Council facing a revolt on homes in green belt

On the warpath – councillor Alf Partridge at green belt Jotmans Hall Farm, Benfleet

On the warpath – councillor Alf Partridge at green belt Jotmans Hall Farm, Benfleet

First published in News

A LONG-SERVING Tory councillor has criticised the leader of Castle Point Council as being “totally out of touch” as campaigners call for a vote of no confidence over housing proposals.

Last week the authority revealed its draft local plan, setting out where 4,000 homes could be built between 2015 and 2031.

The council hopes the plans will pave the way for 2,100 jobs by expanding industrial estates on Canvey and in Benfleet and provide homes for young families who want to stay in the borough.

However, Conservative councillor Alf Partridge, who has represented St Mary’s ward for almost 50 years, is calling for a backbenchers’ revolt and said Tory leader PamChallis is not listening to residents’ concerns.

The new plan proposes 800 homes on the Jotmans Hall Farm green belt site in Benfleet, despite councillors vetoing plans for 265 homes by Persimmon Homes there in October. Mr Partridge said: “I will be going into battle tomorrow. I think the leader is totally out of touch with the community.

She seems hell bent on increasing industry which no one wants and turning Castle Point into something it’s not. People have lost confidence in the council.

I’ve had phone calls from residents tearing their hair out over this.

“Backbench members should forget their political differences and band together to take control of the council and do what needs to be done to protect Castle Point.”

The council’s first housing document was thrown out in September 2011 after backbench councillors refused to vote it through following an outcry from residents. Meanwhile, green belt campaigners are calling for a vote of no confidence in the council after learning half the newhomes will be on green spaces.

Susan Buhr, of Jotmans Lane, said: “The council has taken the lungs out of Benfleet and will go downin historyas the council that ignored its residents and sold off the green belt.

“A vote of no confidence should followthis botched local plan after spending possibly £1million at the expense of council tax to get back to where they started.”

Sharon Knight, of Philmead Road, Benfleet, said: “Where is the need for all these homes? They are not for local people.”

Councillors will vote on whether to send the draft plan out to consultation at 7pm tonight at the council offices in Kiln Road, Thundersley.

If approved, residents will be able to have their say between January 24 and March 21.

A COUNCIL spokesman said: “The council must have a formal plan based on evidence to identify where development will take place to meet housing and business needs, while protecting the environment. Tonight, councillors are being asked to approve a draft plan for consultation with all residents.Councillors are facing a difficult decision.

“To do nothing is not an option, as twice as many houses will be imposed on the borough by developers and planning inspectors, with council tax payers footing the legal bill and not reaping any benefits.

“The plan protects the majority of the green belt, with only 4 per cent being released for housing. Each development will offer benefits, such as improvements to the roads, woodlands and space for schools and medical facilities. If we don’t provide for growth, facilities will disappear – the Deanes School is a good example.”

Comments (18)

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3:23pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Trouble here is the simple fact, that this councillor is too old, to make sound judgements, he is tainted with the old adage that any change is bad, and yet without doubt, enjoyed the benefits of similar decisions being made in his youth.
Trouble here is the simple fact, that this councillor is too old, to make sound judgements, he is tainted with the old adage that any change is bad, and yet without doubt, enjoyed the benefits of similar decisions being made in his youth. Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: -11

3:40pm Tue 14 Jan 14

rayleigh123 says...

Lived in Benfleet all of my life - there will be no trees or grass left soon.

The council for the last 20 years have not responded to the residents views.

Lets hope the new UKIP councillors do better.



.
Lived in Benfleet all of my life - there will be no trees or grass left soon. The council for the last 20 years have not responded to the residents views. Lets hope the new UKIP councillors do better. . rayleigh123
  • Score: 14

4:24pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Any chance the echo can publish a link or picture showing the areas of development?
Any chance the echo can publish a link or picture showing the areas of development? Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 9

4:25pm Tue 14 Jan 14

upset says...

You will be left out in the cold Alf like you all did to Bill, there has been no faith in council for some time now, I wish you well but wont hold my breath.
You will be left out in the cold Alf like you all did to Bill, there has been no faith in council for some time now, I wish you well but wont hold my breath. upset
  • Score: 4

4:33pm Tue 14 Jan 14

ChampKind says...

