THERE will be nowhere for Benfleet residents to park after a new block of flats is built, neighbours have claimed.

Castle Point Council’s development committee have approved plans to knock down a building in London Road, Benfleet, and replace it with a new three-storey block of 11 flats.

Councillors voted against the officers’ recommendation of refusal. Officers stated it could cause substantial harm to the green belt land the site is on.

However, during the meeting, members argued the amount of harm caused would not be substantial and voted to allow the plans by eight votes to three.

One resident of London Road who lives near the site believes the council has not allowed for enough parking spaces to accommodate all residents.

The development only has 11 spaces allocated.

The resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Bizarrely, despite the remote location and no on-street parking provision the councillors were happy to pass parking for just 11 cars, for nine lots of two-bed flats and two one-bed flats, which is less than half the number stated in their car parking planning policy.

“Privacy rights of low rise buildings in the area were dismissed as were objections stating that the council had enforced policy in very recent years on their developments citing green belt and impact on the environment restricting development to single storey only.

“I think this is absolutely ridiculous and they have completely misjudged it.

“There will be more than one person in each of the flats, many will need a car to get anywhere, and it will just result in no space for half of them to park and clog up the road even more.

“It’s busy as it is, this will make things worse for us all.”

Another application has also been registered by Castle Point Council for a further 24 flats in a new block a short distance away.

Duncan Clark and Beckett Chartered Architects has submitted plans to build the new development on land which was formerly used as a car lot, but now stands empty.

The plans would see three basement apartments, eight apartments on the first and ground floor, four on the second floor and one on the third floor. The application was validated on January 28 and will go before the development committee at a later date.