Fossetts flat-pack mini village approved

A mini-village of 221 “flat-pack” homes near Waitrose in Southend have been given the go ahead despite fears over a lack of infrastructure.

A four-storey block of 32 fats and 189 houses are now set to be built on land at Fossetts Way, off Eastern Avenue, Southend.

Concerns over transport links to the site were raised at a meeting of the development control committee on Wednesday.

Kevin Buck, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell ward, said: “Firstly the number 61 bus only operates from 9.22am to 1.12pm so it’s a morning bus service Monday to Friday and it doesn’t operate at weekends so almost effectively there’s no public transport links to the site.

“We’ve also got the community infrastructure levy and that’s great but with the size of this development we are going to potentially have 200 to 300 children living in it. Where are they going to go to school.

“I fully support the housing but I think it would be incredibly naive to push these through without understanding the impact in terms of the overall infrastructure.”

Cllr Buck called for a deferral of the decision for more detail but withdrew it after hearing the developer could potentially appeal at a cost to the council.

Anne Jones, councillor responsible for communities and housing dismissed the concerns. She said: “With regard to transport, Basildon didn’t have a station until 1974. Most of that area didn’t have buses but they have buses and they’ve got a station now.

“If you build it they will come.”

The one to four-bedroom modular homes would be built off site by Ilke Homes before being assembled on the 15-acre plot, some in under 36 hours.

A total of 68 homes will be affordable in excess of the council’s requirement of 30 per cent.

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for environment, culture, tourism and planning, added: “It’s not very often that we get an application that’s got so many benefits.

“The development area is not in the green belt, environmental health can be mitigated and it’s got lots of tree planting. I wholeheartedly support this. We need this housing desperately.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter