Basildon Council has agreed to buy out 100 homes, forcing residents to move, to make way for a multi-million pound development on the Craylands estate.

The compulsory purchase orders (CPO) will only be used if tenants and owners refuse to vacate homes south of Whitmore Way, which are due to be demolished to make way for hundreds of new homes.

Officials said homeowners will be made a ‘fair offer’ for their properties and a chance to invest in the new homes. Tenants will be relocated within the borough ‘where possible’.

Councillors agreed to the plan on Thursday night at a meeting of policy and resources committee.

Conservative councillor Phil Turner, for Billericay West, said he was sure agreements could be reached with all tenants and owners.

“I’m pleased to say we generally don’t have to use  compulsory purchase orders,” said Mr Turner. “They are really there to offer some certainty to the developer. I think we’ve come to agreement on most of them.”

Conservative councillor Kevin Blake, for Burstead ward, added: “This is something we don’t ever want to use, but it’s there.”

The Craylands and Fryerns estates were originally earmarked for demolition and rebuild back in June 2007.

The first phase of the regeneration scheme was completed during 2017, with 161 properties demolished and 404 new properties built. The estate was renamed Beechwood Village.

The overall regeneration scheme will see the demolition of 521 properties, which will be replaced with 994 new homes.

The compulsory purchase orders relate to the north phase of the scheme, which is due to begin in 2019. Of the 100 properties discussed on Thursday, 33 properties are privately owned or rented by housing associations. The other 74 properties are homes to council tenants.

The new estates are due to be completed in 2024. The southern section of development will means more compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) at a later stage. A report to council said there was no option but forcibly removing people from their homes with CPOs if they refuse to leave.

It read: “It is accepted practice to ensure CPOs are in place when radical changes are being made to the layout of existing estates, especially when the demolition of homes is required.

“Failure to secure the land required for the development in time can stop developments from progressing and developers normally require assurances regarding this prior to entering into contracts.”

Councillors were given assurances that home owners would be offered ‘fair prices’ for the properties and tenants would be provided with alternative properties.