Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Plan to build more than 100 homes in Bulphan rejected

Bulphan

A MAJOR development that would have brought a major new housing development to Thurrock including many affordable homes, has been rejected by the council.

The planning application proposed building 116 new properties on land adjacent to the Bulphan by-pass, together with shops and a pub.

But when councillors discussed the plan at a meeting on Thursday night, it was thrown out due to a range of concerns that included a potentially dangerous access point to the site, building work on green belt land and a lack of infrastructure.

Janet McCheyne who chairs the Bulphan Community Forum, spoke at the meeting and explained there were three major concerns for existing residents.

She said: “Over the last few years Bulphan has provided proportionately far more than their fair share of new homes.

“There are further sites which may come forward soon which are either infilling or brown field and having already added over 100 homes, residents don’t feel it is appropriate to be asked to accommodate a development of another 116 homes even if it does include affordable housing.

“Secondly, although it considered to have adequate drainage much of this land is under water for most of the winter.

“In previous projects contractor after contractor has discovered that conditions in Bulphan are not typical, projects took much longer and cost much more than the experts had predicted and the experts predicted this may be the case with this project which may result in non-viability of the affordable housing element, as well as works having a knock-on effect causing flooding elsewhere in the village.

“Lastly, I come to the most important point, the access road to the development is very near to the junction, only 30 metres away. Vehicles entering Church Road from the A128 would be coming from the Orsett Cock direction and be travelling at speed due to the pressure of other traffic on the A128.

“If a vehicle is emerging from the new development and likely to turn right, the risk of a side on collision is very high.”

Ward Councillor Barry Johnson, also spoke on behalf of the residents and explained that the application would increase the number of homes in the village by almost 40 per cent. He said such an increase should not be contemplated without “serious infrastructure considerations” and much of the support needed may not be possible.

He added that the extra traffic on the A128 would be “unthinkable”.

An agent speaking in support of the site said it would provide a “tangible” contribution to housing and those homes would be built to a standard that exceeds building regulations. Furthermore, the affordable housing had been planned around the needs of the borough.

He added that a transport consultant had looked at the access roads, together with Highways England and their objections had been “retracted”.

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