Does Castle Point Council share Greg Clark’s vision? Green Belt under threat?

Greg Clark the new Head Man at the DCLG writes of Localism in the Telegraph.

He appears to be injecting a dynamic that was not apparent during Eric Pickles tenure. Whether his enthusiasm can penetrate the local preference for the status quo, we may soon learn.

“Why we want to hand power to local people
For Britain to achieve its potential, every part of the country must contribute to its success
urban concentrations around the world are becoming more important than ever for job creation. But our smaller towns and our counties, too, have an essential part to play in our economic success – as places where jobs can be created, businesses nurtured, skills acquired and homes built.

There are some searching questions we need to ask. Is a city good for business or does it put obstacles in the way of them? Does an area have a transport system that makes it easy for people to live and work, or one in which getting around is a misery? Does a county offer a workforce with the skills that employers are looking for, or is there a drought of the relevant skills? Does a town have a wide choice of good housing or is it hard to find a decent place to live? Is there a vibrant cultural life that attracts people, or a dearth of attractions that causes people to go elsewhere?

The answers to these questions will determine whether a place is likely to prosper or decline”

Readers of this Blog will be aware that Canvey Island has, since the formation of Castle Point Borough Council, been the focus of housing and population growth in the Borough.

On paper, at least, this will not allowed to continue, however what happens in practise may be another matter!

The new Leadership at CPBC, on the back of an election mandate, have issued an intent to drive forward a Local Plan, apparently regardless.

We will of course have to wait for the first signs of what this may mean through the Local Plan 5 year housing supply allocation required to protect at the Glebelands and Jotmans Appeaal inquiries.

Canvey’s fate of course, is reliant on council members in the northern part of the Borough, despite Canvey being the largest most populated and urbaanised Town.

Whether these same councillors will be as eager to adopt, Greg Clark’s vision for local areas, and deliver a regenerative new Local Plan, may rest with how secure they feel with no election on the horizon.

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One response to “Does Castle Point Council share Greg Clark’s vision? Green Belt under threat?

  1. Steve Sawkins

    Editor.
    You make very good points in that the urgency to secure a Local Plan may be at the cost of a NLP that will be subsequently found to be unsound. The frequent reference to the Adopted, yet uncompleted, 1998 plan and by the cherry picking of its policies, so as to avoid the necessary additional work, is somewhat dangerous, a lot has happened since 1998.

    That plan has outstanding elements that at the time of adoption were deemed to be an essential part of its success!

    The following is an example.
    Should you feel that the increase in heavy vehicle traffic brought about by any new proposed development will increase the already overburdened Canvey Way and other road networks within our borough, then it is not unreasonable to ask what happened to the County Council Transport Policy submission 1995/95 (TPP21) and Castle Points Policy T1 from the 1998 Plan?
    The Counties policy was, amongst other proposals, for the A130 Bypass as proposed in TPP21 for a 1997/8 start, and to the dual carriage of Canvey Way for 1999/2000.
    Despite these proposed improvements, the Council remained concerned, at that time, in respect of highway infrastructure in Castle Point, and intended to continue to press the Highways Authority for improvements to the strategic highway network within the Borough, and in particular for the early dual carriageway construction of Canvey Way.
    Out of this intent, Policy T1 of the Councils Adopted 1998 Plan stated as follows:-
    POLICY T1 – STRATEGIC HIGHWAY NETWORK
    THE COUNCIL WILL URGE THE HIGHWAY AUTHORITY TO UNDERTAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY NETWORK IN AND AROUND THE BOROUGH, INCLUDING THE DUALLING OF CANVEY WAY.

    Infrastructure or the lack of it, has been identified by CPBC as being an issue for decades. Astonishingly we seem to be heading toward accepting major development schemes throughout our Borough that will destroy, our valuable, hard earned, quality of life.

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