A PETITION has been launched calling on Castle Point Council to send plans for 4,000 homes in the borough back to the drawing board.

Leaflets have been distributed calling on residents to take “urgent action” and sign the online petition against adoption of the council’s housing strategy.

The petition calls for the council to revise plans for 450 homes on green belt land off Kiln Road and 200 homes off Felstead Road, Benfleet, claiming they are vital “green lungs”.

The campaign also calls for the council to consider “other robust and imaginative solutions” such as joining other councils in creating a new town in Essex.

Ray Smith, of Runnymede Chase, Thundersley, said: “I’ve lived here 45 years and even with the small amount of work on new homes down the road it is causing a nightmare. I signed the petition because the situation is only going to get worse.

“Roads here are so narrow they will not cope with the extra traffic. In Rochford, they are building lots of new homes, so all that extra traffic will come through the A127 and A13.

There’ll be gridlock.”

As well as identifying sites for homes, the Local Plan proposes expanding industrial estates in Canvey and Benfleet to create 2,100 jobs, improvements to the road network and creation of schools and health centres.

The council claims it must approve the Local Plan, or face having to build 7,000 homes and having planning powers removed by the Government.

Residents have until March 21 to have their say on the raft consultation.

The responses will then be reviewed, ahead of a decision later this year.

The petition can be viewed at www.changetheplan.org


We’re delivering details ourselves

CAMPAIGNERS are taking matters into their own hands and delivering information to bewildered residents.

Hundreds of homes have not received a consultation package on the draft Local Plan detailing proposals to build 4,000 homes in Castle Point by 2031.

Now, with the consultation running only until March 21, a group of residents picked up handfuls of leaflets, including questionnaires, from the council offices, in Kiln Road, and are delivering them.

Karen Robinson, 47, of Essex Way, Benfleet, is a member of Residents against Glyders Expansion, where 35 homes could be built.

She will deliver the plans to addresses in Essex Way, Norwood Drive and St Mary’s Drive, in Benfleet.

Mrs Robinson said: “We decided to do it ourselves as people must get their opinions in now. With only weeks to go, we can’t afford to be idle, so we will hand deliver them. Of 190 doors, we knocked on I would say about 70 per cent didn’t have a leaflet and that is not good enough.”

Steve Rogers, the council’s head of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said recently the council would not be extending the consultation and added it was in talks with Royal Mail as to why so many leaflets had not been delivered.