Character what does it mean?

A place, like a person, can have character. A place can also have no character. A high street that is full of chain stores might be described as characterless. An estate where all the houses are identical and all the roads are straight might be described as characterless.

Coggeshall has lots of character. The buildings are unique, the shops are individual, the layout of the streets is unusual and there is evidence of Coggeshall’s extraordinary past preserved everywhere you look.

The area around Coggeshall adds to its character. The river, the flat, open horizons and the fact that Coggeshall is separated from the adjacent towns and villages by stretches of open land give the village a rural character.

How can Coggeshall’s Neighbourhood Plan help to preserve and enhance our local character?
  • We could set out principles for the design of new development which might look at using colour, local building styles or specific trees to give new developments character
  • Self-build plots could be included in new developments so more interesting and individual houses are built as part of an ‘estate.’
  • We could protect our unique buildings and their setting
  • We could say that new developments should have a mix of different styles of housing and road layout
  • We could protect our countryside and stop special views from being spoilt

Flooding in Coggeshall

It has happened and no one wants it to happen again.

How can Coggeshall’s Neighbourhood Plan help reduce the risk of flooding?

  • A lot of this is out of the CNP’s hands, it depends on national policy, climate change, things like the increase in paved surfaces which reduces drainage on land and pushes more water into our rivers
  • At a local level, we can look at ways of incorporating local Sustainable Urban Drainage Solutions (SUDS) in a flood management policy. It might help reduce the amount of rain that runs over the ground and into the rivers by stopping it before it gets there
The Environment
You have told us you think the environment is important. Our local countryside, the footpaths and bridleways, the rivers, the wildlife, our trees and open spaces. You want future generations to enjoy it too. The countryside is one of the reasons people move to Coggeshall.
How can Coggeshall’s Neighbourhood Plan help improve our environment?
  • We can have policies or guidelines that build on national policies of ‘Green Infrastructure’, using natural landscape features (rivers, hedges) and ‘manmade’ landscape features (planting beds, street trees) to help tackle many of the environmental problems we face
  • Landowners and developers can be asked to keep and plant hedges and trees, and create wildlife corridors to provide homes for animals
  • Open green spaces can be managed for humans to enjoy and wildlife to live in
  • We can encourage development that promotes cycling, tree planting and ‘green’ energy
  • We can discourage development that would pollute our rivers, air or create light and noise pollution.


Coggeshall is a historic place, full of historic buildings Heritage is a key part of our identity. It’s what makes the place unique.

How can we preserve and enhance our heritage assets?

  • Listed buildings and those within our conservation zone are already protected but we could identify other buildings or areas of historical importance and see if they can be ‘locally listed’ with Braintree District Council
  • We could discourage development that spoils views of our historic buildings, or the areas around our historic buildings
  • We could encourage tourism by improving the village centre and providing more information for visitors about our history
  • We could discourage development that might pollute the air and harm our listed buildings.

Parking in Coggeshall

We have more cars per household in Coggeshall than the UK average but. Our medieval streets are narrow and many homes do not have their own parking space. We have a problem.

How can the Coggeshall Neighbourhood Plan help with the parking problem?

  • We can make the most of the village centre car parking sites we have
  • Car parks could be built as part of any new developments at the entrances to the village, at the end of West Street, East Street or the Colne Road
  • We can stop the problem getting worse by saying that shops can’t be converted to homes unless there is an allocated car parking space for each new home
  • We could encourage people to use their drives and discourage people from changing their garages into rooms which puts more cars on the streets
  • We could encourage more people to walk and cycle by improving footpaths and cycleways
  • We could include a project that looks at changing the road layout in the centre creating a one-way system so visitors and residents can park along one side of the road where we currently have double or yellow lines