POLITICIANS of all parties have united to urge residents to object to up to 6,000 homes being built on the Basildon border in the final hours of the consultation.

The party leaders and election candidates backed members of the Residents Against Inappropriate Development, who held their fourth and final public meeting opposing plans for the Dunton Garden Suburb.

The consultation, which ends at 5pm today, asks residents’ views on plans to build between 4,000 and 6,000 homes to the west of Laindon, Basildon, and the east of West Horndon, near Brentwood.

The idea could also include new gypsy and traveller pitches, commercial, retail and leisure use, open space, access to local facilities and country parks, improvements to roads and a possible new train station.

Stephen Metcalfe, Tory MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, who was one of 11 politicians to be questioned on the issue, said: “I am opposed to this development, no ifs and buts.Ithink it is wrong and it is in the wrong place.

“Let’s be clear, this is the wrong development, it can’t possibly go ahead.

“I’m confident those who will determine this will decide not to take it to the next step.

“My message is do not politicise these issues. We must fight these proposals and put them where they really belong, in the bin.

“If we all work together the right outcome will be delivered.”

Mike le Surf, Labour candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock, said: “We do need to build homes for our families and children growing up, but it must be on brownfield sites first.

“We do need new towns, but we don’t need them in and around London, we don’t need them in the south east.”

Lib Dem councillor Geoff Williams, who represents Nethermayne, said: “Most of us probably thought Basildon new town had reached its western boundary and then suddenly we get Dunton Garden Suburb, and let me say from the outset I am unequivocally opposing it, it is a sprawl, an urban sprawl.”

Ukip parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Ian Luder, vowed to protect the green belt and believes creating a housing association would help allievate the Basildon Council housing waiting list.

For more information about the plans, visit basildon.gov.uk/dunton


THE A127 will grind to a halt if the Dunton Garden Suburb goes ahead, it has been claimed.

Rodney Bass, Essex councillor responsible for highways, said the authority would oppose the plans on the grounds of lack of school places, infrastructure and drainage issues.

He added he would also want to protect the green belt as there were no extra special circumstances to justify encroaching on it.

He said: “There are really very little details and no assessments have been made. We cannot possibly support any such plan without these assessments having been made.

“The A127 would simply grind to a complete halt.”

Up to 12,500 new homes need to be built in Basildon by 2031 as part of the local plan.

Brentwood Council must build 5,500 over 15 years.

Campaigners against such developments have called these numbers into question and believe they could be reduced.


BRENTWOOD Council was accused of pushing its housing and traveller problems over the Basildon border.

Residents at the meeting claimed the authority was ensuring its new housing quota would be away from its residents and feared the proposed traveller pitches would fall within the Basildon border.

The public meeting also heard it was Brentwood Council that first approached Basildon Council after seeing a plot of land to the west of Laindon which had been put forward as a possible site for development.

Kerry Smith, an independent Parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock, said: “I don’t want to be rude, but I think it is disgusting we haven’t had an apology from Brentwood. We have the largest number of travellers in Essex and they want to stick another traveller site in Basildon. This is taking the biscuit, the answer should be no, no, no.”