Plan Consultation Delayed
The next stage of the Local Plan has been delayed. The Regulation 19 Public Consultation is now unlikely to take place before September.
At its meeting on 7 June Basildon Council decided to refer the draft Plan to its new Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee to review 3 specific areas of concern:
For Billericay, if the changes are made, the proposed 15 traveller pitches and 300 houses in the current draft Plan could be removed, although nothing else in the Plan would be changed.
The SP&I Committee will now prepare a revised timetable to take account of the delay.
Whilst we welcome the possible changes, we are considerably disappointed that the opportunity has not been taken to address the further concerns of Billericay residents.
In an associated development Mike Andrews and Andy Wilson met with the new leader of Basildon Council, Andrew Baggott, accompanied by Richard Moore, chair of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, and Billericay councillor Andrew Schrader. Opportunity was taken to appraise the new Leader of the wide ranging concerns of Billericay residents, to stress our belief that this is a Plan for housing not community and will be detrimental to the quality of life of existing Billericay residents, and to reiterate the intention of ourselves and residents to use the Regulation 19 Consultation and the Inspection in Public to demonstrate to the Planning Inspector that the current Plan is unsound.
Councillor Baggott outlined some of the pressures emanating from central Government that he felt the Council were under with regard to the production of the Plan.
We hope this new era of constructive dialogue will be beneficial to residents of Billericay and our Council. However, BDRA/BAG will continue to oppose over-development which adversely affects the quality of life of our town’s residents and unjustifiably erodes irreplaceable Green Belt. We believe the current draft Local Plan, even if amended in the areas identified, remains fundamentally unsound and we will continue to oppose it vigorously, through both the forthcoming Regulation 19 Consultation and the subsequent Examination in Public before the Government’s Planning Inspector.