The draft minutes of the meeting will be posted on the website in the near future, remaining draft until approved by the membership at the 2018 AGM.

One issue which caused some concern at the meeting related to the forthcoming resurfacing of Bakers Lane/ Spring Lane due to start at the end of November. It transpires that Bakers Lane will only be resurfaced up to Ramparts! This caused concern at the meeting and seemed somewhat irrational. Anne Turrell took the matter away to get more information on the reasoning for this. She was subsequently advised by Essex Highways that the reason for the omission of the top part of Bakers Lane was that it was the subject of a 'Surface Water Alleviation Scheme' (SWAS) proposed for 2022/23 and would only be monitored/ maintained as required in the meantime rather than being resurfaced under the capital budget.

Needless to say when this information was passed on to the Association and your Colchester Council Ward Councillors the reaction was incredulity that a possible scheme 5 years hence would stop the necessary resurfacing of this section of the road now. This reaction was shared by Anne and she accordingly went back to Essex Highways and obtained a significant improvement in what was proposed.

Councillor Ian Grundy, the Cabinet Member for Highways, has replied that, in view of the concerns expressed, Essex Highways will look to bring the 'SWAS' for Bakers Lane forward to 2018/19 financial year and resurface the northernmost section of Bakers Lane thereafter. He makes the point that this will be subject to his approval and funding availability in due course.

This is by means an ideal situation but a great improvement on the original proposition.

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Information added 7 November 2017

Colchester Neighbourhood Watch have passed on the following link for advice on a crime free Christmas Shopping trip.

http://bit.ly/2xpMHCy

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Information added 25 October 2017

Annual General Meeting of the Braiswick Residents' Association

The above meeting is to be held on 14 November 2017. By kind permission of the Colchester Golf Club, this will again be held in the lounge of
the club at 8.00 pm. In addition to our local County and District Councillors, Graham Stehle, the Chairman of the Colchester District Neighbourhood Watch, will be giving residents an over-view of the work of the Neighbourhood Watch in the Colchester area. Formal notices of the AGM have been delivered to residents.

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Information added 25 October 2017

Car crime - keeping your vehicle safe

Advice received from Colchester Neighbourhood Watch in connection with the above can be accessed using the following links:

Burglary to Obtain the Keys to Vehicles - http://bit.ly/2xDtFEc

Securing your Van or Car - http://bit.ly/2kwiLwD

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Information added 7 October 2017

Activity in the Lexden Dyke area

Information has recently been received from Mile End Councillor Martin Goss as follows:

"I just wanted to raise your awareness about some activity which came onto my radar following info from several concerned local residents.

Some vehicles have been seen in the area (one a Fiesta van 2012 plate) where adults/young adults have been seen getting out with tools, or people have been seen biking over with tools.

There have also been concerns raised about homeless people living in the woods.

Upon investigation it has been found that in the woods at the rear of the Phase 4 park in Apprentice Drive/Axial Drive that a large blue tarpaulin has been strung up between trees, a couple of fire pits have been dug out and a bike track is being dug out. It;s pretty obvious what is being burned.

All of the woods are in private ownership, but part of it is the listed Lexden Dyke which is looked after by English Heritage. The whole of the area is covered by a Tree Preservation order so absolutely no trees or digging is permitted.

The landowners of the woods have been advised of the intrusion onto their land and also the illegal digging in a tree preservation area. There are some exposed roots where the work has been undertaken. The people behind this work have been told of the TPO status and the fact the land is private but they are carrying on regardless. They claim to have the owners permission, but either way, TPO areas are protected and no work can be undertaken and a bike track would also need planning permission.

Formal investigations by the relevant authorities are underway due to the legal status of the area.

I wanted you to be aware due to the complaints received and also request you keep a look out for any suspicious activity."

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Information added 26 July 2017

Air Ambulance collections

We have been advised that the Essex and Air Ambulance Lottery will be canvassing for new members in Colchester and Harwich. They do not collect cash or any donations on the door, the new members they sign up agree to play / join via direct debit or cheque.

The canvassers are dressed in hi-visibility jackets / vests, and will also be wearing Essex & Herts Air Ambulance branded clothing. They carry picture ID cards.

The canvassers usually operate Monday-Friday between the hours of 9am-8pm and occasionally at weekends.

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Information added 14 July 2017

Draft Local Plan for Colchester

Residents may be aware that Colchester Council has published the draft new Local Plan for final consultations prior to being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination. The six week period for public consultations on the 'Draft Publication Local Plan' is currently running and will end on Friday 11 August 2017.

This plan sets out the policies and proposals which the Council considers are the most appropriate to meet the needs of the Borough up to 2033 and takes into account the results of previous consultation exercises.

Residents can respond to the published document using the website http://www.colchester.gov.uk/currentconsultations or by using the link http://www.colchester.gov.uk/article/20074/3-Publication-Draft-Local-Plan.

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Information added 26 May 2017

New crime prevention information

New items concerning 'on-line' safety and how to help counter terrorism can be found in the 'Police & Local Crime Reporting' section

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