Today is the launch of the Strategic Growth Options Consultation – it might sound dull but it really is something you should read, consider and engage with by completing THIS response paper.
Listed in this consultation are all the sites to be considered for development because Brentwood Council is required to meet local housing needs. Evidence, from central government, suggests that need is around 360 new homes per year, or 5,500 new homes over a 15 year period. The capacity of brownfield sites in urban areas over 15 years is 2,500, some 3,000 short of total need and we have to find places to build them.
Please be absolutely clear that this is NOT necessarily where we, as the administration, WANT to develop and in some cases it would be good to see them totally and finally disregarded as sites for development. Although many Tory councillors will say differently as they accuse of us of trying to build in your back yard.
One clear example of this is Hopefield Animal Sanctuary…over my cold, dead body (and those of Cllr Aspinell, Newberry, Carter, Quirk, Mynott, Sapwell and many more) will anyone build anything here but the Tories are now whipping up a storm and saying that that is what we want. That’s not true. I will be making my own very strong representations on this one and this site will, I hope, be rejected as a development site. However, we leave this, or any inappropriate site, off the list for consideration and it is open season for any developer for fifteen years because it is left in a developmental abyss of “no status” and we cannot argue effectively against a housing proposal.
If a site has been considered and rejected as part of our local plan, that has more chance of holding up against a planning permission appeal.
The following sites are listed as Brentwood West, but you may want to look at the list for those near you that are in other wards that adjoin West (namely Brentwood North, Brentwood South, South Weald, Warley) and anything else that might be important to you:
- Land north of Highwood Close, Brentwood
- Land north of Highwood Close including St Georges Court, Brentwood
- Brentwood railway station car park
- Land at Honeypot Lane, Brentwood
- Westbury Road Car Park, Westbury Road, Brentwood
- Site on corner of High Street / Western Road, Brentwood (Former Napier Arms)
- Land adjacent and rear of 207-217 Crescent Road, Brentwood
- 18 Westbury Drive, Brentwood
- Land at Crescent Road (open space), Brentwood
- Victoria Court, Victoria Road, Brentwood
- Hubert Road Industrial Estate
- BT Offices, London Road, Brentwood
- La Plata Grove, Brentwood
- 14-16 Westwood Avenue, Brentwood
I also think it is worth pointing out these, in South Weald ward that are near West (but not all of them in that ward):
- Land rear of The Bull Public House, Brook Street, Brentwood
- Land adjacent 50 Spital Lane, Brentwood
- Brook Street employment area
- Academy Place, Brook Street/Spital Lane, Brentwood
and these in Warley ward that are near West (but not all of them in that ward):
- Former Mascalls Hospital, Mascalls Lane, Warley
- Land adjacent to Carmel, Mascalls Lane, Warley
- Land adjacent Hill Cottage, Warley Road, and Mill House, Mascalls Lane, Warley
Once again, please be absolutely clear these are not our intended or favoured sites – they are for consideration and we need your input so we can reject those that are just WRONG!
As an example, let’s look at 14-16 Westwood Avenue. To my knowledge, there have been four recent attempts at putting an inappropriate development here. There is no way I want this to be a development site so I will ensure that my feelings are known based on the work I have done with residents in Westwood Avenue. That being done, should it be rejected as a site for development, it makes it much easier to say NO next time a greedy developer tries to build half a dozen houses there. If it is not included – open season….we stand no chance.
My views on the other sites are varied – some may be appropriate and some certainly aren’t. I am not here for my personal opinion though – I am here to represent you and to form a view based on weighing up the views of the people I represent. So please let me know what you think and let me argue for you but, the most important thing you can do is to take part in this consultation and make sure you get the Brentwood you want in the future.
I am here for advice and discussion if you need me – the consultation ends on 17th February 2015.