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10,000 Basildon homes... on the green belt?
6:00am Monday 9th December 2013 in News
MORE than 10,000 new homes could be built in Basildon over the next 20 years, it has emerged.
Sources at Basildon Council have said its local plan, which is near completion, could controversially include building homes on green belt land.
The Tory administration will finalise its Local Plan–which has been 10 years in the making – by March 2014.
The proposals will go out to consultation early next year.
The figure is double the council’s estimate of building 6,000 homes.
Proposals will need to be given the thumbs-up by a planning inspector.
Campaigners are worried the borough’s green belt will be concreted over.
One group that campaigns against overdevelopment in Wickford is concerned the town will eventually be joined with Rayleigh.
David Harrison, vice chairman of the Wickford Action Group, said: “There is no space left in Wickford except the green belt, so I would imagine areas in Shotgate would be in the plan. With the 800 homes in Rayleigh planned, they need to be careful not to join up the towns.”
P h i l Turner, deputy leader o f the council, said the area needed new housing.
He said: “There is nothing malicious about putting these sites forward – it is something we have got to do.
“We’re looking at 50 or 60 per cent more than the original figures, but if we don’t have any sort of development framework there would be lots of loopholes developers could exploit if they went to an appeal.
“There is a huge amount of pressure to develop in the region, but it is better the final decision lies with the local authority, not with a planning inspector with no ties to the area.”
The numbers are provisional.
Councils are asked to give plausible estimates for the amount of housing required in their boroughs over a large period of time, which must then be passed by Government planners.
The Echo understands green belt land will have to be in the firing line, due to the sheer amount of homes required in the borough.
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