Will 2016 determine the future shape of Billericay
a few months’ time every resident of Billericay will have the opportunity to
influence the shape and character of our town for decades to come.
It is our duty to ensure that current and future residents
continue to experience the quality of life we enjoy.
Local Councils throughout England are required to produce a Local Plan and seek residents’ comments. These plans determine where development may take place and, more importantly for a town like Billericay with its history, character and Green Belt, they also show where development will not be permitted.
Councils must also consult those responsible for infrastructure. Currently there is sparse evidence of infrastructure planning or the associated finance needed to support Local Plans. This is a constraint on local development that must be taken into account .
It would be uncharitable to deny our children the homes they so clearly need. But we must also demand a guarantee there will be sufficient local employment, convenient local school places, timely medical services and a journey to work without standing on the train or sitting in a traffic jam.
The Local Plan is the one opportunity to review the Green Belt boundaries around our town.
The Green Belt was introduced to:-
· check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
· prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
· assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
· preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
· assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.
This is precisely what Billericay’s Green Belt does for us today: we must ensure it does so for our future residents.
The most recent draft of our Local Plan would have seen around 2300 new homes, built almost entirely on Billericay’s Green Belt, over the next 15 years. That plan was withdrawn.
Early 2016 will see a new plan and a new Consultation and BDRA will keep a close eye on proceedings. The views of every Billericay resident are important and must be considered,
so why rely on others?
Even if you think the plans will not directly affect you we all owe it to future generations to leave them a town we would like to live in.
Look out for information on when you can make your views heard.