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.