Category Archives: Dutch Village – Vermuyden Gate

Persimmons seek Change of Use of Canvey Island Green Belt Land, with Stable Block for just 3 Horses, whilst Profits impress and Residents unaware!

On first glance it might be puzzling to explain why Canvey Island should be the first choice for Persimmon Homes to expand their successful business interests into the world of Equestrian pursuits at the Dutch Village on Canvey Island!

Persimmon’s profits more than triple over five years to £782.6million in 2016.

And yet they have registered a Planning Proposal with Castle Point borough council;

18/0118/FUL | Erection of stable block with adjoining hay storage/tack room and associated landscaping, formation of access track together with the change of use of land.

Persimmon, this mighty developer, seeks to enter into Equestrianism with a 16+ Hectare site for just 3 horses!


Riding Roughshod through Planning Policy

Quite obviously the Change of Use of Land is tactical manoeuvring in preparation for their challenge to the next cpbc Local Plan, Housing Supply and its interpretation of Green Belt Policy.

Either way, should the Dutch Village site become developed with the anticipated 300 dwellings, the infrastructure issues on Canvey Island will be exacerbated.

Health Service, traffic, recreation and Flooding issues will all be worsened, affecting each and every Canvey Island and South Benfleet resident!

The Change of use of Land, should signify a warning to all of the Borough’s Green Belt site neighbours, many of the Borough’s GB sites have some Built Development on them.

CPBC needs to be working on a Red Line to define where GB land changes from their pristine, cherished “virgin” sites to, GB with limited development, before finally becoming Previously developed Green Belt with the same lack of protection as Brownfield sites.

The KEY to ANY Canvey Island development must be that it is, APPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT!

Castle Point council must respond in the correct manner to this application. We should all make our thoughts known to the council officers, otherwise Green Belt Policy will be undermined and Canvey Island and Sth.Benfleet residents will suffer.

The Link to the Application to view documents and to make comment is HERE.

Reasons to Object or comment upon could include:

Green Belt Development

as a whole, it should be considered that the proposal represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The NPPF identifies that such development may only be permitted under Very Special Circumstances.
NPPF Paragraph 83 instructs “Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan.”
It can be argued that the “Change of Use of Land” should also only be considered, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan rather than by individual applications.

“All permanent stables and field shelters will require planning permission and, if the land is not in use for the keeping of horses, an application is unlikely to be acceptable.”

The term Very Special Circumstances implies that a desperate “Need” for this facility must be Obvious and Proven, or that there are very few similar facilities in the area.
It should be noted that there are many similar facilities in the local area.

The “facilities are small scale” indeed accommodating a maximum of 3 horses only. This will have no tangible impact on any suggested unmet need for such facilities, even if such need were proven to exist.

The applicant refers to the Purposes of the Green Belt and notes ‘to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas’;
The applicant points out that their intention is to construct “buildings in the Green Belt will give rise to built development”

Archaeological Features

The field abutting the proposed Stable Yard contains the Roman Saltern, a scheduled Ancient Monument, 260m south east of Great Russell Head Farm. This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance.

Proposed Access

The current access is on a busy dual carriageway, Canvey Road.

The design plans indicate the intention to “set back” the gated entrance 6 metres from the footpath. Whilst this “pull in” may make the actual entry to the field somewhat safer, other Canvey Road field entrances, with similar “pull in”design, have been the subject of serious “Fly Tipping” problems. This has been notably recorded at the entrances to the Canvey West Marsh RSPB site, directly opposite.

Vandalism and the protection from Harm of Horses

The Stable Block would likely act as a “magnet” for vandals being, unlit, housing unattended animals over night, out of sight of passers-by view thereby “secret”, and of wooden construction, containing feed and bedding, all potential fire hazards.*

*Extracted from the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group’s 4 page Objection document.

Illustration with apologies to Thelwell


Persimmon approach the First Hurdle for Canvey Island’s Dutch Village Green Belt Development! CPBC Censorship!

Persimmon have Housing Development plans for Canvey Island. However they appear happy to play the Long Game.

Plans have been registered with Castle Point Council for Stables for 3 Horses at the Dutch Village. This will include the “Change of Use of Land” as it is Green Belt.

Their Application stresses the stables will be “Built Development”.

We have covered this in a previous blog post HERE.

For those concerned or wishing to make comment we thought it might be helpful to make public our Grounds for Objection as registered with Castle Point Council, these should be visible below for you to see:-


Runnymede Towers

Please be advised WE DON’T HAVE TO MAKE COMMENTS VISIBLE TO OTHER RESIDENTS on  the Castle Point website. This may be due to us not wanting others to know what Residents think or just us choosing to Censor information.

Anyway we don’t care, cos the legislation says we don’t have to! Editor.

