Tag Archives: permission in principle

‘Allo, ‘Allo, ‘Allo, what’s Going on Here Then? Castle Point Brownfield Register applying pressure on Green Belt Development? Every Little Counts!

Why, if there is such a Desire to Protect Green Field Land in our Borough, is Castle Point Council’s Brownfield Land Register nothing short of Paltry?

2017-12-16

Despite, yet another, “cross-party Member Working Group” having been established by cpbc cabinet to prepare and consult on the Brownfield Register prior to its publication the outcome of the working work, is a List of just 20 sites capable of yielding upwards of 254 new Dwellings across the whole Borough!

This Register doesn’t even indicate 1 Year’s worth of sites towards the Borough’s Housing Need!

AND yet, we learn via news in the Echo, that cpbc were in receipt of a Planning Proposal for the Benfleet High Road, Police Station site two weeks prior to the Council meeting in which the Brownfield Register was considered and approved by members!

The police station site was not recorded in the Brownfield Register, nor was the proposed housing numbers added to the total!

The cpbc meeting’s Agenda paperwork also indicated;

“This report provides the Council with a summary of the work undertaken following that resolution and recommends that Part 1 of the Castle Point Brownfield Land Register be published.

It also explains why there no sites to be carried forward into Part 2 of the Register which would then have benefited from “Permission in Principle”.

With typical cpbc Lack of Transparency little explanation as to why none of the, Castle Point Brownfield sites with potential for development, were entered into Part 2 of the Brownfield Register, those the “working group” considered able to grant Permission in Principle.

Whilst those sites listed in Part 1 of the Brownfield Register mainly have yet to receive development applications, the reasons given as to why no sites were even considered for Part 2 and given permission in Principle for development appeared to be down to;

(cpbc) “must also carry out consultation, notification and publicity in accordance with regulations”

And that,

“Furthermore, Canvey Island is within Flood Risk Zone 3a, and as such planning applications for residential development normally require a Flood Risk Assessment. Advice is awaited from the Environment Agency as to if and how the Council could go about addressing this requirement before proceeding to consider any sites on Canvey Island for inclusion on the Part 2 of the Register”

The reliance and the preference for Canvey Island as the part of the Borough preferred for Land released for Development, appears clear!

However past record suggests that cpbc will not allow Flood Risk of any type to be a Constraint to development where Canvey Island is concerned.

Unusual then that work on Part 2 of the Brownfield Register was not undertaken.

The question as to why the Police Station site in High Road Benfleet had not been entered onto the Brownfield Register, part 1 or part 2, especially as the police have indicated they will no longer have use for it with their drive for cut-backs, may seem especially puzzling.

An explanation may lie in the Agenda paperwork which announced;

“A Government grant of £14,600 was received late in the last financial year (2016/17) for Brownfield Register and “Permission in Principle” work.

This grant has not yet been allocated and could therefore be applied to fund the consultation costs”

Every little £ Helps indeed, especially when it appears not to be ring fenced monies.

The cpbc Brownfield Register indicates possible development sites capable of developing between 1 and 54 dwellings, in direct contrast to a report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which indicates that local authorities “Brownfield Land Registers are failing to record smaller sites that could collectively accommodate nearly 200,000 new homes across England.”

It appears that cpbc have, with the minimal amount of work and effort, undertaken a process to fulfil a commitment as required by Government, rather than an exhaustive effort to indicate preferred sites for development.

On the face of it the Register due to inconsistency and scope provides ammunition suitable to be used to suggest that Castle Point Green field and Green Belt land is required to fulfill housing needs.

Yet another cpbc Local Plan Assessment lacking effort and commitment?

The full CPRE report can be read by following the Link below:

CPRE LINK HERE.

Photograph: Copyright Google Earth

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Irresistible, Selling Off of Canvey Island Assets to boost Castle Point Housing Supply!

Firre Station downgraded

Recent reports have raised concerns on Canvey Island that we may be seeing a reduction in emergency cover.

In the press there have been articles suggesting the Ambulance station and Police station may be closing down.

The Fire station has already been down-graded to part time cover only.

In the almost desperate efforts to find Housing Land in Castle Point these Government assets would appear ripe for development in the very near future. The resultant sale of the sites would raise much needed tax funds and allow, the much abused on Canvey, Permission in Principle for Development!

Do not be surprised to hear that following the £15,000 feasibility work to be carried out by Castle Point Council the study advises the demolition of the Paddocks and a Flats Development, with a much reduced replacement community hall, in its place!

It is not beyond reason to imagine a token Police Station and Ambulance car park incorporated on the Fire Station site, releasing the Police and Ambulance stations for more development.

A Report from 2015, laid the building blocks for the start of the stripping of “government assets”; 

“Local councils will be allowed to keep all of the money raised from asset sales to reinvest in local services, the chancellor announced today, as part of a wider move to encourage the sale of hundred of billions of pounds of public sector land.

In his 2015 Autumn Statement speech, chancellor George Osborne said locals governments are sitting on property worth a quarter of a trillion pounds.

The government will encourage councils to sell land by allowing them to spend 100 per cent of their receipts from asset sell-offs on improving services and local projects. That includes thousands of pubs, theatres , golf courses and restaurants currently in local government hands.

He pledged to release £4.5bn of government land and property to make space for 160,000 homes, while unused commercial or industrial land will be released for starter homes.

Previously developed brownfield sites in the green belt will also be allowed to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, providing it contributes to Starter Homes.”

CITYA.M.

Whilst more recently the Get Building accelerator pedal was pushed by the replacement government regime;

“In a bid to boost home building, councils will have to produce up-to-date registers of brownfield sites in their areas, the government has announced.

Today the housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said local authorities will need to create, maintain and publish these registers to help housebuilders identify suitable brownfield sites quickly.

The government said this measure promises to unlock derelict or underused land for thousands of new homes.

As set out in the recent housing white paper, the registers are part of the government’s programme to speed up house building.

Barwell, said: “We need to build more homes in this country so making sure that we re-use brownfield land is crucial.

“We want to bring life back to abandoned sites, create thousands more homes and help protect our valued countryside.

“These new registers will give local authorities and developers the tools to do this.”

The regulations implementing brownfield registers and permission in principle through brownfield registers have been laid before parliament today as part of secondary legislation relating to the Housing and Planning Act – they will come into force in 21 days’ time.

According to the government, permission in principle will make it easier for developers to ascertain if particular sites are suitable before they draw up costly proposals to secure full planning permission.”

PublicFinance

The potential to boost the Castle Point Housing Supply, via the use of Canvey Island land will not be over-looked!

Photograph: copyright the Echo Newspaper