A COUNCIL in the Midlands insists it will press on with plans to develop a whole new village on green belt land near Pitsea – despite being warned it is unlikely to get planning permission.

Nottinghamshire County Council wants to build as many as 1,300 homes on 120 acres of land at Little Chalvedon Hall, off Pound Lane.

The council paid £4.2million for the site a year ago as an investment for its pension fund.

A newly-launched website detailing the proposals says public consultations over the plans will begin soon.

The website suggests the development could include a small shopping centre, a primary school, a recreation ground and sports facilities.

Dave Newberry, director of Meridian Strategic Land, the company co-ordinating the plans for the council, said: “This is a perfect location for a strategic site of this size.

“North Benfleet does not yet have a centre as such, which this will bring. We want to engage with residents and the parish council on the plans.”

The proposals have already provoked a public row between Basildon Council and the Midlands county council.

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball and chief executive Bala Mahendran have written to their counterparts in Nottinghamshire, asking why Basildon Council was not consulted before the site was bought.

Mr Ball’s letter warned Basildon would allow no development on the site for at least 20 years under his council’s clearly-defined green belt policy..

He added “It is not for Basildon to give up valuable green belt to fund another council’s pensions.

“It is also not good practice to risk a pension fund on speculation. Our position on protecting the green belt is quite clear.”

If Basildon Council turned down a planning application, Nottinghamshire could appeal against the decision.

The proposal has rankled still further because it came to light just before Basildon council was due to publish details of the parts of the borough which are likely to be zoned for future development. The announcement is due later this week.

The website with details of the proposals can be seen at www.littlechalvedonhall.com