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Dry Street in limbo as deadline passes
CAMPAIGNERS against the controversial Dry Street housing development have been “left in limbo” because of a major delay finalising the plans.
Basildon Council voted through the scheme of 725 homes, a primary school and shops at the beginning of June.
But six months later, the application has still not been signed off.
Developers and local authorities normally have half a year to finalise conditions after plans are rubber stamped.
The Dry Street deadline is this week, but all parties have agreed to an extension.
Campaigners are considering taking their battle to stop the development to the High Court, but cannot lodge an appeal until a decision notice has been formally issued.
After the plans are finally signed off, they have just six weeks to apply for a judicial review.
Campaigner Danny Lovey, spokesman for Basildon Green Action Group, said: “Everything is in limbo and it has been for months. They might be taking their time because they are making a detailed assessment of the environmental issues, but I’m not totally convinced that is the case.
“We have been consulting with various barristers about a judicial review, but we can’t do anything until we have seen the final documents.”
The application, from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, was backed by Basildon Council and South Essex College despite fierce opposition from residents.
It will fund a new £35million town centre campus for the college on the site of the existing Basildon market.
The council insists the delay is due to ongoing discussions to finalise legally binding conditions, which will include pay-offs to affected businesses such as Longwood Equestrian Centre.
Richard Moore, councillor responsible for planning, said: “Issuing a decision notice within six months is the normal timeframe for a major application.
“However, this is a particularly complex project involving a number of different partners, all of whom have to be satisfied with the legal agreement being put in place.
“It is important that all parties get this right. We anticipate the decision notice and section 106 agreement will be issued shortly.”
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