Jotmans Farm High Court Appeal – NOT for Castle Point council to Defend?

Green Belt Campaigners, particularly those concerned for the future of Jotmans Farm, having been kept well and truly in the dark over the High Court challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to oppose development of the area, should be concerned to note the apparent inactivity by Castle Point Borough Council.

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Mushroom syndrome where you’re kept in the dark

The statement issued by CPBC as reported in the Echo Newspaper reads;

“As the appeal is actually against the decision of the Secretary of State, it is for the Secretary of State to defend.”

“The council is monitoring the situation, councillors have been kept informed..”

The second point made by CPBC and why it was felt it un-necessary to inform residents, we covered HERE.

If you have read the Post’s link and read the contents you will be aware that, in the case of the Glebelands High Court Appeal, Castle Point Council were named as Defendents!

So referring back to the cpbc statement in the Echo above, it may appear to be a remarkably un-reassuring and passive position for our Local Authority to assume!

After all, as recently as the 11th July of this year Essex County Council, to which Castle Point residents are represented Agreed the following Motion, passed with Unanimous Approval

Perhaps some clarity is deserved by Residents from our local councillors after reading the following, of which they will also be aware;

Planning and Infrastructure

At the July 2017 Essex County Council meeting, it was Agreed (with UNANIMOUS Cross-Party support) that;

Essex County Council will not support Local (Development) Plans unless adequate resources are identified from developers, local councils and/or Government grants to ensure that sufficient infrastructure, including roads, schools, medical facilities, parking, sewerage and drainage, is provided in a timely manner and in a way that balances the needs to promote economic growth and provide housing for residents whilst protecting their quality of life.

Given the significant housing development emerging from Local Development Plans, this Council reaffirms its commitment to this policy. This Council also expresses its concern that whilst Local Development Plans and Neighbourhood Plans are being progressed to decide where this housing should be best located, some developers are exploiting the lack of a 5 year housing supply to gain planning permission on greenfield sites, often outside the development boundary, even when these sites have been excluded from the draft local plan and in some cases where there are brownfield sites available or in the pipeline.

This Council therefore calls on the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to issue urgent statutory guidance, which removes the opportunity for this exploitation and protects valued greenfield sites from predatory development.

Previously agreed at the October 2014 Full Council meeting.

It would appear negligent if legal representation was not made during the High Court Appeal by Castle Point Council to reiterate the County Council’s Policy on exploitation of Green Belt sites, especially those which will undoubtedly have a major impact upon road infrastructure, especially during the cpbc Local Plan process.

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3 responses to “Jotmans Farm High Court Appeal – NOT for Castle Point council to Defend?

  1. Editor:- following your reported ECC meeting.

    12 Jul 2017 | News Releases

    “New roads, schools, medical services and installing broadband facilities should all form part of any future plans to develop housing in Essex. That’s the message behind a motion put forward today by the Conservative ruling group at County Hall.
    This is to ensure people can live in sustainable communities that are growing because of the urgent housing need.
    It comes as Local Plans are being finalised by many councils and acts in support of these Plans to make sure that proper infrastructure is not lagging behind the need to build more homes. This benefits people, jobs and the economy.

    Cllr. Sue Lissimore, Cabinet Member for Housing. Property and Planning at County Hall, said:
    “We know the predicted rise in the population for the next two decades means that we need more housing both now and in the future. It is critical if our children and grandchildren are going to have the chance of a home with a local, decent job, green space to play and exercise, local schools that offer excellent standards and a fully sustainable community. However, it is vital that we do not allow housing to be built in isolation and that proper infrastructure to support these new and emerging communities is put in place at the start. This is a realistic motion that reaffirms the Conservatives position and aligns itself with what many people in Essex also believe.”
    The motion also urges the Government to ensure that help is given to Councils to progress Local Plans so that ‘opportunistic’ applications are not made and that all brownfield sites are brought forward for building.

    Cllr. David Finch, Leader of ECC, said:
    “We are very much in favour of proper housing being built in Essex so that current and future generations can live in good decent housing. But we must ensure that we plan for next 20-30 years and properly shape the county so that we improve the road network, schools are built and medical services are available. Essex is a great place to live and work and as Conservatives elected to run County Hall for the next four years it is our duty to ensure we do so in a sensible way that benefits local people.”

    This motion follows a similar one put forward and accepted by ECC Members in 2014 and reaffirms the Conservatives commitment to good planning, housing and infrastructure whilst also urging the Government to issue urgent statutory guidance, to prevent some developers exploiting the lack of a 5 year housing supply to gain planning permission on greenfield sites”

    I am not so sure given the obvious lack of infrastructure within our part of CPBC and therefore ECC that the amount of already granted and proposed development envisaged, can be classed in any way as being sensible.

  2. Sharon Ainsley

    CPBC may not intend to defend this but JFAG (Jotmans Farm Action Group) most certainly will be making ourselves visible.
    As and when an Appeal date for the hearing and the venue is agreed, we will if necessary hire a coach to take us there.
    We may not be allowed to speak but we can be seen if not heard.
    Anyone wishing to come along, please let your Editor know.

  3. It is following the same process as the Glebelands application and subsequent appeals .

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