A £12million road extension could be in jeopardy as a small piece of land which is owned by a private owner is being blocked due to the council not asking to use the land. The land is needed by Essex County Council as part of its Roscommon Way extension to provide a new access road into Charfleets Industrial Estate.
The landowner has decided to lock the gates of the land which is situated off Romainville Way, he did this last October. The reason for doing so was due to the fact that the council did not respond quickly enough when he asked why their officers were working on his land. The development has not been halted as construction workers are able at the moment to work around his parcel of land. However in the future the new road will have to be built right through where the locked gates are.
The council needs to have the work completed by April 2011if they are still going to be eligible for Government funding. The owner stands by his decision stating thatthe council went accessed his land without even asking, he had no idea why theywere using his land and wanted to know why.
The council did not realise that there was a strip of land blocking their development into the Industrial Estate when they conducted a search of the area before the building work began. Castle Point Council’s development control committee decided against taking legal action against the landowner, they have decided to negotiate with him instead.
However the landowner still stands by his original argument,he stated that he gave the council every opportunity to contact him to discussthe piece of land. Week after week hefelt fobbed off by the council, resulting in the landowner closing his gates onthe land. He had already asked the constructionworkers if his actions would halt their work which they confirmed that at themoment they would not.
An Essex councillor confirmed that they needed the road to improve access into the estate and it will also create new jobs for the area. The blocking gate will hold the scheme up. The owner of one of the businesses in Kings Close, Charfleet expressed his concern that the council had not undertaken all the relevant searches into the scheme before beginning the work in the first place. If it had been then this problem would not be arising now.