Wickford 2011 - 2031 - Basildon’s Planning Obligations Strategy

Basildon Council propose to build 16,000 homes between 2011 and 2031, 2,800 in Wickford (less 800 already built or approved).

In 2014 they invited residents to comment on the plans by answering 11 questions. One year later, in February 2015 the council have produced a ‘Draft Interim Planning Obligations Strategy’ for  consultation, and again residents are invited to respond, by 2nd April 2015.

Presumably, they used data collected in the 2014 survey, but no, the actual housing number were the same.  You can read the 50 page document here, http://basildon-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/ipobs/dpobs We wait with bated breath for the conclusions that the Council will reach, will the same housing numbers be produced? We won’t be taking bets. What we in the Wickford Action Group take issue with are the following points….

Housing Numbers
We just don’t accept that another 2,000 homes are needed in Wickford by 2031. This is much too high and is not supported by natural growth forecasts.

Green Belt
Government-prompted over-estimates of future housing quotas (driven by the myopic expansion of London), will destroy the existing Green Belt and overwhelm the under-funded existing infrastructure (roads /railways/ schools /hospitals etc.)

Localism
By ignoring the results of the 2014 ‘Have Your Say’ consultation on housing numbers, the Council is not taking residents views into account, which is against the Government’s Localism Act.
It is very important that we challenge our Council on this in the future, and we can’t do this if we don’t make our views known - so please, let them know what you want, and respond to the consultation!

Infrastructure
Every Wickford car driver knows that the roads in and out of the town are totally inadequate, but the consultation uses information collected in 2011, and even that showed that they were at or near capacity. This should be updated and all future developments made to pay a levy for highway improvements.

As for health provision, Wickford has been promised a Medical Centre for nearly 10 years, yet the latest proposal on the old market site is just a re-located doctor’s surgery. So we still wait 3 weeks for a blood test! And how will this cater for another 2,000 homes in the years to come?

Education contributions from developments in Wickford over the last few years, in the form of S106 agreements for school places, have not been paid to the tune of over £750,000.

For this to work, S106 agreements must be rigorously enforced.

To respond to the Council’s consultation, send an email by 2nd April 2015 to: planningpolicy@basildon.gov.uk

For your comments to be registered, please provide your name, postal and/or email address and a contact number.
A suggested response is shown below, (but use your own words and add your own bugbear).

Note: The consultation is now closed. When the results are known we will put them here.

The Wickford Action Group
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