Basildon District Council and John Baron MP
United Kingdom

In Wickford, Essex, 100 acres of green land to the north of Station Avenue and extending up to Downham Road - an area known locally as “Barn Hall” - are under threat of development from Gleesons and the Glendale Group.

Barn Hall” is an area of long established meadows, ponds, hedges and copses. It is very rich in wild life and wild flowers. The recorded animals there include bats, badgers, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, adders, grass snakes, lizards and slow worms. At the time of writing the results of a survey for great crested newts are awaited.

There are many recorded species of birds, including cuckoos, sparrow hawks, barn owls, kestrels, green spotted woodpeckers, grey herons, nightingales and jays. In addition, there are many butterflies and moths, as well as a rich variety of other insects including the argiope bruennichia or “wasp spider“.

The developers bought this agricultural land prior to 1998 from the then Ministry of Agriculture, speculating that it would sooner or later be designated as building land. In due course, the 1998 Basildon District Local Plan designated the land for future development after 2001. However, the Replacement Local Plan of 2005 put this land back into the “Green Belt”. Unfortunately, due to a chaotic mix-up between Basildon District Council and central government, the 2005 Plan had to be scrapped - leaving the previous Local Plan effectively in place and the land in danger of being developed.

The land from Station Avenue in the south to Downham Road in the north has recently been surveyed by the developers, prior to them submitting a planning application. The fear is that they could build up to 1,500 houses - not only destroying this beautiful area of open countryside but adding to the traffic congestion (particularly in the Station Avenue area) and the infrastructure problems (such as the lack of doctors and dentists, pressure on electricity and water supplies etc) in Wickford.

We are not opposed to (already planned) developments to meet the future housing needs of a growing population and more single households. Over the last 20-30 years Wickford has welcomed thousands of new residents, particularly in the new estates of the Wick and Shotgate; and there are plans for building further new homes on the site of nearby Runwell Hospital. Basildon District Council has also recently approved an exciting and ambitious Masterplan to regenerate Wickford town centre and incorporate hundreds of new dwellings alongside new shops, restaurants and amenities for the whole community. By these and other developments within urban areas on ’brown-field’ sites, the Council is currently meeting all the exacting targets set by central government to meet future housing needs - without any need to allow developers to destroy our lovely, green countryside for ever.

So, please help us save this countryside! Sign our petition!

And, please, visit our above website for more information and updates.

Petition: Land at “Barn Hall” in Wickford, Essex

We, the undersigned, as residents of Wickford and beyond, wish to express our wholehearted opposition to the development by Gleesons or the Glendale Group of the land north of Station Avenue and known as “Barn Hall”.

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The NO to Gleesons’ & Glendale Groups’ development of countryside at “Barn Hall” petition to Basildon District Council and John Baron MP was written by Anonymous and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.