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Residents to have say on plans for 150 homes on green belt
DETAILS of controversial plans to build more than 150 homes on green belt land in Benfleet will be revealed at a public exhibition.
Former MP Bob Spink is one of ten homeowners in Downer Road, Benfleet Road and Catherine Road, Benfleet seeking to release their land from the green belt for 156 homes to be built on land off Felstead Road.
However, the site could see up to 200 homes after a draft application was submitted to Castle Point Council on behalf of developer Redrow Homes.
Now, residents will be able to catch a first glimpse of the proposals at a public exhibition next month and put forward their views ahead of a final planning application being filed.
A spokesperson for Redrow said: “We’re in the early stages of preparing plans to develop land to the east of Felstead Road in Benfleet. We’re writing to local residents to invite them to a public exhibition a public exhibition at Holy Family Catholic School on November 8 where they will have the opportunity to review our proposals.
“We are keen to hear the views of local people and will take their comments into consideration before submitting a planning application.”
While the developer would not confirm how many homes are proposed for the site, they have revealed a key aspect of the development includes creating a management program and better public access routes to the existing woodland.
A car parking area would also be created to provide a drop-off area for parents trying to access the Holy Family School in nearby Kents Hill Road, to ease congestion.
However, residents are concerned about the future of other green belt sites in the borough should development be approved.
One 72-year-old resident, of Clarence Road North, Benfleet, said: “I am totally opposed to this development. That land is part of our vital green belt, and once we start allowing building on it, when will it stop?
“Not to mention there is going to be such an increase in traffic if up to 200 home are allowed.”
Despite the land being green belt, the 18-acre site has already been earmarked for development within the next five years as part of Castle Point Council’s new development strategy for the borough.
A spokesman from Castle Point Council said: “The owners of these sites have come together as a consortium and signed a legal agreement to promote the site for redevelopment. A private developer has entered into an agreement with the landowners to pursue the development of the site.
“Having regard to the topography and landscape of the site, it is expected that a development of around 160 homes could reasonably be accommodated in the land between Felstead Road and Catherine Road. A planning application for the site is expected in due course once the site survey work is complete.”
The exhibition will take place at the school from 3:15pm to 8pm on November 8.