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Benfleet councillor calls for new housing estate off A127
6:10pm Monday 10th September 2012 in News
A NEW housing estate should be built on fields off the A127 to protect other parts of Castle Point’s green belt, a councillor is suggesting.
Andrew Sheldon, Tory borough councillor for Benfleet ’s St Mary’s ward, says land behind the Blinking Owl Cafe the A127 would be the ideal place for a housing estate.
He claims the site, right on the edge of the borough’s boundary with Basildon , could accommodate the 200 homes the Government says must be built in the next five years.
Mr Sheldon said: “I believe the option of creating a new model village at the northern tip of our borough to meet our housing needs deserves the utmost and thorough consideration.
“It could save the Dutch Village and Daws Heath, as well as Jotman’s Farm, in my ward, and strengthen the council’s hand in defending Glebelands – all at the same time.
“Not only is it big enough to meet all of our possible housing needs, once it was built, and even while it was being built, it would hardly affect the rest of the borough at all. If designed properly, it could be a beautiful village to retire to or to start a family in.”
Castle Point Council is in the process of creating a new local plan, setting out where homes should be built over the next 15 years. The previous development strategy was scrapped in September after overwhelming opposition from residents, who opposed new homes in the green belt.
Earlier this month, the Echo reported council discussions about plans to build as many as 200 homes in the borough over the next five years – with five potential green belt areas in its sights.
Council officers will make their final recommendations on where the extra homes should go/Mr Sheldon said if he did not agree with their recommendation, he would consider spending his own money on an independent professional planning consultant to assess the number of new homes needed and compile a formal critique.
He added: “I became a councillor so I could do all I could to ensure Castle Point remains a green and pleasant place to live.
“I believe this site on the A127 could save the treasured and open green spaces around our community.”
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