A NEW Lidl and 130 homes could be built in Billericay as a developer unveils initial plans ahead of submitting a planning application.

Scott Properties has launched an online consultation to gather views from residents about a possible large new development on green belt land close to London Road.

However, residents have already raised concerns about losing out on open space in favour of new homes despite acknowledging the benefits of a new budget supermarket.

The Billericay Action Group, a group of researchers who aim to make residents aware of what is going on with green belt land, have raised concerns.

A spokesman for the Billericay Action Group said: “For nearly ten years we have opposed development in the green belt and therefore we object to the proposed retail and housing development on London Road.

“The Lidl is a surprise, and no doubt many will welcome it. We know they are looking for new locations.

“But it is still green belt, and it will massively increase the traffic on London Road. People will no doubt come from all directions to go there, all day every day. It will totally change the current rural approach into Billericay from the west.

“We believe that the Basildon borough can meet local needs by efficient development of brownfield locations and through a new local plan.

“We fully support the need for that plan and for new housing, especially to help younger people find a home of their own.

“Permission already exists for over 6,000 dwellings right across the borough and they should be built before we lose any more irreplaceable open countryside to development.”

The developer’s website states 31 per cent of homes will be affordable and the housing mix would be determined based on “the local need”.

Scott Properties state: “Our proposal will deliver a fresh new shopping experience to the residents of Billericay. The new store will enhance the convenience shopping options in the area, provide access to Lidl’s high-quality products at their low prices. This will help Billericay residents manage the rising cost of living.”

The supermarket plan would see the creation of 140 parking spaces too.