A LUXURY housing development could be built in the grounds of a popular country club.

The Peachey family, which owns Stock Brook Manor, in Billericay, want to put 14 large, executive homes on the popular golf course.

They have submitted an application for outline planning permission to Basildon Council. It would see two-storeyhouses built along Queens Park Avenue up to the clubhouse, with trees and hedges planted down the entrance route to create a leafy “avenue”.

The application states the development would help Basildon Council meet demand for new homes and provide much-needed bigger properties for the borough.

Phil Turner, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, has slammed the owners for sacrificing the “lung of Billericay” to make money.

He said: “We don’t need those houses. We have already got our plan together and it’s currently going to consultation, so those 14 homes are not going to make much difference.

“We want aspirational houses.

We would like to see big homes as much as affordable housing because I agree we probably haven't got enough, but this development is not going to benefit the community.

“The owners of Stock Brook Manor are giving up a rich piece of landscape, which is the lung of Billericay, for 14 homes. It is opportunistic.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t be looking at this type of housing, but it shouldn’t be on that land. I am happy to look at a more appropriate site.”

The family bought the country club and golf course, which has been named one of the top wedding venues in the country, four years ago.

Director Gary Peachey, 53, defended the proposals but said he could not yet reveal further details or a timescale for the development.

He added: “It’s still in the very early stages.

“The homes will be built along Queens Park Avenue, so the idea is to really enhance the area and transform the road into the avenue it is meant to be.

“They will be executive homes at the high end of the market.

There is a lack of properties of that type in the area on the market.”

Basildon Council will make a decision on the outline planning permission in the next few months.