|View of Wickford from St Margaret's Church, Downham|
Although the Town Centre Masterplan is now dead and buried, there have been some 500 flats built since then, with precious little regeneration, and we continue to fight for a better Wickford, with any increase in housing being family friendly and with sufficient support services (roads, schools, doctors etc.)
What is happening now?The current situation is that, under a government directive, Basildon council has had to produce a plan for house building for the next 20 years (the current plan is 20 years old!). The proposal was for some 3,624 more homes in Wickford, many on the green belt, two new traveller sites and extra pitches on existing sites.
BUT, in May 2018 the Conservatives regained control of Basildon Council, and one of the first actions was to throw out the Draft Local Plan, which had at last been finalised by the previous labour / independent administration. They would be ‘looking again’ at a few aspects, including Hovefields in Wickford.
They have now issued a revised timetable:
- Approval of the Draft Plan by the full council in October 2018.
- Public consultation (known as Regulation 19) probably November / December 2018.
- Submission to the Secretary of State January 2019
- Examination in public Quarter 1 2019.
- Adoption of the Local Plan Quarter 3 2019, probably September.
It remains to be seen whether the number of new homes proposed for Wickford will be increased, or whether we will lose even more green belt. Sites under consideration for house building can be seen on the SEEAGA website here
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