Basildon Votes to Delay Local Plan
Basildon District Council in Essex was one of 15 warned by former housing secretary Sajid Javid last November that he would “write their plan for them”.
In March, Javid warned Basildon’s then Labour leader Gavin Callaghan that if there were “any further significant delays in meeting your timetable”, he would “not hesitate to consider how to use the full range of powers parliament has given me to ensure that a plan is in place”. Basildon was not one of the three that Javid decided to subject to further central government scrutiny.
His warning came just after Basildon’s previous UKIP/Labour coalition administration approved a final draft version of its local plan.
However, an extraordinary council meeting held last night saw councillors vote 22 to 15 in favour of a motion to reconsider aspects of the plan in relation to housing and traveller sites.
The motion was carried by the council’s Conservative majority, which took control of the authority in the May 2018 elections.
The plan though controversial would have been the same if the conservatives had been in power as the strategy for distribution of housing numbers was drawn up by the Tory admin before that.
It is without any doubt that the policy of threatening intervention has worked. LPAs like St Albans, Castlepoint and York are coming round, SW Herts and South Essex are finally producing joint strategic plans, though ones like South Oxfordshire and Northumbria have taken a step backwards.. If Rabb doesn’t intervene now noone will ever believe the SoS will ever intervene again around the time of election – so it will encourage oppositionism and cut off your nose to spite your face partisanship across the country. Castlepoint, St Albans etc. could decide again teh balence of risk is to be part of teh awkward squad if we have again a SoS who is instinctively a Pickles like NIMBY. Rabb would become a lame duck.