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                                                PLANNING

A key focus of the Society is to keep watch on the weekly planning applications for the Town of Maldon, especially its historic centre, and also its immediate surroundings including Langford and Heybridge. As well as trying to ensure our many buildings of historic or public interest  are protected, we seek to ensure that any new developments are appropriate to their visual context and the needs of the town.

 

Of particular interest is sustaining the commercial viability of the High Street pictured on the left. At each monthly meeting of the Society a brief verbal update is given on planning applications of likely interest and key town issues, with a display of plans and other information for perusal before and after the meeting. Comments from members and visitors are welcomed. When appropriate a representative writes into the district council and attends relevant town and district meetings to ensure our independent public view is voiced.

An extract from the Society's Spring newsletter on Planning - by Judy Lea, Maldon Society Chair and planning representative is shown below:


Maldon and Brexit may seems very different, but I’m struck by the similarities at the moment. Huge decisions that will permanently affect us all have been taken, but there is not much yet to show for it, and although work is going on in the background, the general public have as yet no definite idea of how things will turn out.

At Maldon South we have seen a new little roundabout take shape and a few houses, but the consortium of developers for the largest part stretching all the way from there over to Fambridge Road has changed. Much has been done by MDC officers in the background on the design principles, but community involvement seems to have stalled until the two new developers get going. Meanwhile ECC Highways have yet to decide how the

unbuilt relief road from the new roundup avoiding Morrisons roundup will actually join Wyke Hill. Nearby We still

of course have absolutely no idea whether the northern patch from this relief road will be used for a ‘health hub’

or not!

At Heybridge (aka Maldon North garden suburb) some development has started, but some key infrastructure has not yet been determined, but at least the recent award of £7.3m from the government should brings some reassurance to existing houses as well as those underway.

Ironically the other massive development, the new power station proposal looming over our estuary, which felt so unstoppable only a few months ago, may get prove to be a paper tiger but only IF the energy market trends continue to be increasingly unfavourable for nuclear and if the site itself proves unsuitable when the results of the current site investigations are known.

Regrettably the lovely open view of the station at the Causeway has now disappeared behind the Blackwater Retail Park under construction for the retail units, No news of the hotel yet as I write.

As far as specific applications are concerned proposals to backfill the High Street appear almost every week although rarely successful for a variety of access and design reasons. Of significant interest to our society is the fate of two major historic and originally domestic buildings. At London Road a wonderful scheme to convert the convent back to a single home is sensitively proposed. Behind the library however, the ECC owned Friary house risks not only less sensitive conversion but is in real danger of being swamped by ugly and insensitive blocks of new housing in their neglected grounds, which would be tragic in my view.




© Maldon Society 2018