Options for the future use of more than 70 small pieces of land across Tendring will be explored by the council.
Today (Friday, 15 July) Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Cabinet tasked officers to look at what the under-utilised sites, all owned by the authority and a mixture of open space and brownfield, could be used for.
One option could be build council homes – to help reduce the number of households on the housing register – building more garages, which are in high demand; or to sell the land, using the money generated to support other council priorities. Alternatively, the sites may be kept as open space.
Carlo Guglielmi, TDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance and Governance, said today’s decision was simply to look at options for some sites – with further decisions required for each location once additional work had been carried out.
“The property team was tasked to carry out this piece of work back in 2019 and it has taken a considerable amount of time to complete this complicated and technical piece of work, but it is a vital component to inform and progress our Housing Strategy.
“The council owns a number of these small parcels of land around the district, which all require maintenance and in many cases are not useable open spaces for people to enjoy,” Councillor Guglielmi said.
“Our highlighted priorities for this year are to make better use of our assets, and this is a prime example of that. We can use some of our under-used land to help our residents; whether that is through housing, garages or something else which comes out of this piece of work. That could include selling the land, and using the money to support other council services and actions.
“But we are not taking a blanket approach. We totally appreciate some sites will be more sensitive than others, and we want people’s comments so they can be taken into consideration.”
Combined the 72 areas of land total 10 hectares – equivalent in size to almost 25 football pitches – in locations right across the district.
Officers will not explore all of the sites at once, but instead focus on those which are larger. This includes sites at Fernlea Road, Dovercourt, and Seaview, Little Oakley, while three others – Crome Road and Burrows Close in Clacton, and Dover Road in Brightlingsea – are further along the process and Cabinet agreed to prioritise these.
Councillor Guglielmi added: “The decision today is one step in the process, and instructs officers to look at further options; those options will then be subject to a further decision.
“Although this was something I could have signed off with my existing delegation, because of the number of sites I took the decision to bring it to Cabinet to be more transparent and inclusive, and to give an opportunity to hear Members’ views.”