Tag Archives: Decision

Jotmans Farm Green Belt Development Appeal Update

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 Magaret March Benfleethistory.org.uk

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A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! or cynical! Jotmans Farm Appeal decision Overturned! To Castle Point Residents Relief!

A decision that can only be described as A-m-a-z-i-n-g  for the residents of  Jotmans farm, as they will be relieved to hear that the Secretary of State has overturned the Planning Inspector’s decision to grant planning permission for the initial 265 dwellings proposed by Persimmon’s!

Jotmans Lane Tank.JPG.gallery

Despite the Secretary of State considering that Castle Point Council have only identified 0.4 years Supply of the necessary 5.0 Year Supply of Deliverable Housing, which he considered as “falling well short of expectation”!

The SoS “further agrees with the Inspector that the proposal would bring forward market and affordable housing in an area where there has been a longstanding failure to provide sufficient new housing, and that in view of the prevailing housing supply situation in Castle Point, that carries very substantial weight in favour of the scheme.”

And that he ” agrees with the Inspector that the ecological benefits attract significant weight in favour of the proposal.”

However in relation to Green Belt issues the SoS considers “The proposal would represent inappropriate development in the Green Belt of a significant size. It would permanently reduce openness, and conflict with several of the purposes of designation. These harmful impacts on the Green Belt attract substantial weight.”

Then using Planning rules more intended for Travellers “unauthorised sites” than settled dwellings the SoS applies great weight to the rule 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”.

This “Good News Story” for cpbc, despite the obvious response from cynics that the Secretary of State’s release of the decision of an Appeal held on the 11 September 2015, during the very same week of an announcement to hold a General Election, is conveniently “Timely”, Green Belt campaigners will take some comfort, albeit possibly temporary.

The fear remains that with a new 5 year term of government the likelihood of a Legal challenge in light of Castle Point’s chronic lack of a 5 Year deliverable Housing Supply, may yet be our undoing!

Canvey Island residents must therefore remain concerned that, in the eyes of the majority of cpbc development committee members, Flood Risk does not act as a Constraint on development, making this part of the Borough more liable to growth as has been the case over the previous 4 decades!

In the light of this decision, the actions of CPBC to Withdraw its Local Plan2016 and to Archive the Plan document and Evidence Base, must be of some concern!

The hope now is that similar ruling and defence of Green Belt will apply across Castle Point, congestion will not be increased and the Local Plan2016 may be resurrected.

The link to Secretary of State’s decision and Inspector’s report is below.

Jotmans Lane Castle Point 2216062 (1)

Photograph courtesy; Echo newspaper

Canvey’s King Canute pub Re-development agreed with preservation condition?

Just when you thought nobody cared, a decision was made promising to protect the King Canute from future accidental damage or alteration.

In deciding to approve the proposal to build two houses in the ex public house grounds, two flats on the upper storey, convert the ground floor into a convenience store (?) and a veterinary practice also in the grounds, concerns were expressed by residents that the building could be vulnerable.

The Castle Point development committee chairman Cllr Hart and Cllr Sharp engineered a condition to development that intends to  preserve the visual aspect of the Canute building.

It was noted that the use of the building during the 1953 Canvey Island floods meant the then Red Cow pub attracted historic importance.

In the absence of a Canvey Island Neighbourhood Plan there exists little avenues to protect important buildings, not qualifying for Listed status.

Those that care for Canvey’s future and are in a position to make a difference should suggest alternative options.

Other planning proposals discussed included the redevelopment of the Canvey Supply building in the Canvey town centre.

One experienced Lead group committee member expressed concern over causing the neighbouring areas increased flood risk, when he went on to say he was comforted that the plans showed the car parking space would be permeable.

Wrong, said the officer!

And despite a Holding Objection by the Lead Flood Authority, the usual under supply of car parking spaces and the visual appearance of the development being nothing like the agreed visual aspect of Town Centre new builds being of a Dutch appearance through the Town Centre regeneration plan, the proposal was approved for 2 retail units and 24 flats.

Returning to the King Canute redevelopment, it is a pity that CPBC officers are not more concerned for Canvey’s future. It is all too easy for unfortunate accidents to ruin important buildings beyond economic repair during the redevelopment works.

Our concerns now are on the way that the development committee members, especially those that know Canvey well, were prepared to accept without proof that the long term future of the ground floor area is as a convenience store.

We were led to believe that the Coop as well as a larger chain considered taking up the premises, before pulling out.

The current use as proof of retail use, is in the very least dubious.

It may not be long before the owners come back to committee to suggest that retail use is unviable due to lack of parking facility and local competition, requesting a change of use to more flats.

Whether the current look and layout of the old pub is conducive to flats without drastic alteration, will then be in the hands of cpbc officers and the Planning Inspectorate.

We look forward to seeing the development condition to be written by officers and agreed by the development committee chairman and deputy.

We are grateful for small mercies, and appreciate Cllr Hart and Sharp’s efforts especially as we had highlighted the buildings attributes in our previous post and voiced concern for the buildings future.

 

 

 

Green Belt development. Castle Point’s Split Decision -A Tale of 2 Taxi’s

A Dramatic evening at Castle Point Council chamber, resulted in the closest of decisions made on the Green Belt and Local Plan.

One councillor’s, on the spot, resignation ahead of the vote! (Taxi! for Cllr Letchford!)

A timely 5 minutes delay between debates, that stretched into something nearer 25 minutes, allowing the deputy mayor’s Taxi to arrive in time for him to participate in the Local Plan debate!

Taxi!                                Volt Collection

A Local Plan decision that required the split decision of the council 14 – 14, being decided by the casting vote of the Mayor. How important integrity and retaining impartiality throughout the Local Plan process now appears.

Whilst the debate did not reach fever pitch, I did check that these immortal words were not displayed somewhere in the council chamber!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In Castle Point’s green and pleasant land.

The Local Plan debate was on whether to alter the draft New Local Plan in a manner that either included development on Green Belt, Motion 1, or excluded ALL development on Green Belt, Motion 2.

Councillors were allowed a choice of 3 options, to support either Motions or to abstain. No votes were to be recorded as Against either Motion. This, apparently, caused the elimination of Cllr Letchford as he felt unable to record an Against vote.

Pre-meeting the usual excluded members left the building whilst a governor of a school that stood to gain an access road and also an estate agent participated and voted in the debate.

Officers indicated that Motion 2 offered a more clear Policy position. It was argued by members that, Government Ministers, our MP, and Planning Inspectors had indicated that the protection of the Green Belt was achievable although there were hints that neither Motions once policy, would receive smooth passage through the Plan making process.

Motion 1 included the proposed development of sites that had some form of previous development, non-virginal sites. This definition, when asked of officers, has no recognised definition previously used in Plan making.

Green Belt sites included appeared to be less sensitive and less disagreeable to the Borough’s residents.

However the intensification by development of Canvey remains an issue to us all.

Undoubtedly an explanation will be required why the objectively assessed housing needs have to some small extent been addressed by releasing some Green Belt areas, whilst other areas over-looked that are supported by developers demonstrating a willingness to develop, the Dutch Village included!

Flood Risk remained low on the agenda especially when considering that certain Green Belt sites identified as developable within the draft New Local Plan Vers.1, are now expected to be replaced by other identified developable tracts of land within the lower areas of Flood Risk.

The progression of the new draft New Local Plan will become a true test of Localism. We must hope that our policy writers display more Churchillian type prowess than those of Dad’s Army!

Manwaring and Pike

Don’t mention the war, Pike!