We know we need a plan. We just want one which is sensible, reasonable and sustainable. A Better Local Plan. That’s not too much to demand from our politicians is it?
Politicians love repeating themselves (doesn’t that really annoy you?). They do this sometimes to avoid talking about unpalatable facts they don’t want you to think about and sometimes to create the impression that others are misleading you when in fact they are not.
Regular statements from a number of Billericay’s Basildon Councillors in the local press repeat the assertion that there must be a Local Plan in place to prevent uncontrolled development in our Borough.
This is echoed by Cllr Dr Richard Moore in his reply to BAG's White Paper, and repeated again in MP John Baron’s letter to us.
The Billericay Action Group has stated on many occasions that we fully understand the need for a Local Plan. We’re sorry that we had to use a politician’s tactic of repeating this but you know who to blame? Our view is that a 16 year bad plan is as bad as no plan. So we have worked hard to help Basildon improve their plan. We have done this because we care about our town and its surroundings.
The aim of our White Paper was to challenge the excessively high figure of 16,000 homes. This is the unpalatable fact that the politicians don’t want you to think about. This is why they are trying to convince you that some people don’t want a Local Plan and to scaremonger with statements like “agree with us otherwise it’ll be open season for developers”.
BAG's White Paper is not trying to prevent the implementation of a Local Plan but to improve it. BAG's White Paper aims to ensure that the Plan more accurately reflects the real need for the Borough. BAG's White Paper is showing that Basildon’s plan as it stands will result in extensive and unnecessary loss of Green Belt across the Borough and lead to urban sprawl.
In yesterday’s Gazette (1/10/2014) there was a lovely ⅔ page spread talking about our imminent leaflet campaign covering over 7,000 homes. It needs no comment. Just read it : we hope supporters will like what it has to say.
Alongside that were two paragraphs quoting the leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Turner. Yep, BAG are still attracting both his attention and sadly inaccurate statements, all of which are again easy to debunk. Although we would like to pass on our thanks : his comments are really helping publicise the problem and to drum up support for our cause. Read on to find out what Turner got wrong this time...
We have read Cllr Turner’s comments in the Gazette (Wednesday September 3rd 2014, p3) and are surprised at both the assertions and melodramatic tone. It is staggering that Cllr Turner’s view of democracy is one in which he instructs his electors not to listen to groups who disagree with him. BAG cherishes the ideas of free speech and will continue to encourage all views to be heard.
To say we are fantasists and not on this planet is disrespectful and typical of politicians who have lost touch with what is happening in the constituencies they represent.
See responses to questions posted by BAG, Billericay Society and Billericay Residents' Association.
Aims of BAG
To protect the green belt around Billericay from development.
To prevent the character of our historic town from forever being destroyed.
Link to Basildon Council Local Plan pages
Link to Basildon Council Billericay traffic mitigation document
Reasons to respond to this consultation -Click here