What You Can Get Away With » Council

142469 & 142925: Variation of planning conditions, Greens Yard.
142583: Advertisement consent for new signage, Angel Court, High Street.
142868: Advertisement consent for rebranding, Crouch Street.
142890: Advertisement consent for new signs, High Street.
142913: Change of use to class A5 (hot food takeaway), High Street.
142923: Rear and front porch extensions, Kings Meadow Road.
142940: Alterations and part demolition, High Street.
143208: Advertisement consent for signage, Trinity Street.
143372: Change of use from offices to hotel and restaurant, North Hill.

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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142128 – New one bedroom dwelling, Walters Yard
140344 – Listed building consent for painting window frames, East Hill
142440 and 142441 – Single story extension and garage, Maidenburgh Street
142462 – First floor extension and garage reconstruction, Carlisle Close
140527 – Change of use to A5 (restaurant/cafe), St Botolph’s Street
142523 – Change of use from office to out-patient clinic, High Street

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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140021: Listed building consent for replacement signage, Head Street and Culver Street.
140046: Listed Building consent for signage, Head Street.
140218: Two-storey front extension, Kings Meadow Road.
140226: Change of use from A1 (Retail) to B1 (offices) on upper floor, Osborne Street.
140332 and 140333: Change of use from A1 (retail) to A2 (Bureau de Change), High Street.
140337: Removal of condition, Red Lion Yard.
140355: Listed building consent for refurbishment of public house, East Hill.
140357: Listed building consent for internal alterations, High Street.
140379: Single-story rear extension, Causton Road.
140382: Listed building application for blue plaque, East Hill.
140389: Removal of condition, High Street.
140390: Installation of plant area on roof, Culver Square.
140394: Variation of condition, Head Street.
140446: Advertisement consent for signage, Cowdray Avenue.
140448: Change of use to travel shop and offices, St Botolph’s Street.
140454: Removal of condition, Manor Road.
140473 and 140474: Shopfront alterations and advertisement consent, High Street.

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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Just to let you know that Colchester Council’s 2014 Trees For Years giveaway will be taking place on Saturday February 1st from 10am at Rowan House. Borough residents and community groups will be able to get free trees and shrubs from a variety of different species to help green the borough a little more. For more information, click here.

It’s a new year, and so we have the first applications with a 14 at the start.

131463: New foot/cycle bridge, Castle Park.
132074: Listed building application to repair windows.
132799: Ground floor front extension, Causton Road.
135833: Listed building application for new wheelchair access, Head Street.
136189: New fire door, Culver Square.
136196: Garage extension and new boundary fence, Durham Square.
136228: Extension to form new garden room, Topfield, Popes Lane.
136240 and 136241: Change of use of first floor to drinking establishment (A1), High Street.
140003: Construction of fire escape, Red Lion Yard.

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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Apologies for not updating these in far too long, but here are the latest applications for Castle Ward that are still open for public comments:

132174: Change of use from dental studio to flats, St Botolph’s Street.
132209 and 132210: Garden room at rear of property, East Street.
132236: Replacement windows, Castle Road.
132243: External door and window replacement, East Stockwell Street.
132312: Change of use to gymnasium, Moorside.
132314: Creation of extra teaching space, North Hill.
132323: Garage extension, Bury Close.
132325: Internal alterations and reduction in room numbers, Osborne Street.
132338: Installation of new pipes, Castle Road.
132350: Replacement windows, Castle Road.
132801 and 132802: Alterations to relocate CCTV centre, Town Hall.
132472: Extension and alterations, Oaks Drive.

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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As you may have heard by now, Colchester Borough Council’s Planning Committee voted last night to reject the latest proposal for Jumbo. I was at the meeting and spoke against the plans, so I’m glad the committee agreed with me, but I thought I would expand on my views here.

Firstly, I would recommend reading this blog post by architect Hana Loftus on the proposals, which sets out some very good arguments against them.

We always have to be careful about falling into what Yes, Minister called the politician’s fallacy: Something must be done, this is something, therefore it must be done. I think everyone agrees that we’d like to see a new use for Jumbo, especially one that opens up the water tank and belvedere as a public space, but that doesn’t mean that any plan that does that in some way is necessarily a good one. My problem with this proposal was that the public access and usage that was proposed seemed very much an afterthought, and was not the centrepiece of the scheme.

