Maldon District Issues and Options Consultation


3.1 Planning System & National Issues

The Government has highlighted its ongoing commitment to the plan-led system, seeing it as a key way of delivering many of its objectives including an increase in house building nationally and raising the standard of design in new developments. By law, the LDP Review will need to be in conformity with new legislation including national policy and guidance and take account of any changes that the Government makes to the system whilst the LDP Review is evolving.

Alongside the Planning Bill, proposed in HM The Queen's Speech 2021, other topical issues that could affect the Maldon District as the LDP Review is delivered include:

  • The introduction of the Future Homes Standard meaning a ban from installing fossil-fuel boilers in domestic properties from 2025;
  • The introduction of a Future Buildings Standard to the Building Regulations, to improve the energy efficiency of non-domestic buildings;
  • The ban on new petrol and diesel engines by 2040 and the need to increase alternatives; and
  • The roll-out of Biodiversity Net-Gain schemes via development.

3.2 Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

It is important to remember that not all planning decisions are determined by Maldon District Council. Some projects, which are deemed by the Government to be in the national interest are instead planned and determined through a separate policy and determination process called National Policy Statements (NPSs), Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) and Development Consent Orders (DCOs).

There are two NSIPs currently underway for the Maldon District. These are:

  • Bradwell B New Nuclear Power Station
    • A12 Junction Upgrade and Widening Scheme

Bradwell B New Nuclear Power Station

Maldon District has been identified by the Government as the location for a potential new nuclear new build site at Bradwell on-Sea, including the possibility of STEP Fusion. The site known as Bradwell B is no stranger to nuclear development and is also the site of the decommissioned Bradwell A Magnox power station. Whilst the current developer promoting the project paused work on the Development Consent Order (DCO) in January 2021, Bradwell-on-Sea is still an identified site in the National Policy Statement for Energy Infrastructure (EN-6), which the LDP Review cannot change and according to the Government it remains available and potentially suitable, in principle, for nuclear energy development.

3.3 Planning policies for NSIPs are set out in NPSs and do not form part of the LDP. The Council does however have to give them consideration when reviewing the LDP.

3.4 When determining DCO applications for NSIPs the Government will consult the Council. The Council will then prepare a Local Impact Report, to which the Planning Act 2008 states that the Secretary of State must have regard to when determining the DCO. The LDP Review can therefore play a crucial role in helping to inform the Local Impact Report along with any other evidence and considerations.

3.5 The Council will, however, be the decision-maker for any ancillary development linked to the NSIP (but not included in the DCO) under its powers as LPA. Any such development will be considered against the LDP and the NPS.

3.6 There may also be occasions where supporting or preliminary work for NSIPs is required before the DCO work. If this happens any proposals will be considered in line with local and national policies.

3.7 The A12 Junction Upgrade & Widening Scheme

On the north-west of the District is a proposal by Highways England to upgrade a stretch of the A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester (junction 19 Boreham Interchange to junction 25 Marks Tey Interchange) . Some very small stretches of the road are physically in the Maldon District.

3.8 MDC has been engaged in the process since 2017 and together with our Highway Authority partners in Essex County Council and our neighbouring authorities, we have been working to identify ways to improve road conditions on connections into the A12 which Maldon District residents and businesses use.