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In the news:- Councillors authorise direct action to restore land to green belt

Councillors authorise direct action to restore land to green belt
21 February 2018

Councillors have authorised direct action to restore a parcel of land west of Hovefields Avenue, in Wickford, to a condition in keeping with its green belt status after it was unlawfully developed.

Members of Basildon Council’s Planning Committee backed a series of recommendations put before them last night (Tuesday 20 February). It means preparations can begin to remove hardstanding and flytipped waste from the southern side of the site upon which caravans had previously been stationed.

In another move, Basildon Council will return to the High Court to apply for the removal of an exemption to an injunction order which allowed the occupiers of six caravan pitches on the northern side of the site to remain until they had exhausted all legal remedies.

It comes after an appeal which sought to overturn the decision of two High Court judges to refuse permission to bring judicial review proceedings against Basildon Council was dismissed in January. Last year the council used the Section 70C planning power not to determine a retrospective planning application for land west of Hovefields Avenue because enforcement notices had already been served to remove unauthorised development which had already taken place.

Cllr Adele Brown, Chairman of Basildon Council’s Planning Committee, said: “In the interests of our residents, we are committed to upholding planning law and protecting the green belt. It is important to maintain the separation between Basildon and Wickford.

“We have given Council officers the green light to pursue practical and lawful enforcement actions to tackle the clear planning breaches that have taken place.”