PLANS to sell off open space described as the “green lung of Wickford” are set to be scrapped after a fight from campaigners.

Wickford SOS submitted a freedom of information request to Basildon Council about the sale of land known as Wick Green, at the junction with Salcott Crescent and Radwinter Avenue, to try to stop the land being built on.

The group was told a deal to sell the land was signed by Basildon Council and developer Montpellier on May 4.

Now Andrew Baggott, leader of Basildon Conservatives, said his new administration - which took over from Labour in the elections last week - will stop the plans after listening to the community.

Mr Baggott said: “The decision will go back to a committee with the expectation the new administration will stop the plans.

“We will be doing everything we can to honour our election pledges.

“Residents have been clear they want to keep the land as it is and we will follow through on what they wish.”

In the past, plans had been mooted for a Marstons pub and hotel and also a large care home on the site.


Yvonne Child, 66, chairman of campaign group Wickford SOS, said the beautiful open space must be protected for the future.

She said: “It’s so tranquil and perfect to lose yourself in.

“It will have a massive impact on the town and residents and we really must preserve it for the residents.”

Former Conservative councillor Chris Jackson, who is also a member of the campaign group, said it would add traffic to already congested roads.

Mr Jackman, 47, said: “It’s madness to build on it for a number of reasons.

“It would add so much more traffic and harm all the wildlife.

“It’s an issue of quality of life for our residents.”

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “As is usual with a change of administration all significant schemes have been paused to allow the new administration, which will be officially appointed at the annual general meeting on May 27, to be fully briefed on the current position.

“This includes the sale of land known as Wick Green.”