Castle Point Residents Ill-informed or Gullible? Green Belt Saved or still in Jeopardy?

Be In No Doubt Canvey Island residents stand to be affected by the development of Jotmans Farm, as much as the Jotmans Farm residents do themselves!

Once all phases of the Jotmans Farm proposal is completed there is a plan to construct a Roundabout to allow traffic from the 800 dwelling estate, onto Canvey Way!


Not only that, but the much Heralded retail extension nearby Morrisons on Canvey Island with the promised Marks and Spencer / Waitrose food, B and M and Sports Direct outlets, will add more Motorists Misery, entering and leaving via the Waterside Farm Roundabout and the local areas!

Recently the Jotmans farm Green Belt campaigners have been left to “discover” that Persimmons have decided to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision in the High Court.

The Secretary of State’s decision, generally portrayed to Residents as being a signal that not only Jotmans Farm, but also Green Belt in General, was Saved from Development, was Released on the 21st April 2017.

And so we headed for the Polling Stations, on the 4th May for the Castle Point Borough Council Elections and the General Election on the 8th June.

Possibly, Unfortunately the Election Period of Purdah may play some legal significance.* See below.

Through an email released by the Jotmans Farm campaign group, we gather that they are being led to believe that none of the Lead Group of Castle Point councillors were aware, or felt it unimportant to make the information known to Residents, that High Court action threatened the Jotmans Farm Decision!

Castle Point Council are an “Interested Party” in the High Court action. One only has to refer to the Glebelands case to be aware that CPBC should be involved:

Case No: CO/10476/201




 Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Date: 17/01/2014

Before :







– and –










Would the Castle Point officers not have immediately informed the Lead councillors, could the councillors not have been Open and Transparent and informed their Residents, of the Legal move?

In the Echo newspaper it is reported that Jotmans farm residents clutch at the possibility that the Persimmon legal team, left it beyond the 6 weeks to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision. CPBC appear to leave this desperate hope hanging.

In our humble opinion we find it inconceivable, not only that the Persimmon legal team would be so inefficient, surely the challenge would have been dismissed should the 6 week time limit to challenge the decision have elapsed, but that some lead group Castle Point councillors to be unaware cpbc are an Interested Party in the High Court case!

CPBC are quoted in the Echo “As the Appeal is actually against the decision of the Secretary of State it is for the secretary of State to defend.” …..”councillors have been kept informed…”

We fear on behalf of Jotmans Farm and Canvey Island residents, on whom this development will impact upon, that the release date of the Secretary of State’s decision and the dates of the Local Elections may well have had some influence, as well as having some legal impact.

* “The term ‘purdah’ is in use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The terms ‘pre-election period’ and ‘period of sensitivity’ are also used.
The pre-election ‘purdah’ period before general elections is not regulated by statute, but governed by conventions based largely on the Civil Service Code.
The pre-election period for the 8 June General Election will start on midnight on Friday 21 April 2017.
A ministerial statement gave details of the different ‘purdah’ periods for the different elections on 5 May 2016: The period of sensitivity preceding the local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections starts on 14 April”
Source: House of Commons Library Published Friday, April 21, 2017


8 responses to “Castle Point Residents Ill-informed or Gullible? Green Belt Saved or still in Jeopardy?

  1. Steve Sawkins

    The following article seems appropriate.

    Counties press for new planning role to link housing and infrastructure

    County councils should have an enhanced role in planning through new strategic arrangements with districts to help overcome nimbyism and boost housing delivery.

    The County Councils Network (CCN) said the average county house price is now nine times the average yearly earnings, rising to 12 times higher in some counties in the South East.
    The CCN, which represents 27 county councils across England, said communities fear that developments are not supported with the necessary infrastructure and funding. As a result, major developments are unpopular locally, with residents and MPs resisting moves to build homes.
    It points to the current “fragmented system” that sees districts overseeing housing and counties managing infrastructure. By bringing them together in strategic planning arrangements, it argues, counties and districts could plan for homes across an entire county “rather than the current system being restricted to pockets of areas containing on average 100,000 people”.
    Councils could then pinpoint the most appropriate areas for development rather than proposing to “cram homes into small pockets” or build without the necessary infrastructure.

    “Strategic planning will allay the considerable fears felt in communities over housebuilding, targeting developments in the most appropriate areas, with joined-up plans and financing for these homes allowing the necessary infrastructure to be created so communities do not feel the extra burden on public services,” said CCN vice-chairman and Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins.

    Any reform must be backed by fair and adequate funding for infrastructure for county areas, the CCN argues, with counties receiving £291 less per person for key services. This has led to infrastructure gaps amounting to billions of pounds in county areas.

