A FORMER MP who campaigned to save the green belt has agreed to sell his home to a major developer.

Bob Spink , the former Castle Point MP, is part of a consortium of about ten homeowners in Downer Road, Benfleet Road and Catherine Road, Benfleet, who want their land released from the green belt to build 156 homes on.

The former Conservative MP, who launched the now defunct independent Save Our Green Belt party before the May 2010 elections, has allowed housebuilder Redrow Homes an official option to buy his home in Downer Road, Benfleet, should it be suitable for development.

Former supporters of Dr Spink have spoken of their shock.

Neil Hamper, in his seventies, of Benfleet Road, Benfleet, joined the green belt party and stood for election under that banner.

He said: “In my view green belt is green belt. It is the lungs of the urban area. The focus of the party was to campaign to protect all green belt within the borough. I am surprised he is now going down this route.”

Tory councillor Norman Ladzrie added: “I am very surprised after launching a party to actively protect green belt, he is now actively involved in pursuing a potential sizeable development on green belt.”

Redrow Homes has had an option to buy Dr Spink’s detached home with large garden since May. It is understood similar agreements have been reached with neighbours.

The 18 acres of land are earmarked in a council development plan as potentially suitable to be released from green belt and the homes could be delivered over the next five years.

The homeowners prepared to sell up call themselves the Site 5 Consortium and are encouraging the council to release the site.

However, Ian and Carol Wright, both in their sixties, who live opposite, in Bowers Road, are concerned. Mr Wright said: “It’s wrong. We have already got so little green belt.”

He refused to criticise Dr Spink, adding: “It just shows when he was elected he was there for his constituents because he was putting our concerns above his own.”

Dr Spink was not at home when the Echo called and did not respond to a call to his mobile phone.