“As prescribed in article 15 of the Development Management Procedure Order, local planning authorities are required to undertake a formal period of public consultation, prior to deciding a planning application. There is however, as you correctly stated, no legislative requirements for any comments received as part of that consultation to be available to view online.

The Castle Point website does however show the number of comments that have been received on any application so the level of public interest can be clearly identified. We are not alone in this approach, it is commonly adopted by a number of authorities, our neighbouring authority of Basildon being one such example.

We have been working in this way for some time now and we certainly have no evidence to suggest that this is in anyway deterring people from commenting. Indeed we have an application which is currently open for consultation that has received 135 comments to date, demonstrating I believe that the community remain fully engaged in the process.

Planning guidance states that officer’s reports should include the ‘substance of any objections, contain technical appraisals which clearly justify the recommendation and should have a written recommendation for the decision to be made’.

Comments received in respect of a planning application can only be considered if they are, what is commonly known as, ‘material planning considerations’. Comments which are not material cannot be considered in the determining of a planning application and any such comments will not therefore be referenced in a report by an officer nor should they be considered by members at Committee.

The information you have appended below your email is indeed an ‘extract’ from a much longer report however I should point out that it omits to make reference to the consideration of all relevant objections in more detail throughout the body of the report, which more fully explain how the objections have been considered against planning policies and guidance.

Development Control Committee can, and often do, make a decision which is different from the officer recommendation and this will often reflect a difference in the assessment of how a policy has been complied with, or different weight ascribed to relevant matters.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Regards, Castle Point Borough Council”

Canvey Dutch Village Green Belt under Fire, yet Again! The Cowboys set to take advantage – More Canvey Island Development by Stealth? Jotmans Farm beware!

In a crude attempt to negate supposedly protected Green Belt land on Canvey Island, a Planning Proposal has been received by Castle Point planners!

Persimmon, withdrew their long standing proposal to develop 300 dwellings on the Canvey Dutch Village, now a new proposal is shown as being received.

This time, no doubt an interim measure, for an equine facility, we assume in the current local climate as a move towards their real desire to develop over, the Dutch Village Green Belt site.

18/0118/FUL | Erection of stable block with adjoining hay storage/tack room and associated landscaping. Formation of access track together with the change of use of land for the keeping of horses. Installation of width restriction barrier to discourage unauthorised motorcycle access and main entrance gate alterations. | Land East Of Canvey Road And South Of Great Russell Head Farm Canvey Island Essex

The timing could not have been better, whilst Castle Point council remain under threat of Intervention from the Government Secretary of State, due to the failure of the Local Plan Duty to Cooperate requirement and the subsequent  withdrawal of the latest version of the cpbc Local Plan!

CPBC’s gamble to play with technicalities by differentiating between Green Belt and previously developed Green Belt will be tested, at Canvey Island’s expense.

The site served up to save mainland Green Belt, the Blinking Owl site, is not considered deliverable within Local Plan terms. So, the more previously developed Green Belt land in the Island part of the borough, the less required to be found elsewhere in councillors eyes.

Additionally it will be interesting to learn how this proposal for equine use can be Rejected, as a very similar application was granted in the Green Belt, by the Castle Point development committee, for Canvey west ward councillor J.King in January 2017!

cpbc officers applied the following logic, so as to overcome the Special Circumstances to allow development in this instance;

Sluice farm, Haven Road. 16/0433/FUL

“The Planning Authority defines a ‘very special circumstance’ as one which is unique to the site or, at the very least, incapable of frequent repetition. Very special circumstances need not be a single matter, but may result from a combination of matters which individually may not be considered very special, but which in combination, when viewed objectively, may be identified as very special.
Whilst the proposal will result in inappropriate development in the Green Belt which will have an impact on the openness of the Green Belt, suggesting that permission for the proposal should be withheld, the NPPF openly encourages the provision of opportunities for outdoor recreation, improved biodiversity and improved landscape. The proposal will provide opportunities for countryside recreation which would be consistent with the Government objective of seeking to provide positive uses within the established Green Belt.
It is considered that this factor, coupled with the limited harm to the strategic function, character and appearance of the Green Belt provide very special circumstances which weigh in favour of the proposed development.”

At the time, we were bewildered by the development committee’s eagerness to apply this logic, but……..

In contrast, where the supply of Housing is concerned, as in the Jotmans case, the Secretary of State concluded;

“The Secretary of State has considered carefully whether these considerations amount to very special circumstances which clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and other harm. The Secretary of State has taken into account the extremely low housing land supply, and the withdrawal of the dNLP. This increases uncertainty about the future delivery of housing. He has also taken into account the Written Ministerial Statement confirming the Government’s policy that ‘subject to the best interests of the child, personal circumstances and unmet need are unlikely to clearly outweigh harm to the Green Belt and any other harm so as to establish very special circumstances’.”

