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Local Plan Update
Basildon Council’s attempts to produce a Local Plan continue to bewilder.
The proposed independent review has been abandoned and their published timetable dates missed. The new timetable shows the ‘Regulation 19’ public consultation will take place in April 2018, and the public examination in the fourth quarter of 2018.
In the original draft Local Plan a new road was suggested linking the A176 in the south of Billericay to somewhere on London Road to the west. As no public funds were available for its construction, developers building houses on the route of the road -- Frithwood Lane, Tye Common Road etc -- were expected to contribute to its cost. However Basildon Council’s own analysis indicated a shortfall in in the housing numbers in this area needed to achieve enough funding, within the Local Plan proposal of around 500 new homes. Confused ? We are. Would be reasonable to conclude that not enough extra houses equals no new road equals a much reduced level of sustainable new house building in the area. Not so.
We now know that Basildon Council have commissioned consultants to develop a so-called High Level Development Framework for the area. We further believe that this will look not just at the sites identified by Basildon’s own officers as the preferred locations for new building, but also at all those sites they originally excluded, such as land at Great Burstead golf club, Richdan Farm, and Great Cowbridge Farm, and additional land on Tye Common Road. We also believe that the Council’s officers consider that the people of Billericay do not need to be further consulted on the new sites, if chosen, as we’ve already had that opportunity, even if at the time those sites weren’t being proposed.
As a result residents of Billericay will have the uncertainty over the scale and location of additional housing for a further extended period. The lack of any public pronouncements from our elected councillors adds to the uncertainty.
We encourage all residents to make individual representation to their councillors and BDRA, BAG and Billericay Society reps. will be meeting this month to look at the next joint action they will be taking.