Crossing the GB Line on Twitter – it’s been done before on the W.W.Web!

The next Green Belt Planning proposal in the firing line, within the Castle Point boundaries will likely be the Dutch Village fields, or Land East of Canvey Road.

There has been a disposition taken by Development Committee members that suggests Green Belt development is considered contrary to their approval. Despite this Canvey residents may feel a tad uneasy as the Dutch Village was CPBC councillors choice through the Core Strategy as the preferred development site for release from the Borough’s Green Belt AND remains as disposable through the Local Plan process to now!

Whether or not their position will change only time will tell and it is apparent that every vote may count once the proposal reaches the Development Committee for consideration.

Following Twitter and conversation has been struck up between “M” and a committee member.

Points have been raised regarding the lusty defence of “virgin” Green Belt at Jotmans farm and previously Glebelands. However those following the Jotmans Inquiry may have noted the reliance on the Adopted 1998 Local Plan, now considered out of date, but also the fact that the local Plan appears to have been dragging its feet and that the 0.7 years worth of a 5 year housing supply has dwindle to between 0.4 and 0.5 years worth!

Should the Jotmans Appeal be upheld what pressure / onus would be placed on the Development committee in their decision-making following consideration of the Land East of Canvey Road.

We have seen before councillors regretting to have to make “difficult decisions,” remember the Core Strategy and the adoption of the New Local Plan for consultation!

We have heard hints that the rainy day fund to fight planning appeals, isn’t actually allocated and set aside money according to officers.

Whilst it may be all well and good committee members giving encouragement to Twitter Poster’s it should be remembered there is a fine line between encouragement, the endorsement of an MP’s position and a stand point that the 1998 out of date Local Plan ensures protection, and Pre-determination!

If a councillor is disposed to lean towards protection of Green Belt in general, all well and good. On the other hand there is a need for housing in the Borough, if this cannot be found then it may be suggested that he / she is failing in part of his / her duty as a councillor.

No doubt the Dutch Village fields supporters will need every vote possible from the development committee, we would not like to see decision makers, who maybe likely to lend support, be disqualified from participation.

As noted earlier in this guidance note, the common law permits predisposition but nevertheless it remains good practice that, when being lobbied, councillors (members of the planning committee in particular) should try to take care about expressing an opinion that may be taken as indicating that they have already made up their mind on the issue before they have been exposed to all the evidence and arguments.
In such situations, they could restrict themselves to giving advice about the process and what can and can’t be taken into account.
Councillors can raise issues which have been raised by their constituents, with officers. If councillors do express an opinion to objectors or supporters, it is good practice that they make it clear that they will only be in a position to take a final decision after having heard all the relevant arguments and taken into account all relevant material and planning considerations at committee.

LGA guidance 2013


One response to “Crossing the GB Line on Twitter – it’s been done before on the W.W.Web!

  1. Editor I have taken the liberty of extracting this from one of your latest blogs The brochure it refers to was proudly presented to the minister by our MP, Senior Castle Point Officers and Senior Leading Group Councilors.
    There were no representative from Canvey Island present.
    It clearly indicates that there has always been long term plans for the continued development of Canvey Island

    “Brochure! Drainage bid to Government.
    Posted on September 14, 2015 |
    And we all thought that the bid to Government for the necessary drainage improvements was for the good of the existing residents and properties of Canvey Island that were affected so badly during the 2014 flooding!”

    “With over 6,100 jobs already based on the island, plans submitted to the government through the South East LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), propose to create over 1,100 new jobs. Further development opportunities have also created the potential for the construction of over 1,500 new homes across Canvey.
    The Essex Economic Growth Strategy highlights the numerous industrial opportunities located along the Thames riverside in Thurrock and on Canvey Island; recognising the strong growth potential in the area.
    It is vital that all relevant agencies and central government work together, to ensure this growth potential is not inhibited by the significant risks associated with future flooding on the island.”

    As we have always maintained; no improvement of infrastructure without even more development on the most densely urbanised part of our Borough

    Wake Up Canvey!
    Canvey Islanders need to be aware of the planning proposals already awaiting deliberation and take the opportunity to view the details On CPBC planning portal.
    CPT/707/11/OUT :- Thorney Bay
    14/0620/FUL:- Thorney Bay
    15/0496/OUT:- Dutch Village
    15/0293/RES:- Land at Morrisons
    14/0707/OUT ;- Land off Roscommon way
    There are other applications for development at the Point and at the Playing Fields previously part of the old Castle View School.
    Canvey Island is under attack not only from developers but also it would seem from the aspirations of the administration and governance of CPBC.
    You may well support these developments and see them as progress for Canvey Island, if so, all you need to do is remain silent!

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