You can see the obvious danger where cpbc are concerned, apparently the provision of Stabling for Horses provide the Very Special Circumstances necessary to permit green Belt Release, whilst the provision of allegedly much needed Housing, in a borough with a chronic under supply of housing, doesn’t!

Or is it simply a case of Canvey Green Belt requiring a different level of Special Circumstances? We will be interested to learn the position our representatives will adopt and their logic in doing so.

We can imagine the wringing of hands and the apologetic faces, whilst they state that their hands are tied and that they can only consider the application before them!

Who knows the Canvey equine Green Belt proposal may be a ploy by Persimmon, so that when they resurrect their Jotmans Farm proposal, as they most certainly will, they will then be able to suggest that with a new equine facility on Canvey, there will be an abundance of equine stabling and facilities in this part of Castle Point. Jotmns Farm campaigners be warned!

It appears  however that for now, the Castle Point cowboys may be getting themselves a new Ranch!

“The Natives are restless, and seem desirous of fighting”, The question is, or are they?


Image: Courier Litho. Co., Buffalo, N.Y.

A Tactical Withdrawal, temporary Reprieve? What is going on at Castle Point Council and its Local Plan?

In a letter from Castle Point Council, dated 31st May 2017, we learn of the latest developments in the Persimmons proposal to develop the Dutch Village Green Belt;

Dear Sir/Madam


Proposal: Erect up to 275 new homes and retail/community facilities (use classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, C2 and/or D1) with new roundabout junction onto A130 Canvey Road, associated parking, open space, ecological enhancements, landscaping, drainage and flood mitigation measures (outline)
Location: Land To The East Of Canvey Road Canvey Island Essex


I refer to my consultation letter in respect of the above application and write to advise you that the application has been withdrawn and the Council will not therefore take any further action in the matter.


I thank you for your interest in the proposal and I will ensure that you are consulted again if a further application is submitted in the future.


Yours faithfully,

S Rogers

Head of Regeneration & Neighbourhoods

Canvey Island, Dutch Village, Green Belt development Refused, but don’t mention the “F” word

A Unanimous decision to Refuse the Dutch Village, Holland Avenue Green Belt planning proposal was decided upon by the Castle Point planning committee last evening.

Objections from both the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority, made the decision fairly obvious, although with CPBC you can never be certain.

At last the area was given the Green Belt recognition and respect that has been overdue. Previously the area had been the first in line for release for development. The Local Plan2016 shifts focus onto previously developed Green Belt, land that already contains a level of development, as that which is preferred for housing supply.

The fact that the Holland Avenue site is Green Belt within a Flood Zone should have offered more protection from development than most in the Borough, however logic doesn’t always prevail.

The reliance upon our “impregnable” sea defences, which by the way can do little to halt water seeping under them, and our “broken” drainage system, should result in a Sequential Approach to development. If similar development areas outside of the flood zone are available, then development in the flood zone would be Refused.

However using the overly simplistic logic, that Canvey is a “Special Case,” due to Canvey Island being a developed area it must follow that it must be continued to be developed!

The officers report offered no other reasoning nor explanation, than that!

A case was offered by us that the development in a flood zone, Sequential Test decision was challengeable, as was the Exception Test, which was actually mentioned as being failed in the officers report. We asked that both Tests should be recorded as Reasons for Refusal, most disappointingly councillors allowed this to slip the net!

Members agreed that the access to the proposed site was inadequate, hardly surprising considering the condition and specification of the approach road, which we must add past planning administrations had allowed approval.

IMG_0324 (2)

Thankfully the “F” word wasn’t uttered by development committee members although in this instance we mean the “Flood RE” word.

Consideration should be given by as to whether the development committee can be assured that housing development in a Flood Zone will be able to obtain flood insurance over the life time of new dwellings.

The Flood RE scheme, which guarantees affordable insurance to such new dwellings, excludes all development built since 2008!

Therefore, as in the case of Canvey homes flooded in 2013 and 2014, insurance premiums and excesses are open to the market forces, meaning insurance premiums and excesses if offered, are extortionately high.

Whilst the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group made this point in representation, the issue received no consideration.

This is quite incredible as we hear that funding is neither identified nor allotted for improvements for the sea defence nor improvements for the drainage system.


Non-discussion will not exempt Castle Point Council from blame. A head in the sand attitude towards this evidenced Risk is a gamble. A gamble with residents and future residents, financial assets and well being. A gamble with the socio-economic stability of Canvey Island.

We welcome and endorse the committee’s decision, but  will continue to press for a realistic approach to local planning matters.

A link to the committee meeting can be reached HERE.

Holland Avenue, Jotmans farm – residents and CPBC are being Manipulated!


