SENIOR councillors who oppose plans for nearly 3,000 new homes in Basildon town centre fear they have been left powerless after the Government was brought into the decision-making process.

Some councillors and residents are against the part demolition and building of 2,800 homes at the Eastgate Centre amid fears it will lead to overdevelopment.

Permission was granted under Basildon’s previous Labour-led administration in April 2021, but developers went to appeal on the grounds of non-determination after planning agreements were not signed.

Basildon Council’s planning committee will meet next week to decide on whether to continue to oppose the scheme during the appeal process.

A planning inspector will make the final call on whether the plans get the green light.

Carole Morris, Tory chair of the council’s planning committee, says she is against the proposals, despite planning officers recommending the application is approved.

“It’s massive and the public do not want to see development like that here,” she said.

“Residents and I feel it’s overdevelopment in the town centre, but that’s not necessarily how the Government feels.

“I do not think we should be building any higher than Brooke House in the town centre.

“I think something like the plans for Eastgate with homes would work, but not so high and with less homes.

“We’ve got to be moving to a town centre with more homes as it keeps people there.”

She added: “We are having the power taken away from us with the appeal for the Eastgate Centre.

“I think we will see the plans be given the go-ahead at the appeal and will go through.”

Under the plans, Asda in the shopping centre would be downsized and thousands of homes built alongside new retail and commercial spaces.

It comes after massive plans for 493 homes in 23-storey blocks in Basildon town centre were agreed at appeal by the Government.

The former M&S store will be bulldozed for the major high rise flats in the town centre.

It is the second time in four months the council has been overruled by the Government on tower blocks, after plans for 492 new homes in Market Square were also given the green light last year