Maldon District Issues and Options Consultation


4.1 District Wide

It is important in the review to reconsider the issues that face the District and ensure that they are still relevant. These should be short and high level and relate to matters that relate to the District. In the current LDP approved in 2017, the main issues that were to be addressed were as follows;

4.2 Housing - In-migration and lack of supply meant that demand was significantly higher than the amount of housing that was being built. This increased the affordability issue of housing, meaning more people were finding themselves not being able to afford to continue to live in the District and some who had lived here all their lives were moving out to find somewhere more affordable to live. This was exacerbated by the fact that a large proportion of the working population out-commuted to London and there was a difference in the wages between those that worked locally. There was a high need for affordable housing across the District exacerbated by a lack of supply with an imbalance in the requirement against the delivery of the type and size of housing. There was also a growing requirement for the delivery of additional Gypsy and Traveller sites.

4.3Economy - With the exception of few large-scale companies, the economy of the District was generally defined by a large number of small firms. Whilst there was overall prosperity across the District, there was a skills shortage with a high proportion of the working age population possessing no qualifications and a significant proportion of the population out-commuting to work. This resulted in a disparity in income levels of local workers, versus those who commuted, exacerbating issues of affordability and quality of life.

4.4The Natural and Built Heritage - The Maldon District was characterised by a diverse and distinct natural, historic and built heritage which made a significant contribution to the quality of life in the area. There was a need for the planning policy framework to optimise these assets whilst maintaining an appropriate balance with the requirement to also meet development needs. Due to the coastal and low-lying topography around the estuaries, the District was considered to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and flooding. The vulnerability of new development needed to be minimised to ensure that this risk was not worsened for future generations.

4.5 Accessibility - The District has direct links to the A12 trunk road via the A414 and the B1019. Many roads within the District comprised B and C class country roads. There is one railway branch line within the District, (the Crouch Valley Line) along the south of the District connecting Southminster, Burnham-on-Crouch, Althorne and North Fambridge to South Woodham Ferrers (in Chelmsford City area) and onto London, via Wickford. In the north of the District there is access to the rail stations at Hatfield Peverel and Witham. 78% of the District's settlements have either a shopper or commuter bus service, though still for some rural settlements this service is either non-existent or poor. Therefore, there is still a strong reliance on the car for connectivity across the District, the rural character and relatively poor accessibility across the District will impact upon the ability of individuals, particularly young people without access to their own transport to access things like education, work and social activities, which also affected older people's access to key services.

4.6People and Communities - The provision of infrastructure and facilities was considered to be a vital component in addressing the sustainability and well-being of communities and all new development needs were planned to be supported by the provision of adequate infrastructure. Facilities such as village shops, post offices, community halls and pubs located in the more rural settlements had a key role in securing the cohesiveness of the local communities. Engaging people through sports, arts, leisure and cultural activities was recognised to strengthen communities and was considered that it could help to reduce problems of anti-social behaviour and exclusion. All parts of the District needed to have the opportunities to access activities and facilities and there was a need for investment in strategic community infrastructure across the District to enable and improve provision.

Issues and Options Consultation Questionnaire