Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Up to 160 homes on Solby Wood Farm
2:20pm Monday 30th September 2013 in News
UP TO 160 homes could be built on farmland in Thundersley, the Echo can reveal.
The owner of Solby Wood Farm, in Daws Heath Road, is said to have held pre-application meetings with Castle Point Council over proposals to create a new housing estate on the green belt site.
The Echo understands anything from 60 to 160 properties have been suggested for the site and the farmland is a stone’s throw from land at Brook Farm and land east of Rayleigh Road, which has been earmarked for housing before.
Neighbours have spoken out against the idea, claiming it would lead to congested roads and the local infrastructure being stretched to breaking point.
Allen Knight, 71, of Western Road, Thundersley, said: “There are quite a few sites around Daws Heath Road that are being considered for development.
“Once you start nibbling away at our green belt, in five years time they’ll want to nibble away at another bit and there’ll be nothing left.
“At the moment it is so lovely and green around here, but if they go ahead with all of these sites there’ll be no telling us apart from Basildon and Southend.
“I would not be happy if houses went on the farm. The roads won’t cope with the extra traffic and it floods down here all the time, so if they put more houses and more concrete down here, it will just make it worse.”
The site is used for horse riding and is home to a number of stables and caravans.
A formal planning application has yet to be submitted, however Solby Wood Farm is highlighted in the council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment as having the potential for 30 homes.
Ruth Jones, 64, of Western Road, Thundersley, said: “I had heard about this from a friend and funnily enough my husband and I were discussing the other day how awful it would be if it went ahead.
“It is green belt and the trouble is you think for years that its safe and then someone finds a loophole to build on it.
“My worry is where the entrance would be. If it was built on the land at the back then it wouldn’t be so bad, but still there would be so much extra traffic down here I don’t think I would want it to go ahead.”
The council would not confirm the number of new homes being discussed or that meetings had been held.
A spokeswoman from the authority said: “Pre- application meetings are held with developers on the strict understanding these meetings were private and confidential in view of the commercial sensitivity of the discussions.
“Consequently,I am not able to make any comment on housing numbers. Information on these meetings will be made public when and if a planning application is made.”
The owner of the land declined to comment.
Comments are closed on this article.