On 28th February the Planning Committee unanimously rejected the controversial plans for Colchester’s cultural quarter, promoted by the council’s Liberal Democrat and Labour Leaders.
Colchester Conservatives stood-by local residents against this unpopular application, which received a record number of objections. The rejected application was for 336 student rooms. It was recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers.

Planning Committee member Cllr Brian Jarvis (Con, Lexden and Braiswick) raised concerns over the density of development and the effect the new buildings would have on the surrounding historical assets like St Botolph’s Priory and the Roman Wall. I feel this proposal falls short of the social, economic and environmental guidelines. We do not need to rush into developing this strategically important area of the town. If we get it wrong, we will have lost the opportunity to regenerate the area. I think the Town expects better than this planning application”.

Planning Committee member Cllr Jackie Maclean (Con, Marks Tey and Layer) said she was “very uncomfortable” with the accessibility of the development. We expect it to be accessible to everybody. I do not think the accessibility issue has been properly explored and I’m worried. Furthermore we have a large number of student accommodations already being built and I want to know if every student space in Colchester is taken up.

Cllr Darius Laws, Leader of the Conservative Group promised: "A Conservative Council would give residents a say over what should be built in this important area of town centre.
Let us know your thoughts on what you would like to see!"