Knots in the Golden Thread-Local Plan2016 + Living in the Castle Point Green Belt “Bubble.”


An investment opportunity

In the light of the bold, some suggest foolhardy, decision to approve the Local Plan2016 and its housing delivery policies, and ahead of the Jotmans Farm Inquiry decision, it may be worth scanning over some Planning Policy extracts.

“At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.”

“To be considered deliverable, sites should be available now, offer a suitable location for development now, and be achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years and in particular that development of the site is viable. Sites with planning permission should be considered deliverable until permission expires, unless there is clear evidence that schemes will not be implemented within five years, for example they will not be viable, there is no longer a demand for the type of units or sites have long term phasing plans.”

Local Authorities are expected: “To boost significantly the supply of housing,”

Castle Point has seen a historic housing delivery below that of the recognised housing need in 13 out of the last 14 years, according to available information.

The average annual supply over the recorded 14 years is 102 Dwellings per Annum.

The proposed Local Plan2016 “seeks to deliver approximately 100 homes per annum”.

This falls short of boosting significantly the supply of housing, in fact it seeks to, and likely will supply less than the previous average housing supply over the previous decade and more.

” an economic role – contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation”

Castle Point Council’s evidence suggests that Business / Industrial development is in deficit in the areas of Canvey east and throughout the mainland. Almost typically, and almost to emphasise the usual contrariness of planning in Castle Point the decision makers promote and approve two large development sites in Canvey west!

We are reminded that the National Planning Policy Framework should be read as a whole.

Thereby lies both the possible Dangers and the Saviours!

The protection of the local Green Belt, whilst some other parts of Green Belt will / may be released for development, will in itself invite scrutiny at Local Plan Examination.

The Inspector during the Examination process of the Castle Point Core Strategy considered:

” I have reservations about the methodology employed and the way in which it appears to have been used, leading to inconsistent and inappropriate site selection. ”

” the absence of a reasonable number of larger sites is more likely to undermine the Council’s ability to deliver its objective to provide affordable housing.”

“It is not for me to identify the options available to the Council but I have been provided with detailed submissions on potential housing sites put forward by representatives of the house building industry.  One way forward might be to reconsider these…..”

We must entrust our faith that these concerns and options have been scrutinised by the drivers of our Local Plan2016 and can be evidenced when the time for Examination arrives.


One response to “Knots in the Golden Thread-Local Plan2016 + Living in the Castle Point Green Belt “Bubble.”

  1. Despite the clear test set by paragraph 14 and associated bullet points 9 and 10 of the NPPF, CPBC have yet to compile a full and comprehensive assessment of all the environmental capacity issues of its area, making it difficult for the Planning Inspectors to apply the NPPF policy in the situations such as ours where it is propose to provide fewer homes than is the assessed level of need. There is still an under delivery of all the CONSTRAINT elements of the local plan, which is an aspect that needs to be strengthened to ensure that a robust application of the NPPF has been taken. Evidence that supports the Governments expectation that local authority housing needs should be met unless it can demonstrate that to do so will cause significant adverse effects has yet to be substantiated.

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