Views sought over future Basildon development strategy

Basildon town sign
Image caption The council said it would prefer to preserve existing greenbelt land

Views are being sought on proposals to build thousands of new homes across an Essex borough over the next 20 years.

Basildon Borough Council has put forward three possible options to meet its future housing demand.

One could see about 6,500 new homes built on existing urban land, while another involves up to 21,600 homes, two-thirds of them on greenbelt land.

The authority's cabinet will discuss the options next week ahead of a six-week public consultation.

The council's core strategy would form part of its local development framework, designed to shape its planning policy until 2031.

Thirteen areas, mainly in Basildon, but also in Billericay, Pitsea, Laindon and Wickford, have been identified for possible development.

'Different views'

Conservative leader of the council Tony Ball said its preferred option was for a minimum of 6,500 homes on land which has already been developed.

The other two options would involve building on some greenbelt land but would better accommodate its predicted population growth and maximise economic development, the council said.

Mr Ball said: "This could be considered the most important plan the council produces and the one that effects the most people across the borough.

"There are obviously different views in the borough, which is why we are asking people how they would like to see it grow in the next 20 years."

The public consultation will start on 27 February.

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