As Basildon Council considers planning permission for housing developers on agricultural land, residents claim “it’s one rule for us, and another rule for everyone else”.
Just hours after leaving a High Court hearing on a judicial review application against the eviction of Dale Farm, Basildon Council is heading to a meeting on housing development looking to approve housing on land currently being used for agricultural purposes.
Basildon’s planning committee recommends development on the land, despite objections from Runwell Parish Council that it’s “Inappropriate development of a Green Belt/green field site – there is currently no LDF and the Local Plan policies are out of date – there are an adequate number of alternative sites in Wickford and Runwell for development – the site
is important for wildlife” 
Despite arguing in court that the widely criticised eviction of a former scrapyard was necessary because of breach of greenbelt planning regulations, the Basildon Council Development Control and Traffic Management Committee are considering a 68 dwelling planning application at land south of Downham Road, Wickford. Basildon Council has submitted a recommendation that the application be granted planning permission.
The meeting is taking place at 7pm at Mirren Studio, Towngate , Theatre, St. Martin’s Square, Basildon SS14 1DL .
Kathleen McCarthy, a resident of Dale Farm, said
“I don’t begrudge anyone a home who needs it, but why is Basildon Council willing to give planning permission to developers on agricultural land while at the same time forcing us from our homes. Dale Farm was a scrapyard when we bought it over ten years ago, but now it’s a community that just wants to live in peace. It seems like it’s one rule for Travellers, and another rule for everyone else.”
It was heard in court today that Basildon Council knew that there was a need for 62 new pitches but they only provided two. It was also heard that Basildon Council failed to discuss site provision at a Council meeting in August. 90% of planning applications made by Travellers are rejected compared to 20% for the whole of the UK 
Notes to the Editor
Relevant meeting documents:
Basildon Council Development Control and Traffic Management committee Agenda
Basildon Borough Council report to the Development Control and Traffic Management Committee , 4 October 2011
 Commission for Racial Equality statistics