THE incoming leader of Basildon Council is seeking to shake up the borough’s housing plan in light of the local election that saw the Conservatives take power.
Andy Baggott, who will formally take over as leader of Basildon Borough Council at next week’s AGM, said he is hoping to meet with ministers soon in an effort to redraw the borough’s local plan which was signed off in March by a coalition including Labour and UKIP councillors.
The local development plan, setting out where almost 20,000 homes should be built in the borough up to 2034, had been met with a furious response from many residents – including those in Billericay, which had 3,292 homes allocated to it.
Wickford had an allocation of 3,624 homes, while Basildon was allocated 9,220.
Cllr Baggott criticised the outgoing coalition saying: You cannot put elections down to any one thing but you certainly have factors that are major considerations and without a doubt the local plans is that.”
The Tories now hold 23 of the council’s 42 seats after taking Laindon Park, Wickford Castledon, Wickford Park and two seats in Pitsea South East.
“Apart from the local plans there was a deep seated view of what [voters] saw as gerrymandering between two ideologically different parties, and arrogance about the way they were going about their business.”
The plan will now by published for public consultation from mid-May 2018 and submission to the Secretary of State by summer 2018.
However the Tories say they would be seeking to ask the Government for a reallocation though Cllr Bagggott said he would not be looking to allocate housing in the Dunton area where neighbouring Brentwood Borough Council is seeking to allocated the majority of its housing need.
Cllr Baggott said: “We will very quickly appraise the situation to see what can and can’t be done, and once we are in office we will make the appropriate representations to do what we want to do.
“If it comes down to it and we have got to make some decisions, those will be erring on the side of the residents first.”