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Developer for Dry Street unveiled
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build more than 700 homes on a Basildon beauty spot have moved a step closer to reality, after the developer was announced.
The Homes and Communities Agency, which owns the wildlife haven at Dry Street, has appointed award-winning house builder Redrow Homes, subject to legal contracts being signed.
The firm is expecting to submit a detailed planning application to Basildon Council by the end of this year, or in early 2014.
Outline planning consent – which is when the basic principle of a development is given the go-ahead – was controversially granted by Basildon Council earlier this summer.
Keith Parrett, managing director at Redrow Homes, said: “We believe this location has great potential for a sustainable new neighbourhood, which would make a considerable contribution to meeting local housing needs and have a strong emphasis on quality family homes.
“In addition, we believe our proposed development would boost the local economy, with the injection of money and around 1,000 jobs during construction.
“It will also bring wider economic benefits to existing shops and facilities.”
Malcolm Buckley, Basildon councillor for regeneration, said: “I am pleased the Homes and Communities Agency is progressing well with this important project and working with Redrow to bring forward a full planning application.
“Redrow is a well-reputed and quality housebuilder.”
Campaigners against the plans are not giving up.
Members of the Basildon Green Action Group, which spearheaded a campaign against the development, is preparing a possible High Court challenge over the council’s decision, which they believe was pre-determined.
Danny Lovey, the action group’s spokesman, said: “This really comes as no surprise.
“The Homes and Communities Agency and its partner in crime Basildon Council are determined to push this through come hell or high water. But we are still preparing our case.”
Under the proposed Dry Street development, the pastures at the area of natural beauty and the equestrian centre would make way for 725 homes.
Cash generated from the project would then pay for a new campus for South Essex College to be built in Basildon town centre.
The college’s current site, in Nethermayne, would then also be developed for further homes.
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