The Basildon Labour Group has condemned the Basildon Conservative Party’s decision to remove £22 million of infrastructure money from the new draft local plan which will be approved at full council on 18th October.
Planning officers confirm that the decision to remove 300 homes south west of Billericay and 350 homes in Noak Bridge will mean developers don’t have to pay £22 million in infrastructure improvement monies. This money would have been available to be spent across the borough. It means the Conservatives have reduced the overall infrastructure income by 17% and increased the gap between what developers will pay and what the government will be required to fill, to more than £205 million.
Labour Leader Gavin Callaghan explained:
“Last night’s decision proves the Billericay Tories claim to have an ‘infrastructure first’ approach to the local plan is a myth. Our Plan put a greater emphasis on delivering infrastructure across all four corners of the borough before homes were built. We made it clear that if developers wanted to build in our borough they would have to pay infrastructure monies upfront as part of planning permission. We estimated we would raised £127 million from developers over the plan period to pay for schools, roads and amenities.
“Now because the Tories are only interested in protecting Billericay, the rest of the borough has been shafted. Shafted to the tune of £22 million less in infrastructure monies. It means that roads and schools now won’t be built in places like Wickford, Laindon and Pitsea that should have been built. It means their plan will cause chaos on our roads and in our classrooms.
“There was never any need to remove those homes from the plan. We are now 1700 homes short of the total the Conservative Government has set the borough, or 10% of the total. That means our plan is unsound and in terms of infrastructure, unfair on the rest of the borough.”