Daniel Watts' Address to Planning Committee

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your time again to consider our application this evening. My name is Daniel Watts, Director of Tollgate Partnership Ltd.

I don’t envy the position of the members of the planning committee. And I understand why members can be wary of going against officer advice.

But the unavoidable backdrop to this meeting is that the advice you were given on the Stane Park application was wrong and resulted in the council fighting – and losing – an expensive appeal to the tune of nearly £100,000.

And in January the council will be at another appeal, for the proposals in front of you. Tonight, therefore, presents members with an opportunity to take back control of the process; to approve this significant investment in Colchester, here tonight, on your terms and in partnership with us.

And that’s how it should be done. Not after another expensive appeal process in the hands of a government inspector.

And there are very strong reasons for doing so.

  • There is strong support for seeing this delivered – from thousands of residents across the borough who have signed petitions in favour of Tollgate Village
  • It will create a thousand new jobs – and provide nearly 17 million pounds annual boost to the local economy, as well as one of Colchester’s biggest infrastructure investment from a single development.
  • It will keep spending here in Colchester rather than losing it to Braintree’s expanding Freeport or Chelmsford’s new Bond Street Development – and benefit our town centre by drawing more visitors into the borough.

However, we are all constantly being told that Tollgate Village will have a detrimental effect on the Town Centre and the delivery of the Council’s Vineyard Gate development. It might interest the Members to know that Jayne and I met with the highest members of the Council to discuss Tollgate Partnership’s involvement to help deliver the scheme and to expand our existing town centre commercial and retail investments.

Our town has so much to offer, yet senior officers of this Council simply refuse to believe it. There are potentially 4 Connecting Nodes on offer in Colchester: A leisure hub to the North, a shopping district to the West, Essex University to the South- East and Colchester’s rich heritage, tourism, business, leisure and retail at the heart of it all. This is such an amazing opportunity for our Borough and one I hope Members seize. We see no reason why these 4 ‘Nodes’ can not work together, which is exactly what should happen. These areas together will enhance our town – development, investment and job creation in every part of our Borough is in your hands.

Thank You

Please show your support by signing the petition and say “Yes” to Tollgate Village