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New Castle Point Local Plan could be pushed through this month
10:30am Friday 5th October 2012 in News
FRESH fears have been raised that a new development strategy setting out where hundreds of homes could be built in Castle Point will be rushed through this month.
Castle Point Council is compiling a new Local Plan for the borough specifying where homes should be built over the next 15 years – a document they expected to finish in late 2013.
Now it has emerged it could be completed as soon as this month in a desperate attempt to stop an appeal to build 150 homes on green belt land in Benfleet going ahead.
A final decision on the plans for the land between Sadlers Farm roundabout and Glebelands will be made by the planning inspector in November.
However, allegations have been made Canvey is being used as a scape goat to fulfil the borough’s housing need, after two major developments totalling 699 homes have been passed in the last month.
Norman Smith, Tory cabinet member for economic development and business liaison, said at a development control committee meeting on Tuesday: “Another reason for approving the development at Point Road, Canvey, is it would protect green belt land elsewhere. We want to build as much as possible on brown field sites.”
Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party claims the plans were rushed through to prove to the planning inspector the council already has enough homes for the next five years, thereby relieving pressure to build on the mainland.
He said: “So we could have nearly 700 homes on the island, and the council is also looking at 100 homes in the town centre and 100 homes at the former Castle View School site. Meanwhile only 150 homes have been approved on the mainland. It seems like Canvey is getting the brunt of it again."
An update on the Local Plan will be made at a cabinet meeting on October 17.
The council were unable to confirm what recommendations would be included in the update.
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