Billericay School plan set for refusal

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A SCHOOL'S bid to fund £12million expansion plans by building houses on part of its land is facing a major blow.

Basildon councillors will vote tonight over proposals by The Billericay School to build 51 homes on a redundant farm within its grounds.

The move would raise the cash needed to build classrooms and replace 14 temporary ones.

But officers who complied the report have recommended the plan is refused because the land is green belt.

In December, the Echo reported how school bosses hoped the plans would win approval, because the council is carrying out a review of its green belt to identify housing sites. It was thought this four-acre site may be designated for housing.

Tony Ball, councillor responsible for planning, said the current application was too early to benefit from any planned green belt changes. He said: "There may be some areas of green belt within urban areas which are released, but these will not be determined until next year.

"At the moment our policy is quite clear and is one of not building on any green belt which is why officers would have recommended refusal."

The proposal for an estate of two, three, four and five-bed houses included a strip of green field to leave a habitat for badgers and other wildlife on the site.

The cash raised by sale to developers would fund three new science labs, two music, media and drama rooms and a new sports centre.

The report before councillors said objections were received from 37 residents.

School bursar, Jenny Moore, was unavailable for comment.

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