A Government Planning Inspector held an examination in public (EIP) into the proposals for the London Southend Airport & Environs Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP).
He heard evidence from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Rochford District Council along with views about it given by residents, businesses and all other interested parties. This EIP was an opportunity for a round table discussion led by the inspector into the policies and proposals.
The Inspector wrote to the Councils after the EIP and suggested matters for further consideration. As a result, both Councils have put forward amendments to be considered by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Cabinet tomorrow - Tuesday 1st July - and by a full meeting of Rochford District Council on the same day.
If agreed, there will then be a further eight-week consultation on these modifications to the JAAP. The amended document will then again be considered by the Inspector before he produces his Final Report on the ‘soundness’ of JAAP.
The JAAP includes policies for developing the airport, two new business parks and environment enhancements, as well as transport improvements and regeneration proposals.
The Council’s Executive Councillor for Regulatory Control, Mike Assenheim said: “The JAAP is essential to the future of Southend and Rochford and will determine how the area around London Southend Airport develops for the next 15 years.
“At each stage of the JAAP process we have asked people for their opinions and taken these into consideration when drafting the subsequent proposals.
“After members of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Cabinet and Rochford District Council have considered the Government inspector’s suggested amendments - we again look forward to seeking peoples’ views on these changes at the next consultation.
“We know that earlier JAAP consultations created a great deal of interest, so we very much hope that when this next consultation opens shortly, residents will continue to share their views. These will be taken into account before the Inspector issues his Final Report on the JAAP.”
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Councillor Keith Gordon added: “The regeneration of the airport has created massive employment opportunities and the realisation of the JAAP could create in the region of 6,000 additional jobs, as well as ensuring Rochford District and Southend benefit from infrastructure improvements accompanying development.
“We are grateful for all the consultation responses we received throughout the JAAP process - these have helped develop it into a Plan that will deliver the best outcome for the area.
“We are now nearing adoption of a final JAAP. Following the Government Inspector’s recommendations, we will be making some amendments to the Plan. Whilst these do not entail significant changes to the direction of the JAAP, we nevertheless hope people will submit their comments on these when the upcoming consultation starts.”
Copies of the Cabinet report containing the Inspector’s amendments can be found at:www.southend.gov.uk.