An interesting report in the Echo:
PEOPLE power won another victory in Castle Point after a key vote on greenbelt development was called off at the last minute.
More than 150 concerned residents piled into Castle Point Council?s offices last night where councillors were due to decide on a controversial plan to build on 36 acres of green belt, equivalent to 12 football pitches.
The plan sets out how the council will meet a Government target of 5,000 new homes and 2,500 jobs by 2026.
More than 2,800 of the homes are planned for previously developed land but residents have been fighting plans to build on green belt north of Daws Heath Road, Daws Heath, and near Waterside Farm and Castle View School on Canvey.
At the last minute Tory councillors voted unanimously to put off the decision .
Speaking at the meeting councillor Bill Dick said: ?Why should we do the government?s dirty work by adding more misery?
?I can?t assist this government which is imposing these targets up on us.?
The sudden change, which was not included in the meeting?s agenda, comes a week after the council backtracked and scaled down plans to allow between 500 and 750 homes to be built north of Daws Heath Road, Daws Heath, following fierce opposition from residents.
The council will now carry out an eight-week public consultation beginning on January 9.
When this is complete, amendments may be made and councillors will vote on it again before it is sent to a government planning inspector for a final seal of approval.
As outsiders , it’s not easy to see what the Castle Point Conservative councillors aims are here. They would have been warned by officers that if they don’t allocate all their housing required by the East of England Regional Authority, a developer could waltz right in with an application on green belt and point out to a government inspector that he or she should get permission, because the council haven’t alocated enough land. Or do the councillors there think they can come up with a betetr alternative set of locations within their borough?
I’m told that the “small print” is that their CE has made it clear that the new homes can be built on the industrial estate site instead of the green belt land, but the industrial estate will be first moved to the green belt land.
But at least it seems that the council is listening to their residents!
People would rather look out on an industrial estate than on other houses??
There should be no developement without government funded infrastructure this must be our clarion call . It has to stop with our roads at saturation point . It looks as though Castle Point may have taken the first step to say no to the Goverment .That is what we all wish Rochford to do . If all unite then the government becomes impotent . We also have to resite Rawreth industrial Site ; the core strategy suggests south of the London road vaguely in the Carpenters Arms area . Rawreth Parish Council suggest that the Michelin Farm area around the Fairglen interchange would be more suitable and we suggest in your responses that you push for that. As many of you know our council is proactive in protecting our green belt and promoting alternative sites within our Parish . Please come to Rayleigh Leisure Centre next weekend where councillors will only be too happy to explain our thinking .
I believe that Castle Point residents have made a big impact on the decision by highlighting their protest through posters stating ‘HANDS OF OUR GREENBELT’. Virtually every house in Daws Heath had posters in windows and with Daws Heath Road being a busy route, many people became aware of the protest.
Perhaps we should make a similar protest in Rawreth and Rayleigh. What do you think Admin?
The national government cannot seen to be promoting such a controversial policy. If enough District and County Councils stood up for us, what is the Labour Government going to do? The point is, WILL enough of the regional councils stand up for us. The government must be told we are sick to our back teeth with more and more development.
Any idea what Rochford District will do for us?
The problem here is Mike that the Conservative national party – who have been pretty hot favourites until very recently to win the next election – aren’t promising very much different.
If they were , then you would expect Conservative councillors to fight some kind of rearguard action. But none of them are even suggesting to us that a Conservative govt would drastically change the overall figures.
(Though, like the Lib dems, they would allow more local flexibility)
Greenbelt- I will email you separately about this….
Well then, it is all about us making damn sure that our local and national governments know how we feel about our childrens heritage being ruined. We all have a part to play but our district / county councils must stand up for us or we must have a party who will listen to us. What I do know is the residents of Castle Point have made a good stand and we should take their lead. We have to make people in power listen to us!
Well, we are getting near to the end of this debate. Do we want our towns and villages to be built into a concrete jungle OR do we really want to wake up to the sound of nature? This is the debate we should be having. Forget our councils, this decision is ours to make. Rochford District Council is nothing unless we vote for them. How many Tory voters know what the conservative party actually do for them? They care more for looking after their position as being a Tory council then they do for us! How many Tory Councillors have answered any of our questions on this website, although we all know they log on to onlinefocus. They have no backbone for a fight against their own party even if it is in support of the people they represent, and the people who voted for them should realise this. I am weary of continually asking these councillors to answer these questions. I can only conclude that they are afraid of making statements against their ‘cabinet’ colleagues, for fear of losing their positions!
We need people who will stand up and be counted (for what we believe in). Unfortunately we do not have the calibre of people within our council. This demonstrates a weakness within our council members.
We do not want what Rochford district council is promoting, we do not want what Gordon Brown’s government is advocating.
We must be strong, like Castle Point residents have been and TELL Hudson and his council colleagues to either listen to us or to stand down and let people who really care take control.
The council can really make a difference or THEY CAN LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES. I hope thay are prepared to promote what WE, the residents want! But dont hold your breath.
I have been quite vocal in my opposition to Castle Point Borough Council’s plans, although I think targets for housing are necessary.
Here, for example, is one of my posts: http://warelane.wordpress.com/category/development/