Castle Point has óne last chance’over local plan tonight

South Essex Echo

PLANS for where 5,000 new homes will be built could be taken out of local control if sites are not agreed this month.

Castle Point Council has one last chance to approve its local plans and designate sites around the borough for new homes.

If councillors again reject the local plan it is likely the Government will make the decision instead without the advantage of local knowledge.

A meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 22 to give the councillors the chance to agree on housing sites for the next 15 years.

The other risk is that without a plan developers have a better case to win planning appeals, leaving less power for local councillors to turn down plans.

Mr Lamb said: “We are taking the process forward following the local plan from last year.

“It did not get through and we have got to have a local plan or there will be speculative development, which will see developers taking more control, and we don’t want that.

“If agreed there’s a process that will take around 18 months before we can adopt the plan, it will go to the council on October 22, then if it’s passed it will go to consultation, then out to inspection and then back to the council.

“If we have our own plan it will mean our councillors, residents and pressure groups have more input.

“We are looking at a number of sites across the borough and it will be about 342 new homes being built each year.

“We have to provide new homes for people who need them in our borough.”

Mr Smith said he believes this plan is the best option for the borough and hopes the councillors give it their backing at the meeting.

He said if the council agrees the plan it will give them greater control over the future.

The Government has already threatened to take over if the authority continues to fail in providing a viable plan.

Canvey Independence Party leader, councillor Dave Blackwell, 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 with a wider approach.

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