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New green belt sites in housing document
8:17am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
TWO new green belt sites in Castle Point have been identified as having the potential for new housing development.
Councillors have identified 11- and-a-half acres of land south of Daws Heath Road, in Thundersley, and six acres of land north of Eastwood Old Road, to be included in Castle Point Council’s updated Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.
The document sets out all the areas of land which could potentially be developed in the borough.
Together, the two green belt sites could have capacity for up to 136 new homes.
They are among 36 sites which have been added to the housing assessment and 15 sites which have been removed as part of an update of the borough’s land availability as of this October.
The site of the Crown Pub in High Street, Hadleigh has also been added to the housing document as having room for 12 homes.
The pub had previously been included in the £60million plans to regenerate Hadleigh town centre, with the suggestion it could be transformed into a 300-seater arthouse cinema.
The housing document states over the next 15 years Castle Point realistically has enough space for 1,842 homes on nongreen belt sites, representing 123 properties a year.
By taking all sites, including green belt land, into consideration, the borough could have capacity for between 3,070 and 4,068 homes representing between 205 and 271 homes a year. However, Jeffrey Stanley, deputy leader of the council, said although the two green belt sites have been identified in the assessment it does not necessarily mean they will be built on.
He said: “The assessment is not a blueprint for where houses will be built, but it effectively gives a totality of all the land where there is at present potential for homes to be built.
“Anyone reading the document will know there are sites on there which will never be built on.
“For instance, there is the railway car park which will never be developed or Willow Funeral Parlour in High Road, Benfleet.
“People should not be concerned that sites in the document will automatically be built on in the future.
“Rather, it will enable councillors to make a decision.”
This comes as the council is preparing its new Local Plan which will set out where new homes could be built in the borough until 2028.
Mr Stanley said he hoped the authority would have a new draft document prepared in time for the full council meeting.
He said: “The meeting has been scheduled for December 18 and while there are a number of steps to go through before then, I personally am hopeful to have the draft document ready to send out to consultation.”
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