As proposed, the scheme would have glazed the arches between the legs, allowing the open space there to be filled in with offices, apartments and a restaurant, while the tank would have been converted into a museum space. The problem for me is that while the application talked about creating a restaurant and museum, there was very little detail on what they would be, and what detail there was wasn’t very convincing. To quote from English Heritage’s response to the proposals:

If the establishment of a museum is to be regarded as a public benefit, It must be more thoroughly defined than this, and it must be secured by legally enforceable means.

However, instead of detailed plans about what could go into the space and information about groups and people who’d be interested in running the museum space, there were only vague promises and a sketchy business plan based on assumptions that hadn’t been scrutinised or challenged. Further to that, the application was only guaranteeing 90 days public access a year to that space and the space itself would not become a public or charitable asset, instead remaining in the possession of the owner of the building. If the plans had been approved last night, there would have been nothing to stop a future owner of Jumbo coming back to get permission to turn the public spaces into further apartments claiming public use was now ‘unviable’ – and with the principle of development already conceded, those proposals would have a good chance of succeeding.

The problem for me is that we were being asked to surrender the iconic status of Jumbo by filling in the legs in return for what might only be a fleeting benefit, if it was of any benefit at all. A Jumbo that’s open to all and a community asset is one thing, and quite different from one that’s become effectively a block of flats.

What I have been cheered by is that the proposal and the discussion its caused in the local community does seem to have emboldened people to take some action and start talking about other visions for Jumbo and how it could find a genuine community use. The important fact is that Jumbo is not in danger of falling down any time soon – indeed, it stood up to Monday’s winds much better than some other local buildings did – and the Council now needs to ensure that the owner meets his responsibilities for a listed building and keeps it maintained.

I want to see Jumbo being used as an asset for the community and Colchester, but I want it to be with the right plans, not simply the plans that have been submitted right now.

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Apologies for falling way behind on these, but these are all the planning applications in Castle Ward that I’m aware of since the last update.

131739: Conversion of shop to residential flat, North Hill.
131855: Listed building consent to widen a fire door, High Street.
131868: Advertisement consent for new signage, Culver Street West.
131905: Listed building consent for internal alterations, Church Street.
131943: Replacement of access gate and fire escape, St Peter’s Street.
131948: Advertisement consent for new signage, Headgate.
131971: Retrospective consent for change of use from A1 to A3, St John’s Street.
131972: Listed building consent for 131971.
131996: Public realm works, Red Lion Yard.
132014: Change of use from A1 (retail) to D1 (non-specific), St Johns Street.
132017: Removal of car parking condition on previous application, Rosebery Avenue.
132037: Listed building consent for entrance alterations, North Hill.
132045: Change of use to include D1 (educational) use, North Hill.
132056: Listed building consent for 131996.

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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I’ve fallen a bit behind on these, not helped by there being a big flurry of them in the past few days when I was away at party conference. But anyway, here are all the latest applications:

130472: Listed building consent for internal partition, Town Hall.
131580: Change of use from B1 offices to residential, Chapel Street North.
131737: Listed building consent for new canopy and chimney, North Hill.
131758: Advertisement consent for new signage, Moorside.
131787: Advertisement consent for new fascia, High Street.
131799: Refurbishment of buildings and new link bridge, Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road.
131805: Advertisement consent for replacement signage, North Station Road.
131807: Creation of tea area in garden of listed building, Trinity Street.
131808: Listed building consent for 131807.
131809: Removal of condition regarding opening times, Middleborough.
131819: Change of use from offices to flats, Bank Passage.

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131619: New rear extension and other internal and external alterations, Head Street.
131620: Conservation area consent for 131619.
131646: Advertisment consent for new signage, Osborne Street.
131688: Advertisement consent for new signs, North Hill.
131717: Fitting of new canopy and chimney, North Hill.

You can make a statement in favour or against any of these applications on the Council website, or if you want to discuss it further with one of your councillors then please contact me or my ward colleagues Bill Frame and Jo Hayes.

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