A CAMPAIGN group has made history by forcing a council to debate plans for a massive housing development – after gathering a 1,500-name petition.

Now Save Corringham Green Belt is hoping it has done enough to derail plans for 800 homes on green belt land at Lampits Hill, off Southend Road, Corringham.

The petition was brought before the latest Thurrock full council meeting – the first time any campaigners had assembled the ncessary number of genuine names in a petition to trigger the debate under council rules.

The majority of councillors backed campaigners, some of whom were in the public gallery to hear the debate.

Council leader John Kent said he could see why the site was attractive to developers, but added: “I fail to see what the special circumstances there are for this planning application.

“This is a development that should not be allowed to go ahead.”

This was the second set of proposals put forward by developers Iceni Projects and Cogent Land for the site.

The same campaign group successfully defeated a previous application. Anne Sandu, who lives in Lampits Lane and speaks for the group, said: “We’ve had a lot of support and are thrilled with to have the first petition to be debated in council.

“We’re so glad that local people have got this kind of voice to be able to do something like this at full council. We worked very hard to get here.

“Nobody wants this. Nobody is against housing, but not on the green belt.”

The council’s planning committee will be the next to debate the plans and the petition.