Committee approves Basildon town centre regeneration strategy

A strategy that sets out the direction of regeneration for Basildon town centre has been approved by Basildon councillors.

Basildon town centre is transforming from a shopping centre into a vibrant, mixed community with new cultural and entertainment facilities that befit the town’s strategic importance and its pioneering, new town spirit.

Up to 4,200 new homes, retail, leisure and entertainment venues are all part of the mix envisaged.

The council’s Policy and Resources Committee met on Thursday September 24 and approved the Basildon town centre regeneration strategy.

Regeneration proposals are now coming forward from landowners and investors and planning applications are expected over the coming months covering a large portion of the town centre.

The strategy will provide guidance to those developing proposals, ahead of a formal planning document being approved in the future. This strategy is based on the draft masterplan document and the consultation feedback.

Leader of the council and chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Gavin Callaghan said: “This is another significant milestone on the way to creating a town centre that truly works for its community.

“I am delighted to see proposals coming forward and now is the time for us to take back control and work with developers and investors that are right for Basildon.

“Basildon will be a town centred around its people and future generations and it will be much more than bricks and mortar. We are building a community. Businesses will return to the town and new businesses will be born into a cultural hub that is as vibrant as it is practical. With regeneration comes improved infrastructure and safety. Doing nothing is simply not an option.”

The Conservative Group on the council has voiced strident opposition to the plan, criticising low design standards and the “Londonisation” of the town which, they say, will create slums of the future.

Should a change of administration occur, the Conservatives say they would shelve the present plans.

To find out more about the regeneration of Basildon town centre and all the latest planning applications visit www.basildon.gov.uk/masterplan

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]