A CONSULTATION to decide development land has been extended following a fiery parish council meeting which ended in police action.

Basildon Council is now giving residents until 5pm on April 1 to give their views on its draft local plan.

The strategy document sets planning precedent from now until 2031 including setting aside suitable home and employment land.

The plan shows 12,500 new homes will be built across the borough – 9,100 of these are proposed for green belt.

The revelation led to 280 angry Billericay residents swarming Billericay Town Council’s last meeting on March 6. Because they more than doubled the hall’s capacity, the meeting was cancelled and the police were called to escort angry residents away.

Many claimed they had never received notification of a consultation, leading Basildon Council to rethink its closing date, which was March 18.

Richard Moore, Basildon Council’s planning boss, held top level talks over the weekend and this week to see whether he could extend the consultation.

He said: “We know this plan raises issues that matter greatly to local people across our borough and as expected we have had a very good response to date both at the various meetings and in writing.

“However I have also been made aware in recent weeks that quite a few people from different areas have either not heard about the consultation in time or felt they needed more time to properly consider it before responding.”

The local plan also includes considerable commercial development leading to over 8,500 new jobs and significant new infrastructure for Basildon.

To take part in the consultation and see the full list of documents, visit www.basildon.gov.uk.

Those without access to the internet can complete an official comments form available from the council or main libraries, or write the council a letter or email planningpolicy@basildon.gov.uk. For more information call 01268 294868.

Billericay Town Council’s meeting has been rearranged for Wednesday, March 19, at the Mayflower School, Stock Road, Billericay at 7pm.