COUNCIL chiefs are paying £300,000 to consultants to dream up plans for a controversial housing development in Laindon.
A private firm will prepare proposals for a new housing scheme on the council owned green off Ballards Walk so it can be sold off to help plug a £5million debt run up during the development of the £35million sports village in Gloucester Park.
Council leader Tony Ball said: “The planning specialists will develop an outline planning application and dispose of the site. They need £300,000 to act as advisers and prepare the application.
“This area was always going to come up for housing at some time to protect green belt areas.”
He said: “We are Losing a facility and the taxpayer has to stick their hand in their pocket to pay £300,000 for advice to dispose of a bit of land they don’t want to get rid. It is good money if you can get it, so we don’t have the skills to do this? I think we need a stronger case for this sort of spend.”