    19 July 2017
    Huw Morris, The Planner

  2. There can be no excuse what so ever that JOTMANS Farm Action Group where not informed of this challenge by Persimmon Homes.
    It is not on the CPC portal which with due respect it should have so that residents were informed.
    CPBC were not in Purdah !!
    Whilst we appreciate this challenge is against
    Secretary of State decision and there was nothing we could do as it us their legal right to challenge we understand that.
    Even as i write this we still would have not been any the wiser if someone hadnt seen men counting traffic in the vicinity and questioned this activity.
    Councillors were aware of the challenge early June why not have the curiosity to tell residents who had fought for the last four and half years to Save Our Green Belt not just for Benfleet, Canvey , but for the whole of UK .
    Should Persimmon win any builder can sight Jotmans Farm in any CHALLENGE MADE in the High Court.
    Watch this space.

  3. Sharon Ainsley

    July 2017 Campaigners warn 70 of new Green Belt homes are unaffordable – –
    Only 16% of new houses built on Green Belt land since 2009 outside
    of local plans were classed as ‘affordable’, research from the
    Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has revealed.
    The Green Belt Under Siege report found 425,000 new homes are now
    planned for Green Belt land, an increase of 54% in the past year.
    The report shows that more than 70% of these new houses are
    ‘Green Belt is being lost at an ever faster rate, yet the type of housing
    being built now or in the future will do very little to address the affordable
    This site uses cookies. Click here to accept the use of these cookies. View our cookie policy
    Campaigners warn 70 of new Green Belt homes are unaffordable – – Your authority on UK local government 14:11:50]
    housing crisis faced by many families and young people,’ said Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the CPRE.
    ‘We must not be the generation that sells off our precious Green Belt in the mistaken belief it will help improve the
    affordability of housing. The only ones set to benefit from future Green Belt development will be landowners and the big
    housebuilders, not communities in need of decent, affordable housing.’
    The CPRE argues that the Government is ‘rewarding’ the development of Green Belt land, such as providing councils with
    £2.4bn through the New Homes Bonus initiative.

  4. This was really to be expected as the law allows developers to appeal against planning decisions up the different levels of the legal system, as they did in the case of Glebelands .

  5. Of course Jotman’s Farm shouldn’t be developed. Neither should there be any major development anywhere in the borough. The infrastructure is incapable of supporting current developments. I would like to see mainland support for Canvey residents objections to major development on the island. That includes mainland Councillors who still adopt a “them and us” attitude.

  6. Brilliant Canvey GB blog says it all. Some very clever dedicated people around who are only trying to protect their communities well being and saving some green fields for their families for the future. On a personal note I have emailed everybody with regard to finding out the full detail of the latest Persimmon appeal for a High Court hearing. Nothing back whatsoever. We only found out by a pure fluke otherwise we would not have known. We could have taken it on the chin as obviously presumably Persimmon appealed in the 6 week timescale which they are allowed to do. Having spent over 22 years in the RN which has a system built on communication, dedication and organisation – why were the residents not informed (in the 6 week period) that’s what humans do isn’t it communicate. Were people told officially not to tell us? On a personal note I really believe that after many years of campaigning that the High Court will give a Yes to this latest appeal – hopefully I am wrong. But surely this can’t be last piece of the jigsaw of a grand master plan – can it? When councils say No, when the SOS says No and it goes to a High Court for decision by people who probably really do not know the full true history, who probably never have or will ever see the Jotmans Farm area in its tranquil, peaceful and beautiful green belt scenario – then its a bit hard to take on board. What is the point of having a SOS if his word is not final – sometimes this country’s appeal system falls well behind the times – bit outdated now. Infrastructure not in place, air pollution sky high and traffic hazards are just a few of the pitfalls well documented re: JF nearby area – yet ECC say it is all fine and excellent roadworks – or what. Every bit of green belt will be up for grabs if Jotmans farm gets concreted over. Finally, we cannot say thank you enough to Rebecca Harris MP and Councillor Andrew Sheldon and some other dedicated councillors for all their hard work in getting us this far, in this long campaign hopefully, they will continue to help us constituents get the right and correct result as the final countdown approaches. There are a considerable amount of residents who are really upset that a short email, short telephone call or an announcement on a relevant website was not promulgated to inform them. I know because I talk to a lot of them on a daily basis – wonder if all this in on face book? Life you can’t make it up can you!!!!

  7. Steve Sawkins

    Thank you for providing the AMAZING or CYINICAL post for past reference I do hope that readers take the opportunity to revisit its message.
    Posted on the 21st of April 2017 it contains some of the S O S comments in favour of the application which highlights the fact that his concluding judgment may have carried some political weight.

    A High Court Judge however will only consider Planning Law, which my be the very reason why the applicant has chosen to appeal.

    Some one made the decision not to disclose the developers intent, perhaps CPBC did not want to worry its residents and by keeping this bad news story under raps in favour of a need to know basis was the right thing to do.

    My understanding is that the Governments House Building Bonus Scheme does not extend to projects that have previously been appealed. Should this application be granted the communities amenities will take a huge increase in its demands, out weighing the developer contributions and Sec 106 payments..

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