Planning news: Braintree District Council adopts its first Local Development Order

Braintree District Council

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Braintree District Council adopts its first Local Development Order

Horizon 120

Braintree District Council has adopted its first Local Development Order to encourage businesses onto the new Horizon 120 Business and Innovation Park planned for Great Notley in Braintree.

The planning framework, endorsed at a meeting of Braintree District Council’s Planning Committee at the beginning of March was approved last week (Thursday, 16 April 2020) by the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with urgency powers under the council’s Constitution.

We are adopting this type of planning framework for this site to encourage new businesses into the district and to create up to 2,000 jobs. We are pressing ahead with plans, despite the current lockdown, in readiness for when businesses start moving again as and when the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are changed or lifted by Central Government.

The exciting thing for businesses about the use of a Local Development Order is that it automatically grants planning permission for certain forms of development and land uses within particular zones on a site, making it easier and quicker for businesses to build the premises they need without the need to apply for separate planning permission (as long as they meet certain conditions).

The zonal plan (see image below) for Horizon 120 comprises of four separate zones with a mix of different land uses and the design code details acceptable standards in terms of landscaping, building design, quality and environmental ratings.

The Local Development Order will allow for the development of high quality office, manufacturing and industrial space. It will also allow for the creation of a central hub which could be home to a hotel and other facilities which will add to the experience of employees working on the site.

Proposals also include the creation of a high quality landscaped environment where roads and paths are tree-lined with green buffers and wildlife corridors. Close to the central hub will be a habitat with ponds, tussock grassland, hedgerows and trees.

This Local Development Order will last for 10 years after adoption.

The Marshgate Group will take the lead on the delivery of the business park having entered into an option contract with us last year. The commercial property developer plans to deliver, for its business clients, a mix of commercial units compliant with the conditions of the new planning framework.

Cllr Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning at Braintree District Council, said: “The approval of this planning regime is a significant achievement. The Design Code is the key factor here, it is really high quality and sets a high bar for applicants. It gives us a measure of control because proposals must comply with the criteria set. The centralised facilities, landscaping and the location next to the Great Notley Park will make this park a really pleasant place to work.”

Cllr John McKee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Transformation at Braintree District Council, said: “This decision is a major step forward for the Horizon 120 project. A framework which gives certainty and clarity and simplifies the planning process makes it less risky for developers to invest and easier for businesses to relocate from elsewhere. This is very good news for our district because it will bring more jobs and opportunities for residents.”

Businesses interested in being part of Horizon 120 can email Joscelyne Chase on or Coke Gearing on

Find out more:

Horizon 120 zones

►Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the social distancing measures announced by the government on 23rd March, we have had to make a number of changes to our planning service.

Take a look at the changes here.

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Essex companies have been donating unopened and unwanted stocks of Personal Protective Equipment to the council to support those who work in adult and children social care across Essex, and while Essex County Council is incredibly grateful for any stock, much more is needed.

Essex County Council may be willing to purchase any stocks if needed. To donate or advise us of stock please email with your PPE supply details including quantity and postcode, plus a contact name and phone number, and someone will be in touch.

Any items offered and suitable will be collected safely with collectors observing social distancing and hand hygiene.

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