Castle Point Borough Council will discuss the future direction of its local plan at meetings of its Cabinet and Council on 15 June 2022. The trigger for this debate is a Notice of Motion put to the Council at its meeting on 23 March 2022. Under its Constitution such a motion must firstly be referred to the Cabinet to consider any resource implications before being debated by the full Council.
The Council’s draft local plan was the subject of a formal hearing in 2021 following which an Inspector on behalf of the Government deemed the plan ‘sound’ and suitable for adoption. At a meeting of the Council on 23 March 2022 there was a near unanimous vote to not adopt the plan. The plan awaits a definitive decision by the Council on its future status. The plan has been the subject of some considerable concern across the community regarding the scale of development proposed and the amount of green field and green belt land identified to meet that growth.
Following Council elections in May a joint Administration, comprising the Canvey Island Independent Party and the People’s Independent Party, was formed to lead the Council. Both parties campaigned on platforms opposing the scale of growth and use of green field land. The debate by the Council is likely to focus on these issues.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Dave Blackwell comments that “I don’t believe that our residents support building thousands of houses on the green belt. We need to listen more closely to them and ensure we have a local plan that provides for local needs and protects our precious environment”.
Deputy Leader of the Council (and Leader of the People’s Independent Party), Cllr Steve Cole, added “we need to focus on better use of our brown field land and much needed improvements to infrastructure rather than sacrifice our scarce green fields”.