BRENTWOOD Borough Council has called on a neighbouring authority to “come to the table” over plans to build thousands of homes on green belt between the two areas.
Brentwood Council’s leader Louise McKinlay’s invitation to Basildon Council comes around a week after plans for a huge garden village development for as many as 4,000 homes onland south of the A127 were unveiled and days after Basildon Council complained that Brentwood had yet to respond to its concerns the massive development that could reach right up to the border.
Brentwood Borough Council regards Dunton Garden Village as a key part of its long-term housing plan – it has been asked to earmark land for 7,600 homes for development between 2013 and 2033.
The proposed development on land encompassing the Dunton Hills Golf Course and Dunton Hills Farm also includes plans for an all-through school and second primary school, as well as around 2,500 square metres of non-residential floorspace for restaurants, offices and shops.
Owners of the land have set out their plans in a scoping report, the first stage of a planning process that forms a basis for moving into the development stage of the planning process by engaging stakeholders to include the likes of Brentwood Borough Council and neighbouring councils, the Environment Agency, Highways England, Network Rail and water and power companies.
Cllr McKinlay said: “We must be realistic and understand that this is a 20-year project which will change as the process continues and rightly so as it is vital it best reflects our residents’ needs and requirements.
“As leader, I ensure that our neighbouring boroughs, including Basildon Council, are kept fully informed and included in the process and progress of the project.
“It’s always easy to criticize of course but we always work collaboratively and as such I encourage Basildon to come to the table and take part in building this future so it can properly represent the views of its own residents and share its plans for accommodating our growing housing pressure.
“Bringing together developers, residents, key service providers, and achieving an entirely new place for future generations to enjoy and make their own is complex and intense.
“However, we have the full support of Government which announced it had accepted proposal back in January 2017. Funding continues for this innovative new scheme and its full support for an area that will connect green spaces, enhance opportunities for work, business, family and life.
“Dunton Hills offers huge opportunities for all of us to shape how this garden village will look and what it will offer.”
Brentwood schoolchildren have been taking part in plans for Dunton Hills Garden Village with visits to the area and educational projects – made possible from the government funding invested in the Brentwood Borough Council scheme.
So far, the council has received around £500,000 from Homes England as a result of the successful Garden Village bid announced in January 2017.
The funding is being used to research and provide evidence for the best and most sympathetic proposal for the new village.
Cllr McKinlay said: “Dunton Hills Garden Village is an extraordinary ambitious proposal. We all know that new homes have to be built.
“The key is keeping control over what is built, how it is built and ensuring it will offer a community that will complement Brentwood’s borough of villages whilst enhancing our green spaces and unique character.
“Concerns are completely understandable because everyone wants to do the very best by their residents and children, who, after all will be the Dunton Hills Garden Village residents of the future.”