Following the formal end of the consultation we continued our examination of the basis of the Local Plan with a view to challenging the excessive planned growth of housing destined for our borough. We presented a White Paper to the Council which demonstrated that Basildon’s Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) is far beyond the figure required. It seemed the Council feared failing to satisfy the National Planning Inspectorate. It may be a coincidence, but Basildon Council has since withdrawn the draft Local Plan 2016 – 2031.
Meanwhile we had supported Adam Adshead’ s successful bid to become an independent town councillor for Billericay West Ward. Recognising BAG’s contribution a second BAG supporter, Lesley Mitchelmore, was recently adopted onto our Town Council representing the East Ward.
In preparation for the next Draft Local Plan BAG has developed collaboration with other Local Action Groups and with CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) with a view to establishing a strong knowledge base capable of evaluating and challenging the new draft. We have sought informal dialogue with borough councillors and now believe we have the best available information on their tactics and policies.