Green Belt proposal rejected, amazing turn out by local residents and a lot of hot air!

Canvey Green Belt Campaign Group members joined the large crowd of Jotmans farm residents to witness the expected Refusal of the planning proposal.

The Council chamber and atrium was packed and the “audience” cheered and clapped almost every speaker.
In previous meetings under the previous chairman this would have been noted as possible intimidation of the committee members and nipped in the bud.

The debate was an opportunity for councillors to voice their concerns on this development that would if approved alter the face of west Benfleet. However, with what I believe was a 10 vote unanimous decision, the proposal was refused.
Councillors expressed their desire to oppose and fight all development proposals, wherever they are sited within the Borough, Benfleet, Hadleigh, Thundersley even Canvey Island.

This is a remarkable turn around as many of these councillors were the ones that in their effort to protect their own ward Green Belt sites actually put forward Canvey’s Dutch Village as the preferred development option within the “unsound” Core Strategy.

In fact the thought crossed my mind that if Persimmon had not been misled and encouraged by Castle Point Council over the Dutch Village, they may have behaved differently where Jotmans Farm is concerned.
It was suggested that the developer had failed to attend a pre-application meeting.

However the local authority are hardly blameless, if I remember correctly they failed to inform the Glebelands developer of the date of the development committee meeting in which their proposal was to be discussed!

Listening closely to what certain leading councillors had to say, it was clearly apparent that what is most relevant, is what they don’t say!
There are too many rumours around of what is actually planned for the Jotmans Farm area to view the committee meeting as anything other than an opportunity to reclaim some of the political ground lost to UKIP.

No doubt most councillors expressed their true feelings, but the bigger picture, what is proposed beyond the 5 year housing supply within the emerging Local Plan, was not addressed last night.

As far as the Development Committee was concerned, there was no need, they were there to discuss only the planning proposal in front of them.
Inevitably the applicant will go to appeal, eating into the £1.3m fund “set aside” to fight such appeals.

Unfortunately money will not save our Green Belt, only sound planning argument will, something some councillors failed to include within their rhetoric yesterday!

Whether by going to appeal on this proposal will send a message to the High Court, due to consider the Glebelands challenge, may well be a further unwelcome lowering of the profile of our local authority!
Well done and the best of luck from Canvey Green Belt Campaigners, to all of the residents who took the trouble to turn up at the Council offices to support their cause.


3 responses to “Green Belt proposal rejected, amazing turn out by local residents and a lot of hot air!

  1. Thank you very much for your in depth report and encouragement kindest regards Tom Smith


  2. First Glebelands, now Jotmans farm refused. the former already fought in the courts and the latter soon to follow, all at tax payers expense.

    That’s Canvey Island’s Tax payers money being used just as much the mainlands.

    Since they have already all but approved Thorney Bay’s plans, they approved the 100 plus flats where Canvey supply is, and they already DID approve the Dutch Village site (only the Government Inspector force them to back track there), I am finding it hard to believe they will spend a single penny of OUR money defending any further proposals here.

    Seriously, councillors “voice their concerns on this development that would if approved alter the face of west Benfleet”. Ok, that’s good, shows they care, right?
    Hmmm…Don;t be so sure: Where was this concern when they approved having the Dutch Village fields, a flood plain at that, being concreted over? Evidently, that would NOT alter the face of Canvey Island at all, going by the councils previous stance on that site.

    I sincerely hope they prove my scepticism wrong here, and our green belt and flood plains gets the same due consideration and defence that proposed mainland sites are getting, but given the councils past performance on this issue, all evidence would very much suggest otherwise.

    The Dutch Village plans are a far more face changing and destructive development than Jotman’s Farm by a huge margin. If they do not fight against that when Persimmon inevitably turn their profiteering eyes back to Canvey, we will know the truth of the matter, and the truth behind any applause approved rhetoric Councillors employ when they decide to use OUR money to keep their own back yards safe.

  3. Hi

    Thanks for your article and its very informative commentary, I think the outcome was predictable lets just hope there is no scorpions sting attached. These developers Weald a big axe its called money and time as they patiently land bank throughout the Country, the residents have used there power very effectively sticking together on mass with a wonderful turn out.

    The pressure is on with Councillors having no where to hide one mistake and its goodbye, the scorpion I refer too being UKIP who are making progress across the whole Country, this has long passed that in the past any Councillor in Castle Point who has had an easy ride in an election is now not the case.
    It is now true people power the way it should be.

    Even the Cabinet will fall if these major green belt sites are lost threatening our way of life that we have all invested in for our children’s future and a peaceful retirement,,something is changing with the residents starting to understand the worse thing is to be divided The mainland and Canvey residents are showing a remarkable resilience as they now share information, “teamwork together we are stronger” Graham your blogs and your dedication to all Castle Points residents have made that team effort work.

    Many thanks.


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