‘We could build 1,500 new homes here’ Councillor lobbies Castle Point Council to save the green belt

Southend Standard: Room to grow? Andrew Sheldon beside the Blinking Owl cafe Room to grow? Andrew Sheldon beside the Blinking Owl cafe

PLANS to create a mini town off the A127 could be back on the cards now a councillor is lobbying Castle Point Council to reconsider the idea.

Benfleet councillor Andrew Sheldon wants the council to look at building a housing estate on land between the A130 and A127 behind the Blinking Owl Cafe to save the green belt from being used for new development.

The site could hold 1,500 homes, but was dropped from the council’s local plan. As the area has more than 117 separate landowners, it was thought the homes wouldn’t get built before the 2031 deadline.

But Mr Sheldon will be putting forward a motion at the next full council meeting to reinvestigate whether it could be developed in the next 17 years.

He hopes this could spare other green belt sites, such as Jotmans Farm, from being built on.

He said: “My residents know this has been one of my top priorities since being elected and I am glad that finally we can give the issue the full and public hearing it deserves.

“There is no doubt the new local plan is one of the most important matters our council will have to consider and vote on for decades to come.

“It will literally shape the very future of our borough.

“As a council it is our duty to explore every possible option there is, down to the finest detail, to ensure our local plan reflects the views of residents as much as possible.”

The consultation on the local plan finishes on March 21 – after which the responses will be looked at by the council.

The document includes plans for 4,000 homes to be built across the borough by 2031. Half of the new properties will be on green belt land.

Land behind the Blinking Owl cafe was earmarked for development after 2031, but Mr Sheldon wants it brought forward for earlier consideration.

He is also calling for an independent specialist to look at the site in more detail.

He added: “I have never believed the evidence we have been given on that site is sufficient to give it proper consideration.

I knowmany residents support that view.

“I am very pleased to have gained the support of council colleagues to get this motion ready and I look forward to standing up and fighting for it in the council chamber.”

Comments (7)

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6:28am Tue 18 Mar 14

Eric the Red says...

There is no need for massive new housing ANYWHERE; they'll just fill up, and we'll STILL say that we need more. What we need is less people in this Country/world. As Private Fraser said in Dads Army 'we're all doomed!'
There is no need for massive new housing ANYWHERE; they'll just fill up, and we'll STILL say that we need more. What we need is less people in this Country/world. As Private Fraser said in Dads Army 'we're all doomed!' Eric the Red
  • Score: 7

7:33am Tue 18 Mar 14

peterscott1955 says...

It's not a housing shortage but a population that's in the wrong place. There are plenty of houses available in the north and in the south, thousands that are empty and should be brought back into use. Castle Point like Rochford are subscribing to this folly.
It's not a housing shortage but a population that's in the wrong place. There are plenty of houses available in the north and in the south, thousands that are empty and should be brought back into use. Castle Point like Rochford are subscribing to this folly. peterscott1955
  • Score: 11

8:09am Tue 18 Mar 14

pembury53 says...

Eric the Red wrote:
There is no need for massive new housing ANYWHERE; they'll just fill up, and we'll STILL say that we need more. What we need is less people in this Country/world. As Private Fraser said in Dads Army 'we're all doomed!'
the council have no choice in the matter, in respect of the numbers, but you are absolutely correct with your comment....... the vast majority of all these 1000's of new builds will go to people outside of the area, mainly londoners selling up, quids in with the value of property in the capital....... the net result of this folly will be exactly the same housing shortage for local people as before, exept combined with massive over crowding and a truly dreadful daily commute, whether by road or by rail...........
[quote][p][bold]Eric the Red[/bold] wrote: There is no need for massive new housing ANYWHERE; they'll just fill up, and we'll STILL say that we need more. What we need is less people in this Country/world. As Private Fraser said in Dads Army 'we're all doomed!'[/p][/quote]the council have no choice in the matter, in respect of the numbers, but you are absolutely correct with your comment....... the vast majority of all these 1000's of new builds will go to people outside of the area, mainly londoners selling up, quids in with the value of property in the capital....... the net result of this folly will be exactly the same housing shortage for local people as before, exept combined with massive over crowding and a truly dreadful daily commute, whether by road or by rail........... pembury53
  • Score: 8

9:09am Tue 18 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Funny thing is, if it was an industrial park, no one would give a t0ss
Funny thing is, if it was an industrial park, no one would give a t0ss carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -3

2:48pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Its nice and easy for builders to build there. Thats why this is being pushed.
Its nice and easy for builders to build there. Thats why this is being pushed. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Old Southendian says...

'Andrew Sheldon wants the council to look at building a housing estate on land between the A130 and A127 behind the Blinking Owl Cafe to save the green belt from being used for new development. He hopes this could spare other green belt sites, such as Jotmans Farm, from being built on.'

Is Andrew Sheldon not aware that the land he is proposing is also supposed to be green belt, despite some parts already being industrialised.

Ill informed councillor or bad reporting? Take your pick!
'Andrew Sheldon wants the council to look at building a housing estate on land between the A130 and A127 behind the Blinking Owl Cafe to save the green belt from being used for new development. He hopes this could spare other green belt sites, such as Jotmans Farm, from being built on.' Is Andrew Sheldon not aware that the land he is proposing is also supposed to be green belt, despite some parts already being industrialised. Ill informed councillor or bad reporting? Take your pick! Old Southendian
  • Score: 3

5:33pm Tue 18 Mar 14

baldyash says...

Probably an ill informed councillor with a big case of not in my backyard! This "proposed area is predominantly green belt as well, with playing fields within.Also many bridle paths & small businesses within the suggested proposal. This so called councillor seems to see a very narrow view as there would be multiple objections with so many land owners & who knows what sort of compensation would be required for the small businesses! Think again Andrew Sheldon & just give it a little thought next time! Maybe you know Mr. Dove!
Probably an ill informed councillor with a big case of not in my backyard! This "proposed area is predominantly green belt as well, with playing fields within.Also many bridle paths & small businesses within the suggested proposal. This so called councillor seems to see a very narrow view as there would be multiple objections with so many land owners & who knows what sort of compensation would be required for the small businesses! Think again Andrew Sheldon & just give it a little thought next time! Maybe you know Mr. Dove! baldyash
  • Score: 1

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