The Canvey Green Belt Campaign Group can fully understand the frustrations being endured by residents living nearby Jotmans Farm.
The Benfleet residents are concerned that Persimmon representatives are delaying decision on submitting their proposal to Castle Point Council to develop the farmland.
Canvey Island residents have been kept in a similar position for the last 4+ years by Castle Point Council since they actively promoted Persimmon to come forward with a proposal for the Dutch Village during the Core Strategy process!
The delay over Jotmans, which I can fully understand, is due to the Glebelands Appeal and whether or not FLP will lodge a High Court challenge on the decision.
I doubt whether FLP will give more than a moments fore-warning of their Appeal plans. Understandably, as reading the Appeal paperwork, the Council failed to give FLP any notice that the Development Committee planned to consider their proposal.
Paperwork explains that the matter would not be considered until after the period of Purdah prior to the local elections and then with no notification it was scheduled in prior to this period.
It appears good fortune for FLP to have discovered beforehand that the matter was due for consideration shortly before the meeting date.
The ramifications from the decision on Glebelands has an over-bearing impact on any decisions to be taken in Castle Point and I feel Castle Point Council will not be above criticism.
Having glanced through the “unilateral undertakings” agreed for both the Kiln Road development and the Glebelands proposal, I find it difficult to understand why one particular stipulation has been omitted.
There are requests for funding from the developer based on new bus stops and “travel packs.”
The one obvious point over looked is the brand new Canvey Skills Campus!
Why on earth did it not occur to any representing Castle Point Council the benefit, as part of any agreement prior to allowing development, to insist upon positions being created on the labour force for at least 3 Apprenticeships for local Castle Point youngsters.
The Skills Campus has relevant courses in bricklaying, electrics and plumbing, all tasks with obvious relevance to house building.
The likelihood is that both the Kiln Road and Glebelands, should it eventually proceed, would both be in the region of 3 years in the building. Ample time for valuable experience to be gained for youngsters setting out in the building trade.
The question to be answered is what were our representatives minds focussed on during the long deliberations on these two proposals?
What better “good news” story than some employment for local youngsters.
And yet, astonishingly, this opportunity appears to have been over looked! *
What is apparent in the handling of the whole Glebelands and Kiln Road saga, whether regarding access to information or benefits for the community, is that our local Authority have not exactly covered their selves in glory.
*Apologies will be issued if this has been arranged and is hidden from sight somewhere in the mass of paperwork.