A NEW traveller camp could be developed in Laindon.

Families hoping to move from Dale Farm to avoid being evicted have submitted plans for a site opposite Laindon Park Primary School.

The application for a 12-pitch site has just been put forward to Basildon Council and will have to be considered.

Nearby residents are very concerned.

A woman from Church Road, who would not be named, said: “This is a beautiful area which enjoys picturesque views around the church. The application could affect house prices and cause issues within this close-knit community.”

Another neighbour, a man who didn’t want to be named, said: “I’m shocked, we bought this house because it is a quiet area near nice green land. It is great for wildlife and we have spent a pretty penny doing this house up.

“If it does get passed, it will affect everything. I have worked hard to get what I have got.”

Access to the site would be almost opposite the school.

Grattan Puxon, a campaigner for the families, is the applicant.

He said: “It would be for the most needy families from Dale Farm, including the elderly and those with children with health problems.”

The land is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, which is happy for it to be used as a site and has asked the council for it to be designated as housing.

However, it will not approve the use if the council is opposed to it.

The application comes ahead of final talks between the council and travellers today at Westminster to try to avoid an eviction.

At an earlier meeting last month, council leader Tony Ball said the council may accept a small site in the borough, but only if all of the other families leave by choice and move to other areas.

Ward councillors are not happy with the proposed location.

Frank Tomlin, Tory councillor for Laindon Park, said: “I would not have thought it was a suitable site for any housing and I would not be happy for a traveller site there.”

Mr Ball said the plans had yet to be accepted and would have to go through the usual planning process.