Saturday, 21 February 2015

We need to object to developments like the one at Queen's Park

A speculative developer has proposed a plan to build 14 luxury homes on green belt land North of Billicay. This is typical of the kind of project we can expect to see until Basildon can complete its Local Plan. The developer cites the lack of a plan as "special circumstances" to try to get approval for the housing scheme on land it should not normally be allowed to build on. The council will hopefully reject the plan but the developer can try to remedy the faults and come back with a new plan until they have a version which is being rejected only on the basis that it is on green belt land. They will then take it to appeal and try to force it through, taking control out of the council's hand. 

The proposal has been reported in the Brentwood Gazette and has also been highlighted by the Billericay Action Group in their latest newsletter.

There is a risk that some crazy schemes like this could work which is why the councils are so anxious to get their Local Plans completed and are rushing through consultations without adequate time for residents to become aware of them. To foil the developers plan we need to show that as local residents we are strongly opposed to the loss of green belt land. This will carry a lot of weight when the appeal is heard.

In this case the developer is seeking to use a large strip of green belt to build just 14 executive homes. A typical housing scheme in the area could easily fit up to 50 homes in this area so this would be a loss of green belt land with very little of the regions housing target being taken care of. When the original plans were submitted the council rightly complained that as well as being an inapropriate development on the green belt it did not provide any affordable housing. Incredibly the plan was nevertheless rejected by only one vote! The developer has now come back with an offer to build some affordable homes elsewhere. Yep, it's a ludicrous scheme which should have no chance of success but unless we act it might be passed on the whim of some external planning inspector.

The land adjoins the Eastern boundary of the Queens Park Country Park which is a local wildlife site. Building here would increase pressure on the conservation efforts underway in the park so this provides an extra reason to make sure this does not get approved 

Here is the information on what to do copied from the Billericay Action Group newsletter:

Queens Park : What Can I Do ? 
The MOST IMPORTANT action is to register a Planning Objection via options 1, 2 or 3 below.

1. Register your views on Basildon’s Planning website.
Type into your browser (if you’re reading this online, you
 should be able to click on the link), then enter application number 15/00166/OUT (we’ve
 created a shortened link - it takes you to the Basildon site)

2. Email your views
Send them to, quoting 15/00166/OUT

3. Write a letter
 Send your views to Planning Services, Basildon Borough Council, The Basildon Centre, St
 Martin’s Square, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1DL quoting application reference 15/00166/OUT

In addition you can :
• Attend the Billericay Town Council Planning Meeting, 24th February. Residents are welcome
to attend and speak - briefly and politely please ! 7pm, Town Council Offices in the Coach
House, Crown Yard (just off the High Street).
• Attend the Basildon Borough Council Planning meeting where the final decision will be made.
Again, residents are welcome to attend and speak for up to 3 minutes. We don’t yet know the
date - but if we have your email address we will let you know. To get on the Billericay Action Group mailing list email

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