In the South East of Essex the situation is exacerbated by the limited supply of land suitable for development, the already-overstretched infrastructure and the existing high population density. A number of independent Action Groups have already been set up by concerned residents. Now these groups are collaborating, sharing information and experiences and preparing to fight together on their shared concerns.
The SE Essex Action Group Alliance, (AGA), has been initiated by action groups from Billericay, Rayleigh, Hullbridge, Daws Heath and Jotmans Farm (these fall within the Basildon, Rochford and Castle Point Local Authority areas). AGA will campaign on three main issues:-
- Unnecessarily high housing targets;
- Failure to implement Localism;
- Impact on the Green Belt and infrastructure.
Unnecessarily high housing targets
- Basildon proposed a new homes target of 16,000 when natural growth would suggest just 8,900 homes are required;
- Rochford’s target of around 3000 new homes is twice the natural growth needed;
- Castle Point is proposing 4-5000 new homes when recent estimates show negative growth.
Failure to Implement the Localism Act
Unfortunately Local Authorities in South East Essex have universally failed to understand and implement the concept of Localism. They have allowed themselves, not necessarily unwillingly, to be held to ransom by developers and Central Government dictat, to the detriment of their residents and at the expense of their Green Belt.
Some residents groups have even resorted to taking expensive legal action against the Authorities who purport to represent them.
The fact that residents of most towns and villages have to form an Action Group to give the public a voice speaks volumes about the way our Councils wilfully ignore the concept and implementation of real Localism.
Impact on Green Belt and Infrastructure
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 ).
The SE Essex Action Group Alliance invites other groups in the SE of Essex to unite with us to ensure the views of existing residents are no longer ignored by those who purport to represent them.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.