New homes plan for Pitsea green belt land

Developers have launched plans to build 32 new houses on green belt land, despite an earlier bid being blocked by the local council.

JP & MD Properties Ltd has applied to Basildon Borough Council for permission to build the residential development north of Bowers Close in London Road, Pitsea.

An application for 31 houses at the site was refused by the council in 2017 over harm to the green belt, as well as a lack of affordable housing and concerns the drainage strategy was unsuitable, according to a design and access statement submitted alongside the latest application.

JP & MD Properties Ltd is listed as the applicant for both submissions, according to the council’s planning website.

A section of the statement reads: “The council has a significant undersupply of housing. Planning permission on this site would make a significant contribution in this regard.

“This site is available for development now, deliverable and sustainable. There are no known heritage assets on or affected by the application site.”

Basildon Council voted to withdraw its emerging local plan, a blueprint for thousands of new homes across the borough, earlier this year.

The statement continues to argue that the council is not in compliance with national policy with regard to its housing land supply and in not having an up-to-date local plan, and these meet the “very special circumstances” required to approve building in the green belt.

The site itself is an open field, bordering Eversley Leisure Centre playing fields to the north and a separate residential development of 23 houses to the south.

A later section of the statement reads: “The context of this particular site is then very much one of a landlocked parcel of land sitting between large residential areas and neighbouring leisure uses.

“Although it is greenfield by definition, it contains no features of particular landscape character interest. The field can only be viewed from neighbouring development on all sides, so does not physically contribute to a wider countryside setting.”

The development would consist of 32 one-four bedroom houses, the statement continues. Four of these would be affordable homes.

A large area of green space is being proposed, and 57 car parking spaces would be provided.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter