A MAYOR is calling on council bosses to change their approach to housing in Halstead after claiming the town is shouldering an “unfair” amount of development.

More than 360 homes are currently being reviewed by Braintree Council which would be built in the town.

Now Halstead mayor Mick Radley says enough is enough following the May publication of the Braintree Council housing and land supply statement.

Following a meeting on Monday, Halstead town councillors backed the mayor to reach out to planning bosses.

In a letter, the mayor voiced his concerns regarding the number of homes built in Halstead and the lack of infrastructure.

The mayor used data to show the number of homes completed in Halstead compared to the rest of the district over the last five years.

With the Halstead population representing eight per cent of the whole district, the town has seen 541 homes built in that time.

It means, on average over the last five years, Halstead made up 18 per cent of the completed homes for the entire district.

In the letter, Mr Radley said: “This is more than double the rate of the remainder of the district and is grossly disproportionate and unfair.

“This has placed an unprecedented burden on local services such as doctors’ surgery, school places and highways.

“Halstead, being the smallest of the three towns in the district, is far less connected and is unable to sustain such growth.

“Had the growth rate in Halstead been the same as the average for the district then 323 fewer houses would have been built.”

In the housing land supply statement from May, Braintree Council set out a housing forecast for Halstead over five years.

It predicts 471 homes being built in the town out of 6,594 across the district.

This means Halstead would have a seven per cent share of future homes.

But Mr Radley says the council has failed to factor in existing planning applications which make up 365 homes.

He added: “Although this forecast shows a more proportionate rate of house building it still represents a build rate of 94 per year which is only 14 per year fewer than in the past 5 years.

“In addition, there are a number of additional live applications pending consideration which if approved would significantly add to these figures.

“If these additional applications are approved it would increase the Halstead share of house building from seven per cent to 13 per cent of the district.

“I urge the planning committee to reject those applications pending and any other new significant developments in the coming months and years.

“I understand Braintree Council does not have a policy of allocating the housing targets by town or area but the lack of such a policy has led to a disproportionate burden on Halstead.

“I urge you to review and change your policies to prevent this happening in the future.

“I also ask in future decisions you take into account the burden already placed on Halstead.”