A DEVELOPER wants to change its plans for Gloucester Park lake, raising concerns over the affect on wildlife.

Barrett Homes, who are carrying out the works through a partnership with Basildon council, had planned to create a new lake before filling in the current lake.

But now they have submitted plans to fill in the current lake before making a start on the new one, using the soil from nearby house building to fill in the current lake.

This had led to concerns from campaigners that geese and swans that use the lake will be left high and dry.

Andrew Buxton, who tried to stop developers changing the park, said: “Some of the trees being taken down are decades old and to lose them is very sad. It seems to me that wildlife in the greener areas of Billericay and Wickford seems to be protected but they can’t wait to get rid of it in Basildon.

“It is very disappointing to hear that plans are changed without talk of a consultation.”

Pat Rackley, Independent Labour councillor and member of the leisure panel, said: “The original plan was the lake wasn’t going to move until the second lake was built. Now things have changed and I am very concerned about the wildlife." Malcolm Buckley, Basildon councillor for regeneration, said: “I don’t believe the wildlife is at risk. We have to do this now to ensure that birds and swans do not nest in areas that will be affected by building works over the coming months and can nest on the fishing lake or somewhere similar.”