Wivenhoe Town Plan - Published October 2008

Executive Summary

The Wivenhoe Town Plan is based on the results of a range of consultation activities in the community over the past two and a half years including a household questionnaire that produced a very high response rate of 25%.

The survey work shows that Wivenhoe is considered by the vast majority of residents to be a very friendly, attractive, open-minded community with a vibrant and valued range of community events, groups and activities. The ‘natural’ amenities that are most valued by people of all ages are the riverside setting, the woods, King George V playing field, the Lower Lodge Farm area and other green spaces including the surrounding green fields and disused pits. At the same time residents also value the proximity to Colchester, the University of Essex and the rail connection with London. All these aspects of the town provide a rich diversity of opportunities for leisure and work that greatly enhance the quality of life here.

However a strong note of caution and concern is expressed around a range of issues that stem in large part from the amount of new housing development that has taken place over the last ten years and which has seen the population rise from nearer 9,000 in 2001 to around 10,000 today.

This approximately 10% increase in population has not been sufficiently met by a parallel increase in public services or improvements to other types of infrastructure in the town. Indeed, over the past ten years the town has lost its statutory youth service provision and adult education services. The quality of life in the town is further compromised by the huge increase in the volume of traffic, brought about by an increased population and changes in travel habits, and the associated problems this brings with it. The survey evidences all these issues which are felt keenly by residents.

There is much work to be done to address the most pressing issues raised by the survey work: in particular traffic problems, the need to limit development and the need for improved youth and health provision.

The Town Plan Group is pleased to present the Town Plan report and would like to thank all residents who have responded to the various surveys. It is hoped that the findings and Action Plan will help to shape planning and development and public service delivery in Wivenhoe over the coming years and also give useful support to community groups and organisations seeking funding to support their activities.

Key Recommendations

Below are listed the recommendations concerned with the most pressing issues from the survey. The Action Plan on pages 23- 29 sets out the full list of recommended actions along with the named organisations responsible for their delivery.

Housing and Planning

  • Limit further residential development and ensure the highest possible proportion of affordable and sheltered housing in any development that does take place.
  • Maintain Coastal Protection Belt status and protect the Green Break between Wivenhoe, the University of Essex and Colchester town.
  • Explore how residents’ views can be better taken into account in the planning process.


  • Reduce the amount and speed of traffic in the town by a range of means, including:
    • Deliver an ongoing publicity campaign to change travel habits and reduce the level of reliance on private car use especially for local journeys within Wivenhoe and to Colchester.
    • Make improvements to public transport and to cycling infrastructure.
    • Ensure implementation of travel plans by primary schools and the University of Essex.
    • Develop new initiatives such as car clubs.


  • Ensure the timely delivery of the proposed new GP health centre and an appropriate range of additional primary care services.


  • Increase the provision of youth facilities and improve the promotion of existing provision.
  • Support young people to create a youth council to give a greater voice to young people in the town.
  • Explore the use of the Phillip Road Centre for evening activities for young people.


For a complete copy of the report (pdf format - 2.3mb) click here



 For the Wivenhoe Town Plan Group's home page, click here