Planning submission for huge garden village aims to have first residents housed by 2024

The first of 3,700 homes to create a huge £780million garden settlement in Brentwood could be occupied within three years.

Outline planning submissions for the Dunton Hills garden village has said the first occupation and completion is anticipated in the second quarter of 2024 when 33 homes will be finished.

Up to 250 homes are expected to be built annually on land east of West Horndon up to a maximum of 3.700. which is 300 fewer than originally estimated.

The planning application, which has been submitted to Brentwood Borough Council, also proposes to build three care homes, a village centre and two neighbourhood hubs, which will provide easy access to shops, facilities and services.

The developers also plan to build three primary schools, a secondary school, which may be co-located with a primary school, children’s nurseries and a community sports hub, as well as a football and cricket pitches.

Altogether 2,332 are being promoted for the open market while 1,258 will be affordable. Another 109 are for self builds.

Of the estimated annually development completions 85 (34 per cent) are to be affordable homes.

The precise split between market and affordable home in each year will be a matter for further discussion as the viability work is assessed by the council.

CEG, the main promoter of the development expects up to four different house builders, or different brands operated by a house builder, to be involved in the project, with each outlet selling 40 to 50 market homes per year once the Dunton Hills market is established.

A working assumption that each housebuilder would have around two-years’ worth of supply to develop.

A statement as part of the planning application states “These assumptions would, assuming 35 per cent affordable housing, deliver an annual average between 240 to 260 dwellings.

“However, it would take a period of time for the Dunton Hills market to become established and an average annual completion rate of circa 250 dwellings per annum would not occur from ‘day one’. It is expected that there would be two sales of land in 2023 and then two land sales every year thereafter.

Accordingly, four outlets would operate from sometime in 2025 onwards.

The Garden Village is one of the first 14 Garden Towns and Villages identified by Government in 2017. It forms part of Brentwood’s emerging Local Plan, for which Examination hearings concluded in summer.

The planning application is not expected to go to a planning committee prior to the independent Inspectors reporting on the outcome of the Local Plan Examination.

The development is designed to be in-keeping with Brentwood Borough Council’s Framework Masterplan Document for the entire site.

About half of the site will be green space which will include trees, hedgerows, grassland and habitats, as well as a village green, community growing space, an orchard, ponds and new informal parkland.

Charlotte Robinson, strategic planning manager at CEG, said: “The planning submission follows many years of engagement with the council, local stakeholders and residents. It is a locally designed and landscape-led development, providing a mix of new homes and employment space, set amongst extensive green spaces, with schools, healthcare facilities, shops and services all within walking distance.

“The application provides for extensive investment into transport infrastructure, alongside the education and healthcare provision. There will also be much-needed affordable housing designed to enable local people and young people stay in the area.”

CEG says The development will create 1,150 jobs and will support a further 700 plus jobs in the local area. There is expected to be some £71million of additional expenditure each year, supporting the local economy.


Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter