PLANS to build 150 homes and a 50-bed care home in Billericay are likely to be approved at appeal, councillors fear.

Next week Basildon Council’s planning committee will debate the plans for the large development in land off Potash Road, Billericay, ahead of a planning inspectorate appeal.

The council originally rejected the plans, however P&A Investments and PD Developments lodged an appeal with the government in a bid to get the green light.

The lack of a Basildon Local Plan is likely to mean it is approved, Kerry Smith, independent councillor for Nethermayne, fears.

He said: “We don’t have a local plan or a full five-year land supply so any application that comes up is being passed through as sort of a scapegoat.

“When developers lose planning applications like Potash Road it’s well worth submitting an appeal because the council don’t have these plans in place.

“The planning committee could pass these applications and apply conditions sympathetic to local residents but they would rather refuse plans and let developers appeal so they can look like heroes.”

The proposals would include a 50-bed care home and 47 “affordable homes” on land identified in the council’s now defunct local plan as a potential site for 250+ new homes.

If passed, it would mean houses at numbers 41 and 65 Potash Road would be bulldozed.

Concerns around the plan have been expressed by residents who are worried about the green belt and infrastructure of the area.

Councillors voted to scrap the initial plans for a 18,000 home-building blueprint last march.

Mr Smith added: “At this rate we won’t have a new plan until at least 2027, the previous plan cost £2million. Sometimes when you are in charge of the council you have to make unpopular decisions like adopting local plans because it’s what we know.

“By ditching it we are more vulnerable.”

The planning committee will discuss the appeal at its next meeting on Wednesday, October 4.

Discussions will cover the plans “inappropriate development” within the green belt.

Further issues that will be covered include risk of flooding and potential loss of natural habitats.