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Anger as new estate is approved for Laindon
7:00pm Friday 1st November 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS backed a housing estate on playing fields in Laindon – as shouts of “done deal” echoed around a packed meeting room.
Basildon Council’s planning committee gave the approval, in principle, to proposals to build 135 homes off Ballards Walk, in Lee Chapel North.
With the council already in advanced negotiations with a developer, a full application will soon follow.
The decision was made despite several impassioned pleas from residents and councillors.
They claim Laindon simply cannot cope with another new housing estate, after major developments at Dunton and Markhams Chase has brought hundreds more homes to the area in recent years.
Angry residents also mourned the loss of the popular playing fields as they highlighted traffic issues, but the Tory contingent on the committee voted it through, five to four.
The eventual sale of any land will go towards paying off the town’s £38million Sporting Village.
Terry Latchford, of Ballards Walk, said: “Trying to build this is totally out of order. We can’t cope with these extra homes in Laindon.
“It was a done deal. The council does what it wants.”
Labour leader Nigel Smith, who represents Lee Chapel North, said: “We are talking about a new small village here.
It is over-development.”
Basildon Council submitted the planning application and it was done in consultation with Essex County Council. The two authorities have proposed an entrance from Ballards Walk, with nearby St Nicholas Lane being widened to three lanes.
But with the nearby Upper Mayne roundabout already getting congested during rush hour, residents are worried about safety.
Gillian Pether, of Ballards Walk, said: “This is going to be terrible.”
Any developer will have to pay the authority to help with the strain the estate will have on the community, with financial contributions towards extra school places and local GPs proposed.
The sale of the land will be the last in a series of sales to help service the debt the authority accrued by building the Sporting Village.
Lee Jones, of Ballards Walk, said: “You got into debt over the Sporting Village and spent money on something we didn’t want.”
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