15,000 home “Monks Wood garden settlement” aka Pattiswick new town

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Land-owner Christopher Hill has put forward 2,100 acres of countryside in Pattiswick for development as a ‘garden village’ of 15,000+ houses.

Like West Tey, this is an opportunistic and, quite frankly, bonkers land-owner proposal which would have an enormous impact on the surrounding area.  No planner or council in their right mind would locate housing in such a location.    The CAUSE line is always – yes, we need houses but not just anywhere.     Housing should be built near sustainable infrastructure and jobs, and infrastructure must come first.

Here are just a few of the issues at “Monks Wood”, at first glance:

  • Current A120 over-capacity, local rural roads cannot absorb traffic from a development of this size;
  • No confirmation of route or timing of new, dualled A120, and consultations are not until January 2017;
  • At a distance from the strategic jobs hubs of north Essex and jobs do not appear from nowhere in the countryside, even if promised in a prospectus, therefore residents would have to commute;
  • Too far from towns to easily cycle;
  • Attractive to London rail commuters – but the Great Eastern Mainline is full,with no Network Rail plans to meet the predicted demand;
  • Laughably ambitious delivery timings and an ‘infrastructure last’ approach;
  • And let’s not forget the ‘intrinsic value’ of the countryside, wildlife and nature.  Pattiswick is beautiful…

Braintree Council is now required to assess the proposals and carry out the same analysis as it has for other garden settlements.   Officers will decide whether or not to recommend the proposal to a meeting of the Local Plan Sub-Committee later this autumn (date tbc).   It is clear that the promoters have submitted this proposal to the Government, which is currently seeking bids for garden communities to support.   CAUSE has already been in touch with the Secretary of State to express our concerns about the Local Plan process and we emailed Priti Patel again today repeating our request for a meeting with him.

Mr Hill is late to the party…which means that his plans avoid the public scrutiny of the 2016 summer ‘preferred options’ consultation.  However, representations from local people will be taken into account.     You should write to localplan@Braintree.gov.uk and copy in withammp@parliament.uk

Here’s the proposal:


More to follow in coming weeks, and a Pattiswick residents’ group is forming