Basildon Council faces protests over its proposals to earmark three sites for housing schemes to help pay for a “sporting village” development designed to be used by teams taking part in the 2012 Olympics.
Local residents say the schemes will involve the loss of public open space and existing play fields.
The council has said that over £500,000 could be invested at three sites as well as a total of 121 new homes, new play areas, a multi-use sports area and better planting and improved footways.
Planning applications for the sites have been submitted by David Lock Associates on behalf of the council. Provided planning permission is obtained the council intends to sell the land as part of its asset management plan.
Councillor Tony Ball, leader of the council, said: “If the plans are approved, the sites at Kent View Road, Pound Lane and Felmores will help to provide new housing for the local community which is so badly needed. We have over 4,000 people on our housing waiting list and we need to build more new homes. They will also help to fund the fantastic new Sporting Village.
“While residents value the open space and we understand these concerns, the Pound Lane and Kent View Road developments will see a sizeable chunk of open space remaining, with major re-investment back into the site to improve that space,” he said.
The council leader added: “The proposed plans do not involve building on the whole of the land, and would actually result in the open space being improved on the sites, along with a new multi-use sports area and play areas provided.”
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the council has taken action to clear seven unauthorised Traveller pitches from a Green Belt site. Councillor Ball said: ”This action, which is supported by the courts, is the final part of a legal process which has lasted many years. I am extremely disappointed that direct action has become necessary. The council has done all it can to encourage the travellers to vacate voluntarily. However, Basildon Council has an obligation to protect its Green Belt from unauthorised development."
Read the Basildon council press release
9 September 2010