Local Plan Naughty Step Castle Point reject Local Plan 15 votes to 14 Over Green Belt Sites

Agenda here.  The recommended plan was voted down 15 votes to 14 at a special council.  This comes after the remarkable step of their own Chif Exec saying in September that cllrs were failures for not agreeing a local plan.  They have failed again.

They were one of only three authorities threatened with special measure.  This was their last chance.  They already had there last local plan judged unsound after halving their housing target to remove controversial Green Belt sites.  The SoS was watching and now will undoubtedly intervene.

The politics of Castel Point make plan making almost impossible.  Indeed it has no directly employed policy staff, they all have left, and relies on aid from the County and adjoining authorities.  Why should they now bother. helping out?  Canvey Island has its own party which is unlikely to vote for any local plan likely to be found sound.  It is very unlikely that they could fully meet all their OAN in Borough because of flooding and other constraints, and the forthcoming South Essex JSP will need to met a part of their OAN elsewhere.  However their are some relatively ‘soft’ in planning terms GB sites, but the delicate South Essex Politics made even these politically too tough.  Now given they wont even meet 240/annum out of an OAN of 342.,  and are delivering 100, why should the other South Essex Authorities take more than 240?    Unless the SoS intervenes it could screw up planning in the whole of South Essex.

The SOS would be wise simply to appoint a commissioner to submit the plan as is as it went to the special council last night, or ask if Essex CC would take the responsibility to submit it.  It would be a waste of time to appoint consultants to go over against the same things the county and district has gone over.    Just get on with it.  The only way you can reasonably get over 240/annum is to sort out the Fairglen junction to free up  Land at North West Thundersley, which can only be done through the JSP as it this gordian know affects potential strategic sites in 3 different authorities that meet at this point.  The best would be the enemy of the good here.  The SoS would like more im sure but be patient they will come if a submitted plan removes the potential Catsepoint impasse.

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