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New fears over green belt in Benfleet
9:10am Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
Concerns have been raised green belt land in Benfleet could be under threat as a developer is gearing up to launch a public consultation on plans to develop there.
Persimmon Homes will be holding a public exhibition on plans to build dozens of homes on Jotmans Hall Farm, in Jotmans Lane, Benfleet.
The company is said to be setting up a dedicated telephone hotline, website and email address to receive residents’ views ahead of submitting an application.
When approached by the Echo, Persimmon refused to disclose how many homes they are planning to build on the site, although their previous application had been for 600 homes.
The plans were thrown out following a major public backlash from residents wanting to save the borough’s green belt.
Sharon Knight, of Philmead Road, Benfleet, said: “We are very concerned about this. We received letters that Persimmon is going to put forward a planning application but no details about what they are proposing.
“Last time they wanted to build hundreds of homes there, basically a whole new estate, which would have destroyed Benfleet. The roads are already congested without the addition of another 600 cars. I would urge all residents to get involved once details of this consultation immerge."
This comes after developer Redrow Homes also announced it would be holding an exhibition on plans to develop over 150 homes on green belt land off Felstead Road, Thundersley.
Andrew Sheldon, Tory councillor for St Mary’s ward, said: “I urge all residents, whatever their views to respond to the consultation as quickly and as thoroughly as possible once more details come out.”
Due to Government legislation Castle Point Council is required to make provision for 1,200 additional properties across the borough by 2018.
The council has so far earmarked sites for 1,008 of these as part of their new development strategy for the borough, with 559 set to be built on mainland Castle Point and the remaining 449 on Canvey.
The Echo pressed the developer, who has also previously sought to develop on green belt land in Canvey, for details on the exhibition but the company refused to comment.
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said: “We are acutely aware of the desperate need for more private and affordable housing in the borough and we are looking at all our land interests to see how best we can meet this need.”
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