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Plan for 750 new homes is thrown out
3:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS were cheered by residents after they rejected plans to build 750 homes on the green belt in Bowers Gifford.
About 100 residents burst into applause as members of Basildon Council’s planning committee threw out plans to “destroy” a community, farmland and a wildlife haven at Chalvedon Hall, off Pound Lane.
Nottinghamshire Pension Fund paid £4.15million for the land to build a housing estate, shops and a primary school as an investment for the cash pot, which provides pensions for employees of councils, colleges, universities and other not-for-profit organsiations in Nottinghamshire.
But Basildon Council backed the public’s calls to reject the proposals.
Anthony Hedley, chairman of the development control committee, said: “This committee has a very onorous task to use some balance to come to a judgement.
“But the weight of public feeling against this should be taken into account.”
Only minutes earlier, residents had bombarded councillors with emotional pleas to not allow their village community to be turned into an urban sprawl.
Karen di Capite,amember of the Bowers Gifford and North Benfleet Residents Association, was in tears as she said: “I was brought up in Rectory Road and played in the fields.
“By the time I was 15, Pitsea had become a sprawling mass of housing development. It was because of this that when I married, I paid a premium price to live in a rural community.
“There are plenty of brownfield sites in the surrounding area and even more in Nottinghamshire.
“We’ve lived and grown in the same house for 36 years.”
Rose Griffin, chairman of the Bowers Gifford and North Benfleet Residents Association, said: “What right does a council 120 miles away have to steal our children’s heritage?
“Surely, agricultural land is about sustainability – it’s about feeding people, not building houses.
“The winners of this monstrous development would be Nottingham County Council’s bank balance and the developers.
“The losers will be any child crossing an already busy road to go to school, all the residents who live in Pound Lane, Burnt Mills Road, Rectory Road or London Road, and any commuter who has to use our local roads regularly.
“Plus any lover of the countryside and our wildlife.”
Eight councillors voted against the proposals on six planning points. One councillor abstained.
Kevin Blake, Tory borough councillor for Burstead, said: “I am astonished the developers haven’t had the decency to turn up and put their case forward.
“Maybe they’ve run out of money after spending £4million on land they can’t build on.”
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