Castelpoint to Finally Publish local Plan to Avoid Intervention

Southend Echoe

As far as I can tell the Sos has intervened so i don’t know if they can lawfully submit?  though if there was a motion the intervention could be withdrawn.  Has the dept issued consultancy contracts yet?

Council chiefs are determined to establish a new achievable plan for thousands of homes across Hadleigh, Benfleet and Canvey – and avoid Government intervention.

A special Castle Point council meeting has been set to take place on June 6, during which the Conservative-led authority will aim to regain control of the local plan, which will set the infrastructure and housing strategy for the borough over the next 15 years.

The Government has told Castle Point Council to plan room for 4,000 new homes across the borough, and are now threatening to commandeer the operation if the authority continues to fail in providing a viable plan.

Council leader Norman Smith, said: “It is paramount that we demonstrate our ability to succeed in creating a local plan that works for our residents. This goes beyond party politics – without the ability to put forward our own ideas some of the vital decisions that will affect us the most could be taken almost completely out of our hands.

“The local plan is an absolute priority for us, which is why we are holding this meeting in order to initiate the process and prove that we have the political drive to meet the needs of the borough.”

Previous plans have fallen through due to questions being raised about the numbers of houses proposed for Canvey, with green spaces and flood plains being eaten into.

Opposition Canvey Independence Party leader, councillor Dave Blackwell, has suggested that relinquishing control of the local plan to the Government may be the only way that Canvey’s overcrowding fears could be properly addressed.

He said: “Many Canvey residents have completely lost faith in the administration. There are worries that if the control of the local plan gets handed over to the Government, the wishes of our residents will be ignored and we’ll be inundated with even more homes. I don’t think that is true – I think they would play by the book and stop piling houses onto Canvey. Neither the infrastructure nor the land, as a floodplain, can cope. Unless the island starts being treated as an exceptional case our councillors would struggle to offer their support to a council-led local plan.”

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