A COUNCILLOR who voted to approve controversial plans for a £1million revamp of Basildon Golf Course and new driving range, which is using thousands of tonnes of building waste, has admitted he got it wrong.

Frank Tomlin, Basildon councillor for Laindon Park, said new information had come to light which showed members, who voted over the scheme in September 2007, did not have full details about council golf course policy available.

Former council chairman Mr Tomlin says a policy on applications for new driving ranges, in place at the time, was not explained to members of the development control committee, who considered the application made by Basildon Golf Centre, which now runs the course.

He said the policy, which takes into account the impact on nearby homes and green belt of floodlights, extra buildings and driving ranges used late at night, would have given grounds for refusal.

Mr Tomlin would not say that he supported Friends of Basildon Golf Course, which has taken the council to the Court of Appeal over the decision, but said he was now taking a keen interest in the issue.

He previously admitted to having concerns about the decision, but had never gone as far as saying he made the wrong choice until now.

He spoke out after the Echo revealed council leader Tony Ball had put plans on hold to lend £60,000 to Basildon Golf Centre after the campaign group raised concerns about the limited company’s finances.

Mr Tomlin said: “I am pleased Mr Ball has agreed to take a fresh look at this and we will see what this leads to.”