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Plans for 178 homes on green belt in Benfleet
6:00am Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
A DEVELOPER has submitted plans to create a new housing estate on green belt in Benfleet.
Redrow Homes has put forward an application to build 178 homes on land between Felstead Road, Catherine Road, Downer Road, Rhoda Road and Bowers Road.
The 21-acre site includes the home of former MP Bob Spink – a once fierce campaigner about building on green belt land – who is one of ten homeowners who want green belt protection removed from their homes to allow the development to go ahead.
Mr Spink refused to comment.
The development, dubbed King John’s Wood, would also include a village green, a “pocket park”, three small public open spaces, a wildlife pond and the reopening of a private woodland to the public.
If approved, two equestrian businesses with stables, a builders yard, as well as several homes would be demolished to make way for the new estate.
Scores of residents have already issued objections to the proposals.
Jean Gibson, of Highcliff Road, Benfleet said: “Benfleet is already over-developed. The area chosen provides a welcome lung from the heavy traffic of the A13.
“The site will cause severe traffic problems as it’s unsuitable, being close to two schools and also a very dangerous access point via Bread and Cheese Hill.
“My daughter narrowly escaped a head-on collision while attempting to turn right from the A13 at that juncture.
“It’s also rich in wildlife and woodland full of history which would be destroyed by any largescale development.”
More than 600 people have also signed up to the Facebook page of the Friends of Bowers Road Green Belt campaign group.
The site has been earmarked for development as part of Castle Point’s five-year housing strategy.
In a report submitted as part of the application on behalf of Redrow Homes, it said: “King John’s Wood offers an exceptional, imaginative new community, built on largely previously developed green belt land that has been found to serve no green belt function which the council identified for early development to meet its five-year housing supply shortfall.
“It will help to save the borough’s most important, open, undeveloped green belt that would otherwise be lost.
“It will ease local housing problems, help local and national economic recovery, help to save our more valuable undeveloped green belt and deliver superb recreational assets for people of all ages, but particularly for our children.”
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