It seems strange that Green Belt and Green Fields on Canvey is somehow acceptable for development but “elsewhere” in the Borough is absolutely sacrosanct!
The different attitudes of local politician highlights the double standards that appear to exist.
On Canvey two large tracts of land appear to be being levered through the system with Councillors blessings.
From the Echo we read of comments on a business park proposal;
“A partner at the Inner London Group, said there was a massive demand for new business units on the island and the development would be a stark contrast to the “tired looking” Charfleets Industrial Estate.”
“There is a shortage of commercial space on the island and this will help deal with the planned growth for Canvey.”
“what we have put forward is what Canvey needs and that’s employment.”
Whilst a local councillor commented;
“That area of land has been designated for industry since 1998 so this has been in the pipeline for a long time. The fact that we are hoping to develop the Northwick Road site for business use, and we have the new Canvey Skills Campus training up the next generation of brick layers and plumbers, it seems like all the pieces of the jigsaw are fitting together.”
“But the sooner we can provide more jobs for local people the better.”
This is despite the recently announced figures showing a vast improvement on the Local Unemployment Figures!
On initial impressions the proposal sounds acceptable, however the proposed development in a flood zone on “virgin” Green Field land.
Contrast the approach and attitude to Housing development on Green Fields elsewhere in the Borough.
A councillor for Victoria ward, said:
“The inspector was speaking generally about the local plan and that we could do it without any houses on green belt, if we can justify it and give reasons why.
“Castle Point is very small and therefore it needs a buffer to separate it from other areas, so we could try to prove we are stuck and ask them to accept a smaller amount of homes.
“This has thrown a spanner in the works, but a good spanner as this is definitely good news.”
Whilst a source close to the council said:
“The inspector said he could accept a local plan that didn’t involve building on green belt whatsoever, which is very interesting.”
“All we have to do is try to meet the housing need, but frankly I don’t think 4,000 homes is what we need. He said we have a responsibility to approach other authorities to see if they are willing to take some of our housing allocation.”
“If they all turn around and say no, it doesn’t matter, we just have to show we tried.”
The question needs to be asked, should more priority be given to employment needs or homes. Hopefully the answer when offered can be justified.
At the moment the mind boggles at the levels of hypocrisy