A BLUEPRINT has emerged for 7,200 homes on “green lung” land buffering Southend and Rochford.

Residents have branded the option for a new neighbourhood on green belt land as a “terrible idea”.

Southend Council is working on its local plan which decides where housing is allocated over the next few years.

One of the options being presented is a “new neighbourhood” of 7,254 homes on green belt land between Sutton Road and Star Lane, just north of the A1159 and A13.


The proposals for 1,461 new homes at Fossetts Farm, which would go alongside a new Southend United football stadium, would be included.

While no planning applications are lodged, residents fear more homes on the land will cause chaos for Southend and Rochford.

Christine Austin, co-founder of the Rochford Supporters group, said: “The infrastructure for our roads is inadequate. It’s rural roads taking on 2021 traffic, they are not capable of taking on more traffic.

“They are trying to elongate London into the suburbs. We need to step up and say ‘no, we can’t do it, it’s impossible’.

“When are they going to stop? I don’t think they will at all. All they’re doing is joining up the dots, but it’s like an urban jungle, there’s no pathways between it.”

Shoebury resident John Budge, committee member of Shoebury Residents’ Association, also had concerns.

He said: “My reaction would be absolute horror to that. People shouldn’t be touching green belt land unless absolutely necessary.

“The infrastructure just can’t cope with it and it would be hopeless.

“So many projects move forward without the infrastructure and the area suffers.

“That fact that it could be built on greenbelt, I would say I would not support it being used for housing, it’s a terrible idea.

“There’s also the loss of open space when driving around, everything becomes more built up.”

Southend Council first consulted residents about the local plan in 2019. The government has set housing targets for authorities across the country, with Southend having to produce 1,200 new homes every year for the next 20 years.

The council is considering options including building on urban land within the borough, working with other authorities to create a new settlement across borough boundaries.

A further consultation is planned for the summer.

Tony Cox, Tory leader in Southend, said the party would oppose any building on green belt land.

He said: “Any administration we lead would protect greenbelt.

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. There are no plans for any infrastructure. There are sites that exist around town. There are office blocks not being used, and construction sites.”