Canvey Green Belt safe? Really? Probably as Safe from Development as Jotmans Farm, or Even Less So!

Canvey Islanders are right to be fearful of both Castle Point Council and the Government chief planner, as between them they concoct the next Local Plan for the Borough.

Why, because it appears previous promises and assurances that Canvey AND the mainland’s Green Belt is not in danger of being released for development, are worthless!

Anybody that has visited the cpbc Local Plan consultation Portal, will have noticed that all Green Belt sites considered and promoted for development in the daft 2014 Local Plan, including those rejected and omitted for the Local Plan2016, have now reappeared for consideration!

Directly below are just some of the sites that cpbc Leaders and officers are “considering” including in the list of sites released for development.

You will note that this will affect West, South and East Canvey Island, with knock on effects across the whole of the Island AND south Benfleet, when Traffic, Commuting, Doctors, Hospitals and Schooling are concerned!

Sites appearing in the LP 2018 consultation questionnaire include:

 Do you support the potential residential development at land east of Canvey Road?  Otherwise known as the Dutch Village fields or Corn fields.

Do you support the potential residential development at land fronting Canvey Road? Land alongside the Dutch Cottage

Do you support the potential residential development at land at Thorney Bay Caravan Park, Canvey Island?

Do you support the potential residential development at land at Point Road, Canvey Island?   The Canvey Supply and surrounding Business area.

Do you support the potential residential development at land west of Benfleet? (Jotmans Farm).

Plus other mainland Green Belt sites, making up the list. And of course the other sites we know about, such as the Paddocks, The Jellicoe etc are extra to these!

And yet we have been assured ahead of elections and announcements that the Borough’s Green Belt, at least those sites considered “Virgin” were all protected.

How very disappointing to hear and read the council leader and officers and Government chief planner are now making completely different noises.

We hear NO Dissenting Voices, and our local newspaper, the Echo, appears to be under some level of censorship from cpbc!

As an illustration of the change of direction, reproduced directly below is our Blog post dated 6th October 2017. In it is included a message from Cllr Sheldon, a councillor with good connections to have spoken knowledgeably on Castle Point’s Green Belt situation.

One must ask, “where did it all so horribly go wrong?”

“THE DECISION STANDS. JOTMANS WILL NOT BE BUILT ON.”

Following the Secretary of State’s decision following the Appeal inquiry into the proposed Jotmans Farm Green Belt Housing Development, the developer registered a High Court challenge over the decision of the SoS and Castle Point council.
CPBC Councillor A. Sheldon has issued this notice:

Dear Residents,
I have just received the news that the Developers have not been granted permission to appeal the Jotmans decision by the Secretary of State!!!
This means that no appeal hearing will take place.

They made an application for an appeal and it got refused!!!

THE DECISION STANDS. JOTMANS WILL NOT BE BUILT ON.

I have received word that they are looking to get this decision reviewed (the decision not to review the decision…..), but I am confident this will get thrown out. With every unsuccessful legal bid they make, the case they have grows weaker and weaker. As your local councillor I will keep on monitoring this and keep you updated.
Our message to the developers: “Democracy has won. Take your money and build homes on sites the community want, not ones that are easy”.

Well done again to all those who kept the faith and supported our cause. I also want to thank the Jotmans Farm Action Group who fought this application hard from day 1.

We can all rest that little bit easier now.

We are not completely out of the woods just yet, but we one last step away and I will be dammed if I am going to let anything make us stumble now.
I will be putting out a letter to let the rest of the estate know at the weekend and if anyone could volunteer to deliver their road I would be grateful.

Kind regards,
Councillor Andrew Sheldon

Jotmans Farm SAFE!

Jotmans Farm Safe!

Photo: Echo Newspaper.

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One response to “Canvey Green Belt safe? Really? Probably as Safe from Development as Jotmans Farm, or Even Less So!

  1. Steve Sawkins

    Editor
    There were a number of key issues identified within the previous “New Local Plan Consultation Statement
    August 2016”
    “The main issues raised during consultation on all phases of the preparation of the New Local Plan are summarised below.
    Key Issue 1: Objectively Assessed Need for Housing vs. Capacity
    Neighbouring authorities and developers have highlighted the significant difference between the housing target in the New Local Plan and the objectively assessed needs for housing identified in the Strategic Housing Market Assessments and the Housing Growth Topic Paper. There is an expectation amongst neighbours that the Council should look in more detail at the available sites to ensure that they are deliverable and that their capacity is maximised. There is meanwhile an expectation amongst developers of a higher housing target than is set out in the plan.
    In response to these comments, the Council has reviewed its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment which shows that all reasonable sites have been identified and that their capacity to accommodate housing is fully assessed. Many Green Belt sites have been identified to the Council, by land owners and/or developers but local resident representations are strongly opposed to the development of Green Belt sites. While the ability of these sites to contribute towards housing supply has been assessed within the Land Availability Assessment, the Council is clear that it is not realistic to expect housing development within the Borough to meet objectively assessed needs, without causing harm to planning interests of acknowledged international, national and local significance, including the permanent loss of open Green Belt land”
    Is the Authority expecting any significant change of community opinion via the LP2018 consultation exercise that will effect this statement, or are those dealing with the process simply going to ignore the communities concerns.
    CPBC cannot be allowed to cherry pick previous evidence so as to effect their desired outcome. Alternatively is there any point in going through this process only to find the outcome corresponding to CPBC aspirations, after all most councillors voted for this planning process whilst others simply allowed it to progress unopposed.

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