THESE are the biggest stories on major planning applications in south Essex heard recently.

From flat pack homes and 5G masts to plans for a new chicken shop, various new developments are either in the pipeline or have been given the green light.

Here is a rundown of the main planning stories we have reported on since the beginning of August.

Fossetts Way, Southend


A four-storey block of 32 fats and 189 houses are now set to be built on land at Fossetts Way, off Eastern Avenue, Southend.

The one to four-bedroom modular homes would be built off site by Ilke Homes before being assembled on the 15-acre plot, some in under 36 hours.

A total of 68 homes will be affordable in excess of the council’s requirement of 30 per cent.

The plans went through on Wednesday, despite concerns about the lack of supporting infrastructure.

Business park off the A127, Basildon


St Modwen Logistics wants to hear views from residents regarding an idea to build the park on land east of the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate.

The site, just to the south of the A127, is roughly the size of 89 football fields and would be accessed by a new link road which would run through it, travelling between the A127 and Pound Lane.

The firm is a developer that creates sustainable projects, focusing on creating industrial spaces.

It is looking at the site as it has been identified by Basildon Council as an area for employment development and a key space for jobs growth in supporting the economy.

An official planning application for the park has yet to be submitted.

Read more here.

A new KFC in Billericay


Fast-food chain KFC has submitted a planning application to convert the former Coral betting shop at 126 High Street, in Billericay.

Few details of the plans are available in the planning documents, but drawings show the restaurant area would be at the front of the building, with a kitchen and storage behind.

A seating area and self-service kiosks would be installed under the plans.

KFC has previously stated it was looking to bring a drive-thru restaurant to Billericay. 

Read more here.

Three 5G mast in Southend


Residents were horrified to learn a 20-metre-tall 5G phone mast might be erected just metres from their homes.

Planning application documents for a towering telecommunications mast in Priory Crescent were submitted to Southend Council by CK Hutchison Networks on August 2.

The plans would see a new 20 metre high ‘slim line’ Streetpole – standing six metres taller than the surrounding trees – built along with three equipment cabinets to provide 5G connection for Three network users in the area.

The application will be decided at a later date.

Great Oaks tower blocks, Basildon


Plans for 245 homes at the Great Oaks retail park were approved in August, which will see existing empty buildings on the site demolished.

Developers GS8 Basildon Limited changed the early plans from a 14-storey building and 300 homes to its current blueprint following concerns raised by council officials over the size of the skyscraper.

Officers recommended the plans for approval earlier this month, which were given the green light at a planning committee meeting.

The plans were approved despite complaints the buildings would be too high.

Solar farm near A127, Rayleigh


A massive solar farm stretching the equivalent of 61 football fields could be set to power more than 9,000 homes.

If given the green light, the Rayleigh solar farm would sit next to the A127, just by Great Wheatley Road, with the train line from Rayleigh station also running parallel to the proposed site.

The development, by Aura Power, would generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of more than 9,400 homes and would save an estimated 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

When it comes to the equivalent number of electric cars powered per year, this is enough for a whopping 13,590.

With Essex County Council committed to making the county carbon neutral by 2050, it’s hoped the solar farm - with a capacity of up to 30MW - could “help in this vital challenge”.

Read more here.