COUNCILLORS have agreed to reconsider creating a mini town near the A127 in a bid to save green belt from being built on.

Benfleet councillor Andrew Sheldon lobbied Castle Point Council to consider building a housing estate on the land behind the Blinking Owl Cafe, between the A130 and A127.

His motion was passed during a meeting in Kiln Road, Thundersley, this week, despite fierce opposition from several other councillors.

As a result, the land will be analysed to see if it is suitable for development within the next 17 years and, in turn, it could save the green belt from being used.

Mr Sheldon, who represents St Mary’s ward for the Conservatives, believes the council will make the local plan a success.

He said: “I am delighted the motion has been passed. As far as I amconcerned we are a quarter of a way there.

“I and other councillors will keep on working hard and make sure every single option is considered.”

The council will now set up a group to investigate the suitability of the land. This will take place after the consultation on the local plan is completed on Friday, March 28.

Mr Sheldon hopes redevelopment of this area could save green belt sites such as Glebelands and Jotmans Farm from being built on.

He said: “The site deserves a full exploration, cross-party and comprehensive. I do not believe our approach thus far has been proactive enough.”

The site is able to hold 1,500 homes, but was dropped from the council’s previous local plan, as there are more than 117 separate landowners and it is is thought homes could not be built before the 2031 deadline.

The council’s housing blueprint sets out where 4,000 homes are to be built in the borough by 2031. Half the new properties will be on green belt land.

Mr Sheldon added: “The new local plan is the most important thing to come before us in a decade and the most important item we have considered.”