The Government have a policy of not building on green belt, and some Essex councils have held meaningful consultations and then voted to protect their green belt. The petitioners feel that councillors in Castle Point are railroading through plans, in order to get a £200,000 pay-off from the Government. Apparently, councillors have their price, which is about the cost of a house. I sincerely urge the councillors to listen to the petitioners, to consult the public before they cast their vote, to forget the bribe, and to join the campaign to save our green belt, which I started two years ago, and which is backed by everyone except the developers and their friends. I thank and congratulate the many excellent people who signed the petition, which states:
The Petition of David Head, residents of Daws Heath, Hadleigh, Thundersley and others,
Declares that we object to the proposed housing estate planned for the green land bounded by Stadium Way, Rayleigh Road and Daws Heath Road; deplore that proper public consultation has not been undertaken; believe that our green belt is sacrosanct; it provides wildlife habitat, leisure opportunities, a green lung function and acts as a buffer between densely populated urban areas. The sheer size of the proposed development of up to 750 houses would be catastrophic and out of character with the area. Infrastructure, including roads, sewers, school places, dentists, youth facilities and much else are insufficient even without the additional houses. And we note that our neighbouring councillors, unlike Castle Point Councillors, have consulted their residents widely and have voted against green belt development; further note that the Government has stated green belt should not be built upon; therefore urge Castle Point Councillors to consult the public before they vote to destroy our environment and quality of life.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government firstly to change its policy on housing targets and secondly to urge Castle Point Borough Councillors to consult residents before voting on their plans and to reject building on the green belt in order to protect the quality of life of all residents.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.