I warmly congratulate two of my constituents, Mr. Brian Keeler and Mr. Neil Hamper. Both are doughty campaigners who have worked for their community for many years, serving people with great honour and dignity, and they have delivered a significant petition which, in bulk, will be delivered directly to the council tomorrow evening. The councillors will be held to account by the community for their decision. Residents want the plan to be rejected.
As the petition is rather long, I shall not read it out.
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The Petition of Brian Keeler, the residents of Castle Point and others,
Declares that they object to the proposed development of the area between Nos. 18 to 32 High Road, Benfleet to construct a building providing 5 Retail Units at Ground Level, 22 Parking Spaces, 2 Offices, plus 12 x 2 bed flats and 2 x 1 bed flats at 1st and 2nd floor levels; that this development should be rejected because the proposed, much larger building would dominate and overlook existing properties, bring unacceptable problems including inadequate parking, fails to show where access to and from the site parking area will be, bearing in mind an existing public parking area in Adelaide Gardens, vague refuse storage area, restricted sight lines for emerging traffic from St Mary's Drive, reduction of the pavement, loss of light entering adjoining buildings and relocation of the heritage telephone kiosk and post box; further declares that this development would further spoil the Conservation Area and create unacceptable stress on the existing infrastructure, including roads, schools, rail, doctors, dentists, etc.; that for these and many other valid planning reasons this application should be rejected by the local Councillors, elected to represent their constituents, and that given the importance to the wider community of protecting this unique Conservation Area, unelected and unaccountable officers must properly and widely consult the public before permitting such developments.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press Castle Point Borough Council, and all Councillors, to reject this planning application and to substantially protect the unique St Mary’s Conservation area.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.]