I offer a word of warning to those people in Laindon who were consulted on their development plan.

We had a similar consultation exercise in 2005, where the Wickford Town Centre Masterplan was revealed.

It showed a regeneration of the High Street and other areas in the town centre, which everyone agreed needed something doing to brighten it up, and many people were in favour of the plan, which showed attractive low-level buildings.

But on the same day the council analysed the results of the consultation, it made significant changes to the plan, increasing the number of flats needed to pay for it from 490 to 585.

It also reported that the consultation recorded that residents didn't want too much residential development nor high rise buildings, yet in spite of this it recommended that "the development of relatively high-rise buildings would provide more of a sense of place and identity than that currently existing, and act as a focus for the whole of the town."

And "while it may be understandable that high-rise development is viewed with some misgivings, developments five to six storeys in height would be reasonable in the town centre".

In other words, we were duped by the same councillors who are trying to do the same to the people of Laindon!

Of course, the developer will be reporting that you are all in favour, that's the nature of the beast, but we expect better from our councillors, who should be looking after our interests.

It will be interesting to see if they come clean on the actual results of the "consultation", and not leave it to the clearly biased developer.

If you want to see what the council is doing to Wickford, look at www. WickfordActionGroup.org.uk

John Rushton
Guernsey Gardens