25 + 26th August – One of those “too Little too Late” moments for Castle Point Green Belt + other constraints!

Two of the MOST important days concerning Canvey Island and Castle Point residents, have arrived.

Today the 25th August offers residents their final opportunity to object to Persimmon’s plans to construct a housing estate on the last green belt area within safe access on the Island, the Dutch Village.

Housing

This is one of those, wished we had spoken up moments! Use this LINK and then click on the “Make a Public Comment” tab.

Tomorrow the 26th should concern, and will impact upon, many residents groups who have followed the Local Plan process.

The Local Plan Task and Finish group meet to consider whether Castle Point Green Belt is constrained enough to offer protection to individual areas. Ignore the Appeal decisions, this meeting will see the T and F group members “consider” which areas can be sacrificed in the name of development, and which they must save!

copyright OIKOS

copyright OIKOS

There will be a few Rabbits pulled out of the Hat so it will be worth attending to make councillors aware that they are being observed!

Of course it should not all be about Green Belt other Factors form Constraints, such as Flood Risk and the Hazardous Industries.

floodfreehomes

Ever since the Core Strategy days of political “Local Factors” directing the focus on development towards Canvey, the seeds of doubt have been nurtured that some fairness should be adopted into Local Plan making.

Tomorrow’s T+F meeting will offer councillors the opportunity to clearly indicate whether the task and Finish group is simply a tick box exercise, or truly a part of a consultation process where residents’ genuine concerns and the constraints are considered.

IMG_0222

Of interest are the splits that have appeared within the ranks, the changes in direction and whether other concerns facing Canvey get a fair hearing!

Second best, will be to watch on CPBC webcam via this LINK.

Officers have prepared advice on how they “suggest” the Green Belt strategy should be imposed, read carefully “It Could Well Affect YOU”;

“The Green Belt Functions Assessment 2010 also identified the strategic role Green Belt in the Borough plays, both in terms of separating local settlements, and also in terms of separating settlements in Castle Point with those in neighbouring districts.
Given the need to review the Green Belt boundary to accommodate the identified needs for sustainable development, it is necessary to step away from localised assessment of Green Belt function, and to consider the strategic role of the Green Belt.
This will enable the Council to identify the most important areas of Green Belt to
protect, and also to identify where the Green Belt boundary could be realigned to
accommodate growth without undermining the overall function of the Green Belt.
8
The Green Belt Functions Assessment identifies three strategic Green Belt Corridors within Castle Point. It also shows how the Green Belt in Castle Point links with the Green Belt in neighbouring districts.
Strategic Green Belt Corridors within Castle Point:
• Daws Heath “Ring”: A ring of Green Belt around the settlement of Daws Heath. This Green Belt area protects the settlement from development of internal (or external) urban sprawl, preventing the settlement from merging with surrounding settlements of Hadleigh, Thundersley, Rayleigh or Eastwood. As a result it has given Daws Heath a more rural character compared to other settlements within Castle Point and neighbouring districts.
It has more rural surroundings then these other settlements.
• Central Corridor: This corridor of Green Belt serve to restrict the settlements of Benfleet and Thundersley from merging at a strategic level. This creates a connection from the northern Green Belt parcels within the borough to those in the south. Without this linkage the demarcation of these two urban areas would be indistinct and the Green Belt of Castle Point would be disjointed. At a sub-regional level this corridor is particularly important. It is the last strip of open land separating settlements between Benfleet and Shoeburyness. It also plays a role in linking the strip of Green Belt running along the Thames Estuary to the Green Belt extending between Rayleigh and Wickford and across towards Basildon.
• Lateral Strip: There is a large area of uninterrupted Green Belt extending east to west through the centre of the borough. This Green Belt has been effective in protecting a unique area of countryside from encroachment, and plays a positive role at a sub-regional level in protecting biodiversity from harm, and creating opportunities for recreation in the countryside. This area is well connected to the small area of Green Belt remaining in Leigh-on-Sea, and to the larger area of Green Belt stretching between and around settlements in Basildon and Thurrock districts.
Strategic Green Belt Corridors between Castle Point and other Boroughs:
• Western Green Belt: The Green Belt to the west of Castle Point prevents urban sprawl, particularly on Canvey Island, and also prevents towns in Castle Point merging with settlements to the west in Basildon and Thurrock.
• A130 Corridor: The Green Belt to the west of Castle Point also forms part of a corridor of Green Belt extending northwards through Essex from Canvey Island to Chelmsford.
• Green Belt extending north and east from the Daws Heath Ring: This Green Belt acts to separate Daws Heath and Rayleigh from Southend-on- Sea. It also links the Green Belt in this area with Green Belt to the east of Rayleigh.
• Green Belt separating Hadleigh and Leigh-on-Sea: Green Belt land to the south of the London Road, to the east of Hadleigh, plays an important role in providing a visual and physical separation between Hadleigh and Leigh-on- Sea. It also contributes towards the wider landscape in this area fulfilling a countryside role also.
9
It is important that through the plan-making process each of the strategic corridors of Green Belt is maintained in order that there is a clear distinction between the different settlements within Castle Point and within South Essex.
This does not mean that every single site within these corridors should be retained; it does however mean that development sites should have robust Green Belt boundaries that ensure the retention of these corridors as physical and visual areas of open land between settlements.
The physical constraints limit development on Canvey Island, and also south of Hadleigh, and around parts of Daws Heath. As a result, the Green Belt that is relatively unconstrained tends to be focused towards the western and northern parts of the borough.
This brings the need for housing growth into conflict with Green Belt policy constraints because it is these areas where the Green Belt purpose is greatest, particularly in relation to separating towns in Castle Point with towns elsewhere in south Essex.
As a consequence the ability of the Green Belt in Castle Point to accommodate development is limited by Green Belt Policy Constraints as well as Physical Constraints.
It is considered that at least 50% of the physically unconstrained Green Belt will need to be retained in order to ensure that the purposes of the Green Belt are fulfilled.
This reduces the amount of land potentially available for housing development in the Green Belt to at most 274ha.”
 

