|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.
Revised timetable (thanks to Phil Gibbs for this):
- 20 Sep 18 - ONS to publish new household projections which will set a new housing target for every local authority. The government is also expected to revise the standard formula to compensate for falling projections
- 25 Sep 18 - A revised draft Basildon Local Plan will be made public
- 3 Oct 18 - The Strategic Planning Committee will make any last minute changes and refer the Basildon plan to full council
- 4 Oct 18 - Government to reveal updated statistics on release of green belt
- 18 Oct 18 - Basildon Council will approve the Local Plan
- Nov-Dec 18 - regulation 19 consultation for Basildon Local Plan
- 14 Nov 18 - Brentwood Council expected to publish and approve its Local Plan for regulation 19 consultation
- 24 Jan 19 - deadline for submission of Local Plans under old NPPF
- Jan-Mar 19 - regulation 19 consultation for Brentwood Local Plan
- Spring 19 - publication and regulation 18 consultation for South Essex Joint Strategic Plan
- Spring - Summer 19 - examination in public for Basildon and Brentwood Local Plans
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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