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House of Commons Hansard
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Planning and Development (Essex)
01 March 2010
Volume 506

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 have 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 first to change their 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.—[Presented by Bob Spink, Official Report, 18 November 2008; Vol. 483, c. 207 .]

[P000290]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is aware that Castle Point Borough Council has identified the site bounded by Stadium Way, Rayeligh Road and Daws Heath Road within the Local Plan for the potential for a housing development of up to 750 dwellings.

There is no current planning application in with Castle Point Borough Council for determination which would be primarily the responsibility of the Borough Council as local planning authority, and the Secretary of State cannot comment on the merits or otherwise of any application, or prospective application.

Decisions on planning applications are required to be in accordance with the adopted development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The Government’s statements of national planning policy, such as Planning Policy Statement 9, Biodiversity and Geological Conservation, are material considerations which must be taken into account, where relevant, in planning decisions, but it is the responsibility of the local planning authority to identify and weigh up all the different issues, in the context of the specific local circumstances, having regard to the views of local residents and other interested parties.

The Secretary of State may decide to call in an application for his own determination where he considers that it raises issues of more than local importance, but his policy is to be very selective about this. As it is possible that a proposal may, at some future date come within his jurisdiction, it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter raised in the petition.