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Background


April 2001
Application for John Constable Heritage Centre submitted under Application No O/COL/01/0553. Limited in scope to the site of the old greenhouses and the lakes area.

June 8th 2001
Application withdrawn. Statement from Bunting and Sons said that withdrawal was made ‘in view of some local opposition to the size and scope of the proposed redevelopment. We will now carefully consider the pros and cons of amending the size and objectives of the project and withdrawing the Country Park proposal altogether.’

June 14th 2001
Stour Valley Action Group (SVAG) formally constituted at Open Meeting in Great Horkesley School.

September 2001
Retrospective Planning Permission granted for use of part of London Road site for light industrial use.

September 2003
Application for the Horkesley Park Heritage and Conservation Centre (HPHCC) submitted to Colchester Borough Council (CBC). Application never registered by CBC and we believe it was deemed to be a Theme Park under EC law and therefore required an Environmental Impact Assessment.

December 2003
Application returned to Applicant for Environmental Study (ES) to be carried out.

April 2005
Scoping Document for ES submitted by Buntings and sent to various parties, including SVAG, for comment. SVAG comments highlighted some weaknesses in the submission.

September 2005
Application for HPHCC re-submitted with detailed Environmental Study. Registered by CBC under Number F/COL/05/1558. Very strong local, regional and national opposition.

Click here to view our Key Objections to the 2005 Submission

November 2006
Application submitted by Buntings to register ‘Horkesley Park’ as a trade mark which would be capable of being used to cover all goods and services promoted at the HPHCC. The name has not historically been closely associated with the site and is currently the address of Littlegarth School.

31 March 2006
Application withdrawn to ‘enable appropriate amendments and improvements to be made to the scheme and to take into account the recently published Core Strategy for Colchester Borough’s Local Development Framework 2006-2021’.

Application was due for consideration within weeks. Climb-down could reasonably be interpreted as a response to the scale of the opposition. An enormous amount of work had already been done by CBC, including processing of more than 1,000 letters and emails of objection.

September 2006
Buntings introduce micro brewery and caravans on to site without prior Planning Consent. CBC currently assessing this.

Expansion of Buntings’ enterprises at the Anchor Inn and the Anchor Inn Heritage Farm in Nayland, which would be adjacent to and closely associated with the proposed Horkesley Park, has caused concern to local residents.

March 2009
Bunting and Sons re-submitted their Planning Application, number 090231, for their London Road site for the fourth time since April 2001.

Click here to view our Key Objections to the 2009 Submission and our Is It Viable (2009)

At the meeting on 26 May 2011, the CBC Planning Committee supported their officer's recommendation for refusal - eleven to one against the application!