CONTROVERSIAL plans for 150 homes and a 50-bed care home on green-belt land have been thrown out by the planning inspectorate at appeal.

Basildon councillors previously rejected the proposals for a new “mini village” on land at Potash Road, in Billericay, but developer PD Developments lodged an appeal with the Government sparking fears it would be approved.

However, this week the decision has been published after a hearing in December and the plans were “dismissed”.

Andrew Schrader, Conservative councillor responsible for housing and estate renewal, was delighted.

He said: “Having represented my constituents at the appeal hearing and made the arguments around the important contribution this part of Billericay’s green belt makes in checking urban sprawl, I am extremely pleased to see that the inspector agreed on this point and has dismissed his application.

“This application would have encroached upon the green buffer separating Billericay from Stock.

“It is good to see common sense prevail, and the green belt being upheld.”

The proposals would have included a 50-bed care home and 150 homes on land identified in the council’s now defunct local plan as a potential site for 250 plus new homes.

Concerns were repeatedly raised by councillors and residents worried about the green belt and infrastructure of the area.

Despite the planning inspectorate stating the housing need “gain very substantial weight” to the case, they also echoed the concerns around the boundary separating the “built-up area of Billericay”.

The report stated: “It is the tightly-arranged housing along Potash Road and The Vale that provides a well-defined boundary separating green belt and the built-up area of Billericay.

“As such, these verdant edges provide no reasonable basis for extending a very clearly defined urban edge further into undeveloped countryside.

“The breaching of this clearly defined built up settlement edge to allow development to extend deeply into the open countryside would epitomise urban sprawl.

“I find that the other considerations in this case do not clearly outweigh the harm that I have identified. Consequently, the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development do not exist.”