Following yesterday's Basildon council meeting at which all parties were showing strong support for points being raised by campaigners against the Dunton Garden Suburb development and similar threats to the green belt, Basildon has now issued a press release challenging Brentwood over its draft Startegic Growth Options consultation which ended this week.
The Council is calling on Brentwood to rethink its local plan because of concerns that it is not evidenced properly. Such concerns were raised last week on this blog and were followed by a request from Eric Pickles to Brentwood Council to consider an extension of the consultation as Brentwood residents realised its significance with just a few days to go.
Cllr Dr Richard Moore who yesterday evening fended off a barrage of questions from members of the public and councillors over Basildon's own methodology in its local plan said “Regardless of how popular a location may or may not be with local people, one cannot assume it is any more or less suitable for development without evidence. Furthermore, it is difficult to see how Brentwood can engage in any meaningful consultation with so many critical pieces of evidence missing and there is no audit trail. At the moment we are hopeful that Brentwood will take our views on board and that it will revise and repeat its strategic growth options exercise. But if the plan proceeds in its current form, we believe it is untenable and we will make our views known to the planning inspectorate at the public inquiry.”
The news comes shortly after the launch of our new campaign christened R.A.I.D for Residents Against Inappropriate Development whose mission statement reads
Our primary objective is to campaign against the Dunton Garden Suburb proposal because it would be an unnecessary and inappropriate development of green belt land. We will also work with other action groups to preserve the green belt and other areas of the countryside important to biodiversity and rural character where local people are opposed to change. In doing so we will follow good principles of law, objectivity and respect without political ideology as laid out in our constitution