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Planning and Development (Essex)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

Residents of Benfleet, Hadleigh and Thundersley are deeply concerned about the outline planning permission that borough councillors gave some years ago to develop areas of the green belt around The Chase in Benfleet. I formally objected to a new proposal by Barratt Homes to build 150 houses on the site, and it was expected that further inappropriate development plans for the site would be put forward. I congratulate all petitioners, who do a great public service in defending their community by signing the petition.

The petition states:

The Petition of Emma Shamshoum, residents of Thundersley and others,

Declares that the proposed development of 150 houses by Barratt Homes in Thundersley is premature and unacceptable for a number of sound and material planning reasons; is contrary to the extant Development Plan which seeks to retain the land as undeveloped until it has been proved that it is necessary to release it for housing, and alternative sites for future housing are still being considered in the replacement Core Strategy which has not yet been to the Planning Inspector; moreover, the land is identified as a “Local Wildlife Site” which both the current Development Plan and the new Core Strategy are committed to protect; Barratt’s plan to cover all the existing open grassland with houses and roads, retaining only a narrow “wildlife corridor” through the centre, is unacceptable; if this application is approved a “green light” will be given for progressive further development until all of “The Chase” green fields and woodland are buried under bricks and concrete; and the development will put the existing infrastructure such as roads, parking, leisure facilities and public services such as schools and doctors under intolerable strain.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage Castle Point Borough Council to consider this objection and petition formally and to reject Barratt’s proposal and to ensure the matter is dealt with by councillors who can and will then be held to account for their decision.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.