Sadly, I think he's wasting his breath. Once the brown envelopes are handed out, there's no stopping developers.
Sadly, I think he's wasting his breath. Once the brown envelopes are handed out, there's no stopping developers. ChampKind
  • Score: 8

4:37pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Howard Cháse says...

Council won't take any notice of this bloke or the public and will do what it wants.
Council won't take any notice of this bloke or the public and will do what it wants. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 7

4:40pm Tue 14 Jan 14

LastLaugh2 says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
Council won't take any notice of this bloke or the public and will do what it wants.
And rightly so, as council, we make the decisions no matter how difficult, fact is here, is that many new houses are to be built, end of.
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: Council won't take any notice of this bloke or the public and will do what it wants.[/p][/quote]And rightly so, as council, we make the decisions no matter how difficult, fact is here, is that many new houses are to be built, end of. LastLaugh2
  • Score: -16

6:05pm Tue 14 Jan 14

marshman says...

She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.
She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks. marshman
  • Score: 1

6:17pm Tue 14 Jan 14

iknowbetter says...

Nowthatsworthknowing wrote:
Trouble here is the simple fact, that this councillor is too old, to make sound judgements, he is tainted with the old adage that any change is bad, and yet without doubt, enjoyed the benefits of similar decisions being made in his youth.
That maybe so but he is right in saying Pam Challis just dont listen to the constituents. She is more interested in her political prowess then anything the people of Castlepoint has to say.
[quote][p][bold]Nowthatsworthknowing[/bold] wrote: Trouble here is the simple fact, that this councillor is too old, to make sound judgements, he is tainted with the old adage that any change is bad, and yet without doubt, enjoyed the benefits of similar decisions being made in his youth.[/p][/quote]That maybe so but he is right in saying Pam Challis just dont listen to the constituents. She is more interested in her political prowess then anything the people of Castlepoint has to say. iknowbetter
  • Score: 7

6:46pm Tue 14 Jan 14

TherealIndiana says...

Jumping on the back of Capt Mainwaring sorry Francois and his visions of a travellers utopia and a small town named after him in Rayleigh....
Jumping on the back of Capt Mainwaring sorry Francois and his visions of a travellers utopia and a small town named after him in Rayleigh.... TherealIndiana
  • Score: 3

7:09pm Tue 14 Jan 14

John T Pharro says...

Well the Councillors on the mainland should have thought of not having a plan in place before their original plan rejected by the Government for building the vast majority of housing on Canvey which is inappropiate for development because of flood risk and hazourdous industry would result in just this position. Yet still they persue and pass in outline plans to build and overdevelopment on Canvey. Now because of their selfish voting we all could be losers. In the situation with Canvey we have nothing to loose and maybe eveything to gain if the Government follows it's own laid down policies.
Well the Councillors on the mainland should have thought of not having a plan in place before their original plan rejected by the Government for building the vast majority of housing on Canvey which is inappropiate for development because of flood risk and hazourdous industry would result in just this position. Yet still they persue and pass in outline plans to build and overdevelopment on Canvey. Now because of their selfish voting we all could be losers. In the situation with Canvey we have nothing to loose and maybe eveything to gain if the Government follows it's own laid down policies. John T Pharro
  • Score: 4

7:17pm Tue 14 Jan 14

John T Pharro says...

marshman wrote:
She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.
Spot on.
[quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.[/p][/quote]Spot on. John T Pharro
  • Score: 4

8:05pm Tue 14 Jan 14

aquatech68 says...

Better not close The Deanes School then!!
Better not close The Deanes School then!! aquatech68
  • Score: 3

8:59pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Nebs says...

John T Pharro wrote:
marshman wrote:
She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.
Spot on.
If Scotland can vote for independence then so can Canvey. Build an economy based on selling duty-frees to the mainlanders.
[quote][p][bold]John T Pharro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.[/p][/quote]Spot on.[/p][/quote]If Scotland can vote for independence then so can Canvey. Build an economy based on selling duty-frees to the mainlanders. Nebs
  • Score: 1

9:54pm Tue 14 Jan 14

marshman says...

