Green Belt Campaigners, particularly those concerned for the future of Jotmans Farm, having been kept well and truly in the dark over the High Court challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to oppose development of the area, should be concerned to note the apparent inactivity by Castle Point Borough Council.
The statement issued by CPBC as reported in the Echo Newspaper reads;
“As the appeal is actually against the decision of the Secretary of State, it is for the Secretary of State to defend.”
“The council is monitoring the situation, councillors have been kept informed..”
The second point made by CPBC and why it was felt it un-necessary to inform residents, we covered HERE.
If you have read the Post’s link and read the contents you will be aware that, in the case of the Glebelands High Court Appeal, Castle Point Council were named as Defendents!
So referring back to the cpbc statement in the Echo above, it may appear to be a remarkably un-reassuring and passive position for our Local Authority to assume!
After all, as recently as the 11th July of this year Essex County Council, to which Castle Point residents are represented Agreed the following Motion, passed with Unanimous Approval
Perhaps some clarity is deserved by Residents from our local councillors after reading the following, of which they will also be aware;
Planning and Infrastructure
At the July 2017 Essex County Council meeting, it was Agreed (with UNANIMOUS Cross-Party support) that;
Essex County Council will not support Local (Development) Plans unless adequate resources are identified from developers, local councils and/or Government grants to ensure that sufficient infrastructure, including roads, schools, medical facilities, parking, sewerage and drainage, is provided in a timely manner and in a way that balances the needs to promote economic growth and provide housing for residents whilst protecting their quality of life.
Given the significant housing development emerging from Local Development Plans, this Council reaffirms its commitment to this policy. This Council also expresses its concern that whilst Local Development Plans and Neighbourhood Plans are being progressed to decide where this housing should be best located, some developers are exploiting the lack of a 5 year housing supply to gain planning permission on greenfield sites, often outside the development boundary, even when these sites have been excluded from the draft local plan and in some cases where there are brownfield sites available or in the pipeline.
This Council therefore calls on the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to issue urgent statutory guidance, which removes the opportunity for this exploitation and protects valued greenfield sites from predatory development.
Previously agreed at the October 2014 Full Council meeting.
It would appear negligent if legal representation was not made during the High Court Appeal by Castle Point Council to reiterate the County Council’s Policy on exploitation of Green Belt sites, especially those which will undoubtedly have a major impact upon road infrastructure, especially during the cpbc Local Plan process.