We attended the meeting at the Hullbridge Community Centre last night in support of Brian Carleton’s current exercise in opposing the Local Development Plan. Around 300-350 people turned up to a well conducted event.
The meeting lasted about an hour and was essentially an information providing session to keep residents up to date with the current position on the proposed housing.
Brian generally provided the information he would be presenting to the inspector in his submission and was asking people to appoint him as their Agent allowing him to represent them in that meeting. This is the list people are being asked to sign, they are signing to appoint Brian as their agent.
He then went through the points made in our response to the Consultation in January (which the Inspector is considering in September) which many people are now familiar with (Watery Lane, Doctors at capacity, poor road network, flooding etc) and then it became a question and answer session, although few questions were asked.
Some points which came out were:
Brownfield sites not considered
Brian said there are two brownfield sites in Hullbridge that were not considered, these are the garage and Nevendon Salvage. This is not quite true as only one is a brownfield site,surprising as it may be Nevendon Salvage is actually on Greenbelt land! This is one of the problems when dealing with planning. Most people regard Nevendon as brownfield but Planning states it is Greenbelt, even though it has a scrap dealer on it.
What would happen if the Inspector rejects the Allocations
The Council will have to back and look at other sites in the same approximate area and address the issues that the inspector rejects the Allocations on.
If un-adopted roads were to be used as access points who would pay to have them made up
How much social housing
Brain stated 30% but the District Council policy is actually 35% and this will be enforced, as it has been on other developments. To be clear about Social Housing the District has a policy that only people with local connections are entitled to this housing and this is set out as having lived in the District for at least the last 5 years.
As we understand it the water companies have a statutory duty to supply water and sewage connections and facilities for new housing, they cannot object they just have to do it.
In addition to these again and again it was the lack of infrastructure that came out, the majority of people accept that we need more housing but they cannot see why this part of the District, with already over crowded roads and the inability to improve them to any significant extent, is having such excessive pressure put on it with the sheer scale of the proposed developments.