The Castle Point Local Plan2016 has, in response to perceived residents wishes, selected to release less electorally sensitive land for development of housing and industrial uses.

Rather than chance a policy of “No Green Belt” release for development, the Local Plan seeks to release areas that officers feel may lead an Inspector, on Examination, to find makes for an “unsound” Plan.

This comment has come to my attention today, care of Andrew Lainton’s Decisions decisions decisions blog:

“A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said the government had “no plans or policy” to relax “the strong protections that prevent inappropriate development” on greenbelt land. The Tories’ planning policy means it is up to councils and local people where to build new housing.

Err what about the planned intentions below, by the Chancellor announced in the Autumn statement and consulted on in Dec 2015 then to relax controls on previous developed land in Greenbelts removing the ‘predominantly open’ test.  Which would for example allow 100% of Garden Centres / Former research institutes, religious institutions, schools and hospitals, including there garden grounds, to be developed?

The DCLG must either correct its “misstatement” to the FT, or announce the weakening of Green Belt policy has been dropped.”

Given that the Local Plan2016 “supporters” wish the Green Belt land known as H18 the Blinking Owl site (land that has some current residential and industrial usages)  to be released as Deliverable and Developable, whilst protecting the Bowers Road area (land that has some residential usages), indicates that we may face some protracted legal examinations.

It may be suggested that CPBC having conceded that Green Belt is required to be released as housing supply, developers will protest that they are available and able to supply housing in their preferred sites.

There appears there will be a clear conflict between where the local policy makers wish development to take place, and when, and where developers are in place to develop alternate sites.

Whilst the Jotmans Farm Inquiry currently rests with the Secretary of State, decision originally due mid-March, it is now announced that CPBC believe the Holland Avenue GB proposal is ready for consideration. Developers appear to be attempting to lay down markers that their proposals should be weighed against local policies.

The clear indication is that this will introduce further extended Local Plan examination of not only must Green Belt be released, but also, where!

Brownfield land in the Green Belt 50.

We are firmly committed to making sure the best possible use is made of all brownfield land that is suitable for housing, to reduce the need as far as possible to release other land.  This could potentially include some brownfield land that sits within the Green Belt that already has buildings or structures and has previously been developed.  
51. We are committed to protecting the Green Belt, and are maintaining the strong safeguards on Green Belt set out in national planning policy.  These policies set a high bar against inappropriate development in Green Belt, while recognising that some parts of the Green Belt contain living and working communities that need to thrive. National planning policy sets out that most development in the Green Belt is inappropriate and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.

52. Only 0.1% of land in the Green Belt is previously developed brownfield land suitable for housing, often with structures or buildings in place.  Limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of such land – where this would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development – is already deemed not inappropriate.

53. Since introduction of the initial exception site policy for starter homes in March 2015, we have given further consideration to the potential release of brownfield land in the Green Belt as part of our overall approach to delivering 200,000 starter homes. The Autumn Statement 2015 set out that we will bring forward proposals to amend national planning policy to allow for the development of brownfield land in the Green Belt providing it contributes to starter homes.

We propose to change policy to support the regeneration of previously developed brownfield sites in the Green Belt by allowing them to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, providing this contributes to the delivery of starter homes, and subject to local consultation. We propose to amend the current policy test in paragraph 89 of the National Planning Policy Framework that prevents development of brownfield land where there is any additional impact on the openness of the Green Belt to give more flexibility and enable suitable, sensitively designed redevelopment to come forward.

We would make it clear that development on such land may be considered not inappropriate development where any harm to openness is not substantial.

54. Based on data from the 2010 National Land Use Database, we estimate that across England there were 500 to 600 hectares of brownfield land in the Green Belt viable for starter homes development and not on open land15. There is no data to indicate how much of this land has subsequently been built on (including potentially commercial or industrial units), or how much further land of this type may have become available.

Nine Reasons to Object to the Holland Avenue Green Belt Development

Holland Avenue, Dutch Village Estate, Canvey Island proposed development.

To object to the Council over this proposal, click on this LINK then simply click on “Make a Comment” on the right hand side of the Page you are taken to.

Reasons for Refusal.

  1. Proposal is contrary to the Emerging Castle Point Borough Council Local Plan
  2. Proposal is contrary to the Existing Castle Point Borough Council Local Plan
  3. Proposal is contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework regarding Green Belt
  4. Sustainable Urban Drainage proposed scheme, is inadequate
  5. Increase in off-site Flood Risk to Neighbouring Properties
  6. Tidal Flood Risk. Development will increase the numbers of population at Risk of Tidal Flooding
  7. Loss of Amenity of an Informal Activity Area for children
IMG_0156 (2)
8. Loss of an important developing Wildlife Habitat
9. Inadequate Access via unmade Roads that will place increased liabilities upon existing    Residents
IMG_0324 (2)