A CALL has gone out for residents in South Ockendon to stand up and be counted against plans by Thurrock Council to develop homes on an open space.
Belhus ward councillor Mike Fletcher has been concerned by the authority’s intention to develop the playing fields and he says that today (Wednesday, 9 October) his worst fears have been realised.
He says: “Thurrock Council has announced plans to build on the Culver school site in South Ockendon. The plans include the Culver playing fields, despite a residents’ petition to save them this summer.
“It’s not just that they want to replace a space that local kids play on, with 200 homes of which only about 60 will be ‘affordable’ to local people; it’s not even the pathetic strip of green they have included as a sop to public opinion; it’s the way that yet again new development is being shoehorned into South Ockendon with absolutely no regard for infrastructure.
“These 200 new houses will push a further 300 to 400 cars out on to the South Road bottleneck and the Daiglen Road HGV park.
“The council’s development team claim this is needed to help the council meet its five-year housing needs; if the council’s failure to build homes is not a good enough reason to build in Bulphan or Orsett, how come it’s a good enough excuse to concrete over South Ockendon?”
The council has set up a consultation process (CLICK HERE) and local people have until 8 November to register their views. Cllr Fletcher urged all those who use the Culver fields, or who value the remaining green spaces in Ockendon, to exercise their right and have a say.
Labour Housing scrutiny chair Lynn Worrall commented: “I am surprised to see the council go to public consultation when we aren’t even due to agree a basis for future house building in Thurrock until 29 October.
“I’ve been asking for their plans for months without success. Yet again this Tory cabinet is bypassing its own scrutiny process , ignoring requests from both the scrutiny committee and the views of Ockendon and Belhus residents.”