Dry Street protesters hope for MP’s backing

First published in News by

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop hundreds of homes being built on a beauty spot hope a Tory MP will back them in the battle.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock , could be the ace in the pack for protesters against plans to build as many as 850 homes across the wildlife haven at Dry Street, Basildon.

Mr Metcalfe confirmed he was “doing his homework” on the controversial proposals which have been put together by Basildon Council’s ruling Tory administration, the Homes and Communities Agency and South Essex College.

Mr Metcalfe is the second Tory heavyweight to not openly support the proposals. A week ago, John Schofield, county councillor for Westley Heights, broke Conservative ranks to join the campaign against the development.

Danny Lovey, president of the Rotary Club of Basildon Concord and a long-term Conservative himself, is also opposed to the plans and would welcome the MP’s support.

He said: “It would be very helpful if Mr Metcalfe came out in our support. I am due to have a meeting with him about this. He would be a powerful ally. I know he is in an awkward position, but would be very good for him to be on board.”

Mr Metcalfe has written to Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, to ask how housing targets for the area have been calculated, so he can satisfy himself of the exact need for housing in the borough.

Mr Metcalfe added: “I am researching the proposals before being able to reach an informed decision. I have also asked about what protection can be given to the Essex County Council owned land to the south of Dry Street so this can be safeguarded from any development.”

A planning application is expected in October for a major housing development over the existing college site, and into the meadows at Dry Street, which would, in turn, fund a new town centre college campus in Basildon.

Malcolm Buckley , Tory councillor responsible for regeneration, said local politicians were entitled to their views in the interest of constituents.

He added if the council did not support the development, it would be forced upon it and also leave the town without a new town centre college campus.

He added: “Many of his constituents will live across the borough and would welcome the college, so whatever decision he reaches he will upset some of his constituents. “Some could miss out on the education they deserve, while others may miss out on the view they currently enjoy.”

Comments (5)

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2:48pm Fri 17 Aug 12

Trainman says...

To build even ONE home would destroy the sheer Beauty of this area. GOOD LUCK to the campaigners in getting it rightly STOPPED.
To build even ONE home would destroy the sheer Beauty of this area. GOOD LUCK to the campaigners in getting it rightly STOPPED. Trainman
  • Score: 1

5:06pm Fri 17 Aug 12

Eric Whim says...

someone ought to point Mr Metcalfe towards the story on this website concerning the fact that a lot of houses being built recently are going unsold because people cannot afford them (it's the story seemingly hidden out of date sequence some three pages back in the 'Basildon' news section) here

http://www.echo-news
.co.uk/news/local_ne
ws/basildon/9870833.
Newly_built_Basildon
_homes_are_unafforda
ble__estate_agent_sa
ys/

also to his story regarding the hold ups in the ongoing redeveopmentof the Five Links Estate

http://www.echo-news
.co.uk/news/local_ne
ws/basildon/9865618.
Residents____anger_a
s_estate_revamp_stal
ls/

with particular reference to te third paragraphi.e.
The housing association has also acknowledged its landmark building of 60 flats may not be built at all, after a lack of interest in buying homes there saw the plans put on hold


and further to these two a quick peek at

http://www.echo-news
.co.uk/news/local_ne
ws/basildon/9867895.
We_feel_like_we_are_
left_in_limbo_say_Cr
aylands_residents/

Maybe he could recommend to the Council that they put on hold any decisions regarding further development plans especially ones as contentious as the development of green spaces like Dry Street until these existing projects are back on track and the houses sold or rented to people from the Council's long housing list
someone ought to point Mr Metcalfe towards the story on this website concerning the fact that a lot of houses being built recently are going unsold because people cannot afford them (it's the story seemingly hidden out of date sequence some three pages back in the 'Basildon' news section) here http://www.echo-news .co.uk/news/local_ne ws/basildon/9870833. Newly_built_Basildon _homes_are_unafforda ble__estate_agent_sa ys/ also to his story regarding the hold ups in the ongoing redeveopmentof the Five Links Estate http://www.echo-news .co.uk/news/local_ne ws/basildon/9865618. Residents____anger_a s_estate_revamp_stal ls/ with particular reference to te third paragraphi.e. [quote]The housing association has also acknowledged its landmark building of 60 flats may not be built at all, after a lack of interest in buying homes there saw the plans put on hold[/quote] and further to these two a quick peek at http://www.echo-news .co.uk/news/local_ne ws/basildon/9867895. We_feel_like_we_are_ left_in_limbo_say_Cr aylands_residents/ Maybe he could recommend to the Council that they put on hold any decisions regarding further development plans especially ones as contentious as the development of green spaces like Dry Street until these existing projects are back on track and the houses sold or rented to people from the Council's long housing list Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Fri 17 Aug 12

EcoPatriot says...

After all the flats and new homes being built around Basildon you would have thought concreting over an important wildlife haven of ours would have been a little too below the belt to propose, but no.

I'd like to thank the principled tory gentleman that are willing to stand up for what is right.
After all the flats and new homes being built around Basildon you would have thought concreting over an important wildlife haven of ours would have been a little too below the belt to propose, but no. I'd like to thank the principled tory gentleman that are willing to stand up for what is right. EcoPatriot
  • Score: 1

8:59pm Fri 17 Aug 12

E-Types.. says...

"CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop hundreds of homes being built on a beauty spot hope a Tory MP will back them in the battle"

Proof that misguided and naive optimism is still prevalent in some areas of the country

OR

People really dont know what the Tory party is about!

Methinks a good dollop of both.
"CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop hundreds of homes being built on a beauty spot hope a Tory MP will back them in the battle" Proof that misguided and naive optimism is still prevalent in some areas of the country OR People really dont know what the Tory party is about! Methinks a good dollop of both. E-Types..
  • Score: 0

6:19am Sat 18 Aug 12

shallotman says...

I wouldn't hold your breath if you expect your MP to come down on your side.
I wouldn't hold your breath if you expect your MP to come down on your side. shallotman
  • Score: 0

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