Billericay Town Council committee outside Stock Brook Manor

Article by Guy Bell:  Plans for a luxury gated housing development in the grounds of Stock Brook Golf and Country Club have been resubmitted.

An initial outline planning application for 14 homes was thrown out by Basildon Borough Council's Planning Committee in June last year.

Councillors described it as "inappropriate development in the green belt," adding also there was no provision for affordable housing.

But now an application for the development, which would be accessed from Queens Park Avenue via "an avenue of trees and hedgerow," has been resubmitted.

Reports set out how developer Peachey Basildon Group Ltd has considered the main reasons councillors gave at the planning committee meeting when the previous proposal was refused.

In reports, the developer says it has written to Basildon Council, offering to provide an affordable housing development elsewhere in the borough.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted in documents"]It is not sought to try and avoid providing affordable housing at all. It is, though, submitted that a bespoke solution is required due to the very specific mix and volume of units proposed in this instance. What is, therefore, sought is an affordable housing solution which is appropriate to the unique circumstances of the current proposal. The applicant has requested from Basildon Borough Council's housing department details of local affordable housing need, as well as the details of the council's preferred registered affordable housing providers, with a view to framing an offsite affordable housing contribution appropriate to local need.[/quote]

Plans also outline how the developer says secondary access to the development could be created via the existing golf course entrance.

It is added that a new bus stop could be created, should the development go ahead, which could be of benefit to Queens Park Avenue residents as well.

'Unacceptable on green belt'

Billericay Town Councillor Jim Devlin was pleased Basildon Council rejected the original plans.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Jim Devlin"]The plans for the new houses were in the green belt and Basildon council rightly rejected them. One house is unacceptable because it is the green belt. It was refused because it was on the green belt and with all of them being five-bed houses, there was no affordable housing. Because there are more than 12 houses they need to show how that is going to have an impact on the schools. They are now saying there is affordable housing close by and it does not get over the fact that it is green belt.[/quote]

Cllr Devlin believes the special circumstances cited by the developers are the reason they feel they may have their plans approved.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Jim Devlin"]They are saying that because Basildon council does not have a planning policy in place to build 16,000 houses by 2030, they can build on the green belt through special circumstances. These are the type of houses that will sell in Billericay – you don't buy a two-up, two-down there. The developers are relying on the fact there is not a local plan.[/quote]

Read original article Guy Bell, Billericay Gazette

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