CONSERVATIVE leaders look set to pull the plug on Castle Point’s local plan which would have seen hundreds of homes built on green belt, despite Government assurance it would get the go ahead.

Last month, the Government inspector revealed he was ready to give the green light to the plan.

The move sent shockwaves across south Essex with “alarm bells ringing” in Southend, where green belt land is also at risk of being built on as part of their local plan.

However, the Tories on Castle Point are now set to go back to the drawing board, despite years of debate, hearings and inspection to get to this stage.


Campaigners have been left stunned by the major U-turn, as the Tories are the same party who came up with the plan.

Tim Copsey, who lives in Daws Heath and organised protests against the proposals, said: “While I do not forget that it was the Castle Point Conservatives that voted for this hideous local plan in October 2019, I applaud this change of direction in terms of listening to the community and trying to find a solution to this mess.”

Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, had previously deemed the plan “unsound.”

As part of the proposals, 5,284 homes will be built by 2033.

Up to 300 homes have been earmarked for the land east of Canvey Road, compared to 196 to the west. A total of 30 homes would be built off Glyders in Benfleet.

A spokesman from the Castle Point Conservatives said: “We will not move to adopt a local plan unless our residents agree it is the right thing for the borough “We will use the time we have to look at any viable alternatives to meet our local housing need that also protects the green belt sites.

“We will listen to our residents’ concerns about flooding, infrastructure, and affordable housing.

“We will lobby the Government to relieve housing pressure on the south east, to strengthen green belt protection in law, and give the council greater powers to turn down planning applications where we have flooding concerns.

“We do not oppose homes being built in Castle Point, but they must be in the right place.”

“We need a local plan to stop speculative development damaging our borough.