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Planning and Development (Essex)

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

I acknowledge the need for more housing to meet the uncontrolled immigration that flows from our membership of the costly European federal project, but we are under attack from inappropriate developments of flats without sufficient parking, which in this case will damage the very heart of our community—our ancient St. Mary’s conservation area. I hope that local councillors will accept that the purpose of the conservation area is to conserve it, and reject the application. I congratulate everyone who has signed this excellent petition—they are stars—and, of course, Brian Keeler and Mr. and Mrs. Patel, who organised it, are excellent leaders in our community, and they are to be roundly congratulated on their work and community-spirited actions.

The petition states:

The Petition of Brian Keeler, Mr and Mrs Patel, the residents of Castle Point and others,

Declares that they object to the proposed demolition of the two shops at 1 to 5 High Street Benfleet, to make way for a commercial development with seven 2 bed flats in an unsympathetic and unattractive 2 and 3 storey development above shops, with only seven parking spaces, putting unacceptable pressure on alternative local public parking facilities which are increasingly inadequate, that this development would further spoil the Conservation Area and create unacceptable stress on the existing infrastructure, including roads, schools, rail, doctors, dentists, etc. Further declares that they urge Councillors to reject this development for these and for many other valid planning reasons, and to ensure that this application is decided by Councillors rather than officers, given the importance to the wider community of protecting their unique Conservation Area.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press Castle Point Borough Council, the three Boyce Ward Councillors and all mainland Councillors in particular, to reject this planning application and to substantially protect the unique St Mary’s Conservation Area.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.