Nebs wrote:
John T Pharro wrote:
marshman wrote: She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.
Spot on.
If Scotland can vote for independence then so can Canvey. Build an economy based on selling duty-frees to the mainlanders.
Been tried before. Things got so bad (or good - depending on your point of view) the government built a coast guard station at Hole Haven to nab the smugglers in the act. Things have never been the same since and when the Island got it's first copper in the 1890's it put a kybosh on everything. Nice sentiment though Nebs, thanks.
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John T Pharro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: She been out of touch with the views and aspirations of people on Canvey for decades so no change there then. What has changed is the government forcing the council to build some new homes in Benfleet.. We all know the green belt designation has been used to give scrubby bits of land extra protection from developers on the mainland while allowing a free for all on the Island. Time to redress the balance a little methinks.[/p][/quote]Spot on.[/p][/quote]If Scotland can vote for independence then so can Canvey. Build an economy based on selling duty-frees to the mainlanders.[/p][/quote]Been tried before. Things got so bad (or good - depending on your point of view) the government built a coast guard station at Hole Haven to nab the smugglers in the act. Things have never been the same since and when the Island got it's first copper in the 1890's it put a kybosh on everything. Nice sentiment though Nebs, thanks. marshman
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Tue 14 Jan 14

benfleet101 says...

Keptquiettillnow wrote:
Any chance the echo can publish a link or picture showing the areas of development?
here is the map, but you really need to read it in context with the actual plan. http://www.castlepoi
nt.gov.uk/file/DRAFT
%20NEW%20LOCAL%20PLA
N%20PROPOSALS%20MAP%
207-1-14.pdf
[quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: Any chance the echo can publish a link or picture showing the areas of development?[/p][/quote]here is the map, but you really need to read it in context with the actual plan. http://www.castlepoi nt.gov.uk/file/DRAFT %20NEW%20LOCAL%20PLA N%20PROPOSALS%20MAP% 207-1-14.pdf benfleet101
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

stevet says...

These houses/flats in basildon and nearby are not for local residents at all but are being taken up from the overspill from london hackney etc.How can we house so many in such a small island.With a baby boom and a relentless flood of immigrant arrivals at a rate of more than 500,000 a year has and is transforming the very fabric of our society and these sort of housing problems are just one part of it.Only chance is vote UKIP.
These houses/flats in basildon and nearby are not for local residents at all but are being taken up from the overspill from london hackney etc.How can we house so many in such a small island.With a baby boom and a relentless flood of immigrant arrivals at a rate of more than 500,000 a year has and is transforming the very fabric of our society and these sort of housing problems are just one part of it.Only chance is vote UKIP. stevet
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Wed 22 Jan 14

swimmerdan says...

No surprise that the land around Benfleet Road and the Vicarage Hill is not available for development. I'm sure the councillor with lovely views over the golf course in his £1.2m house is very happy. It was quoted that houses make people more happy than open land. I don't play golf but i'm sure many people enjoy walking on the golf course, as do walkers and horse riders of the residents around Jotmans farm. My point is that the council don't care about the average person in Benfleet, and would rather stick affordable houses in a lovely area, so that thousands of people can move from London into our neighbourhood. The fact is though there are thousands of vacant houses in London with private landlords that don't want to rent them out, or sell them as it is either too risky on their investment, or the general population can not afford it.
No surprise that the land around Benfleet Road and the Vicarage Hill is not available for development. I'm sure the councillor with lovely views over the golf course in his £1.2m house is very happy. It was quoted that houses make people more happy than open land. I don't play golf but i'm sure many people enjoy walking on the golf course, as do walkers and horse riders of the residents around Jotmans farm. My point is that the council don't care about the average person in Benfleet, and would rather stick affordable houses in a lovely area, so that thousands of people can move from London into our neighbourhood. The fact is though there are thousands of vacant houses in London with private landlords that don't want to rent them out, or sell them as it is either too risky on their investment, or the general population can not afford it. swimmerdan
  • Score: 1

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