skip to main content
Halstead 21st Century Group

Sat 30th Dec 2023: Planning Matters (yes really!)

If you’re interested in what we do, you’ll already know that a planning application for Land East of the High Street, Halstead is awaiting a decision.  Its main element is a residential development of 31 homes, so it doesn’t meet our own aspirations for Halstead Heritage Park and would mean a loss of our natural heritage. However, as a privately owned site, it’s almost certain that some commercial gain will be a requirement, and it is best of all the plans we’ve seen for the site. It takes into account ten of the air raid shelters and there’s a conservation management plan for two of them and their Halstead 21st Century Group could become leaseholders of the heritage assets. Whatever the decision it will be a big one for the Site and could be reached as soon 23 January 2024.  If it was, that would be almost exactly 11 years since the refusal of Tesco’s application in 2013, the very moment we agreed to form formally as a group.  

On 19.12.2023, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ revisions to the National Policy Framework was published. It should give Local Planning Authorities, such as Braintree District Council, more flexibility and steer construction away from in the countryside and towards more brownfield development while councils can now reject inappropriate density of development.

And last but not least, there’s Halstead Conservation Area Appraisal pending. It is one of a few recent local appraisals. It’s something we’ve asked for many years and has now been in progress for several months so we’re hoping that a public consultation to involve Halstead residents will take place soon. It will include a Conservation Area Management Plan and will be considered for every planning application in which the Conservation Area is affected, so getting it right is important.  

So planning really does matter because, to a large extent, it’s the effectiveness of the planning process and its tools that protects or punishes our heritage.


The current bounds of Halstead Conservation Area