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Homes approved for E.ON call centre site in Rayleigh
COUNCILLORS have given the go-ahead for a new housing estate in Rayleigh .
Rochford District Council has approved plans to build 101 three, four and five-bedroom homes on the former Eon call centre site in London Road.
Developer Bellway Homes’ original application for the site was refused last month. Councillors decided the plan did not offer enough homes for first-time buyers and low-income families and offered no community facilities.
In the revised proposal, more than a third of the homes will be “affordable”. Bellway has also promised £20,000 to pay for new community facilities, and will build a play area.
However, concerns have been raised about the loss of a small community hall to the rear of the site, which was home to the Mount Carmel Children’s Centre, a nursery run by a religious group. Mount Carmel’s Ruth Morgan, told the development committee meeting the nursery had moved to a site in Castle Point last year.
She added: “I note £20,000 is now being put in a pot for future use, but the people exist now. “More than 100 people were displaced by this proposal. We want very much to come back to the area and continue our work in the community.”
Chris Black (Lib Dem, Downhall and Rawreth) said despite the changes, he still felt unable to support the plans.
He explained: “It seems a substantial community use was established there. “I don’t think £20,000 addresses the issue. It’s a day late and a dollar short.”
However, Ed Hanson, Bellway’s agent, said: “The site is a sustainable location, close to schools and a short distance from Rayleigh station. “We have carefully considered the revised application and believe it is highly acceptable.”
Builders have already started demolishing the Eon building and ripping up the car park to make way for the homes.
The call centre was one of the town’s biggest employers until it closed in June 2010, making 600 staff redundant.
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