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High Road Benfleet

Volume 453: debated on Monday 20 November 2006

I wish to present a petition bearing the signatures of more than 1,000 supporters. The signatures were collected by worthy and caring local campaigners, including Mr. Brian Keeler, and the petition is signed by residents who object to the proposed demolition of the parade of shops opposite the historic St. Mary’s church in High road, Benfleet, to make way for a new block of four shops with six one-bed and nine two-bed flats in a two-storey development above the shops, with underground parking.

The grounds given include unacceptable access and insufficient parking arrangements, especially for visitors to those new properties and shops. Consequently, the shops and public will suffer. The bulk of the proposed building would be unacceptably detrimental to the street scene in that sensitive position around the conservation area and put unacceptable additional stress on the existing infrastructure at a sensitive point on the highway. There are many other valid planning reasons, which the Member of Parliament and the previous council member for the ward set out in their objections to an earlier—rightly rejected—application.

The petition states:

The Petitioners call on the House of Commons to implore the Government to impress upon Castle Point borough council, and three Boyce ward councillors in particular, the imperative that the application is decided by members rather than unelected, unaccountable officers, and the need to reject the application on behalf of all residents of Castle Point, who are sick to the back teeth of attempts to overdevelop their community.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.