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One response to “25 + 26th August – One of those “too Little too Late” moments for Castle Point Green Belt + other constraints!

  1. The following is an extract from the Planning Officers work on the reason why the Borough cannot provide its housing requirements due to constraints.
    This extract refers to how Canvey Islands Green Belt will contribute to the housing land requirements.
    TAILS THEY WIN HEADS WE LOOSE comes to mind.

    “Whilst the Council is normally supportive of the redevelopment of previously
    developed land on Canvey Island in order to ensure that the built environment is of a high quality and contributes towards community well-being, development of open Greenfield land is not supported in the same way. In accordance with the NPPF, the Council would expect the sequential approach to be applied, and therefore open greenfield land on Canvey Island would not be available for development unless land in other parts of the borough had been developed, or was otherwise unavailable for
    development. This means that in the short to medium term a further 39ha of
    greenfield land on Canvey Island, which is not constrained in any other way, is unavailable for housing growth.
    Impact of Physical Constraints on Development in the Green Belt: Overall, the physical constraints listed above exclude 1,693ha of defended Green Belt land within Castle Point from being considered for housing growth purposes. This leaves just 548ha for consideration in the short to medium term, and an additional 39ha for consideration in addition to this in the longer term.”

    Firstly and most importantly the 39ha being referred to here is the Dutch Village Green Belt site.
    This site seems to now to be being referred to as being downgraded by using the term greenfield despite it being identified as GREEN BELT on the Proposals Map.

    This play on words has the affect of making the Dutch Village one of those sites recognised as being unworthy of protection from development.

    What does UNLESS LAND IN OTHER PARTS OF THE BOROUGH HAD BEEN DEVELOPED OR OTHER WISE UNAVAILABLE actually mean.?

    The 39ha Dutch Village site has now become available for housing growth
    in not only in the short to medium term following development of an undisclosed number on any other site within the Borough, but almost certainly earmarked for the longer term. i.e. until any time from now and the end of the plan period.

    The Dutch Village site is constrained in several ways if someone can show me another site within the Borough that attracts more CONSTAINTS than I would express my condolences towards its immediate community.

    The Dutch Village is Green Belt
    It is a zone 3 flood cell
    It provides an open space amenity to an area considered to suffer from deprivation.
    It has ecological value
    It supports Sites of Special Interest and wild life value

    Lets have no doubt that if this is the best report that can be produced that is designed to protect the Borough against over development then we are in real trouble.

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