Hundreds of new homes could be built in South Ockendon under new plans announced by Thurrock Council.
The scheme will see up to 240 homes built across two developments at the former Culver Centre located just off Daiglan Drive, and at Callan Grove, just off Stifford Road.
Councillor Barry Johnson who oversees housing in Thurrock said the plans have been published to coincide with the launch of a public consultation at the end of the month.
He said: “We are at the very early stages of developing proposals for these sites and will be undertaking a full and open consultation process.
“Following this initial consultation, a second phase, influenced by views from the community, will be held early in 2020. Only after this will the proposals be finalised and planning applications submitted.
“Across the borough, 1,200 new homes need to be built per year just to meet existing demand.
Thurrock is one of the largest growth areas in the UK and we are working hard to ensure that any emerging proposals are of maximum benefit to residents and the borough.”
However, the announcement has attracted criticism from Belhus Labour councillor Mike Fletcher who has accused the council of “shoehorning” extra homes.
He said: “It’s not just that they want to replace a space that local kids play on, with 200 homes of which only about 60 will be ‘affordable’ to local people, it’s not even the pathetic strip of green they have included as a sop to public opinion, it’s the way that yet again new development is being shoehorned into South Ockendon with absolutely no regard for infrastructure.
“These 200 new houses will push a further 300 to 400 cars out on to the South Road bottleneck and the Daiglen Road HGV park.”
The Culver Centre was formerly home to a Pupil Referral Unit which was relocated in 2015 and the buildings were demolished in 2017. With the site no longer required for educational use, it has been identified as a possible location for new homes.
The public consultation will begin on October 22 at the South Ockendon Centre.