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Building work on 600 new homes in Rochford could start in spring
11:00am Monday 16th September 2013 in Echo News
WORK to build 600 homes in Rochford could begin as early as spring, it has been revealed.
Bellway Homes has had outline planning permission for the site on Hall Road since the beginning of last year, and Rochford District Council now expects to receive a planning application from the developers this week.
Speaking after a planning inquiry on Wednesday – where the site was discussed by the council, developers and a Government inspector – Keith Hudson, councillor in charge of planning, said he hopes the work can begin come spring.
He said: “We expect to receive a planning application by next week, then the council is duty-bound to respond to it within 13 weeks.
“If granted, the developer can begin work straight away.”
Mr Hudson added work was likely to begin in spring, due to the adverse weather of winter.
Excavation work has already taken place on the site, to discover if anything historically important remains there.
The application will be for 293 of the 600 homes that are planned for the site.
The application for the remaining 307 homes is due to go in at a later date, yet to be confirmed.
As part of the planning application, the developer must accommodate other services, facilities and infrastructure works. These include a new primary school, highway improvements, a public open space, sustainable drainage systems and enhanced pedestrian access into the town centre.
The planning inquiry on Wednesday revealed that Bellway had told the council it estimates it will build up to 120 houses a year, once planning approval has been received.
Ian Mayhead, representing rival developer Iceni Projects, told Government inspector David Smith the council was already behind its schedule to provide 250 homes a year, and would be amazed if Bellway was able to maintain such a figure.
He added: “At that rate, it would mean trying to sell around 12 homes a month.”
A spokesman for Bellway confirmed a planning application is due to be made by this week, which will seek to build the first phase of homes.
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