Rochford Council formally objects to Basildon’s Core Strategy

Rochford District Council, through the portfolio holder Cllr Keith Hudson, has objected to Basildon Council’s Core Strategy. This is also reported online Focus here.

In the report Cllr Keith Hudson says

“The Basildon Borough Core Strategy has the potential to have significant impact on Rochford District. In particular, Basildon Borough’s current stated preferred options for growth have the potential to result in significant harm to Rochford District.”

Basildon Council has come up with a number of options but option A, which is the one the Cllr Hudson is objecting to, states

“Maximises Urban Potential and Protecting the Green Belt.”

This would allow the development of 6,500 new dwellings between 2011-2031, approximately half the number required by the East of England Plan which councils must still adhere to. with urban areas and would not release any Green Belt land for development.

As this would not meet the need, as stated in the East of England Plan, other neighbouring authorities such as Rochford may have to make up the shortfall. This is outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework (Para 182) where it states

“..the plan should be prepared based on a strategy
which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving¬†sustainable development”

Apart from the concern over additional development with the Rochford District, if Basildon is correct in protecting their Green Belt that means Rochford District Council has needlessly allowed over 90% of the development to be on its Green Belt land.

The local Green Party has consistently objected to the Core Strategy, it seems as though Rochford has run headlong into it without proper analysis of the options available.

A further point to note is that Basildon consultation on its Core Strategy finished on 11 April and Rochford are only just putting forward their objections. Basildon Council have apparently agreed to give the response their consideration, despite its lateness.

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5 thoughts on “Rochford Council formally objects to Basildon’s Core Strategy

  1. Who would be forced to interpret “if it is reasonable to do so” in the worse case scenario?

  2. I would assume the Inspector in the first instance (to decide if the Strategy is legally compliant) and then inspectors on planning appeals afterwards, but I will check – Assumptions are a bad thing.

  3. That will prove important. If that is true then I suspect the trouble will come on the second phase of that. It sounds like nothing is legally wrong with Basildon’s CS but RDC could argue that extra development is ‘unreasonable’ at that juncture.

    I am not sure I would like the job of arguing it though.

  4. “Apart from the concern over additional development with the Rochford District, if Basildon is correct in protecting their Green Belt that means Rochford District Council has needlessly allowed development on over 90% of its Green Belt land.”
    I think you need to revise that 90% rather drastically, as less than 1% of RDC Green Belt has been released for development under the adopted RDC Core Strategy. If 90% of RDC Green Belt were allowed to be developed it would mean around 80% of the entire District under concrete!

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