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140 new homes threat to Benfleet's green belt
GREEN belt land in Benfleet is under threat from developers who want to build 140 homes.
Fox Land and Property is battling a council decision to turn down their proposals for 165 homes on land to the west of Glebelands.
But in an unexpected twist, the developers have put forward fresh plans for 140 homes.
Glebelands, which is the last remaining green belt site in Castle Point’s St George’s ward, has been coveted by the company as a place to build homes since 2010.
Clive Walter, Conservative councillor for St George’s, said: “It seems to be jumping the gun with this one becausewe are still waiting to hear back from the court about its appeal.
“It is trying to pull a fast one.
Glebelands is a green belt site and must remain so.”
Castle Point Council marked the site for 100 homes in it’s draft local plan and campaigner Steven Guest, of Glebelands, believes the new proposals are no better than the original application.
Mr Guest, 38, said: “It is still green belt, so it should not be built on. The developers are wasting their money.
“The High Court decided against them and yet they are still trying to push their plans through.”
The new plans include proposals to build 140 homes, to provide a network of public open spaces, play areas and pedestrian links to surrounding areas.
MP Rebecca Harris said: “The strength of the latest planning guidance updates issued in February, and what they mean for the protection of the green belt has developers scared and they are rushing to get this application in front of the council before they can sit down and change the direction of their New Local Plan accordingly.
“The community fought a long and tough battle over the application on Glebelands last time and I will stand there and fight with them even if they have to do it all again.”
Tom Smith, 67, of Shorefields, added: “It is just shocking. They are not willing to stop and are trying everything possible.”
The developers are appealing to the High Court for a second time after the original 2012 plan was thrown out in January.
Adecision is due in November