Group call for halt to ‘urban sprawl’ in West Horndon

The Dunton Garden Suburb drop-in event on Tuesday at St Francis Church, West Horndon. Picture: Brent

The Dunton Garden Suburb drop-in event on Tuesday at St Francis Church, West Horndon. Picture: Brentwood Borough Council - Credit: Archant

An environmental group has slammed council proposals to build on green belt land, fearing Brentwood’s rural outskirts will become a “concrete jungle”.

Danny Lovey, a founding member of Green Action Group Basildon, said people are against building the Dunton Garden Suburb to the east of West Horndon and west of Laindon.

However, the joint project between Brentwood Borough Council and Basildon Council, which could provide up to 6,000 homes, has been backed by Brentwood planning committee chairman Cllr Philip Baker, who says the borough “can’t afford to have the plan rejected”.

If plans go through, the development will also see traveller pitches and businesses opening in the area.

Mr Lovey said: “It just extends the urban sprawl, where does it stop? It’s going to become a concrete jungle.

“There’s a lot of pretty pictures in the consultation documents but there’s always going to be knock on effects to the wildlife.”

The campaigner has suggested Brentwood Council build towards the west of the borough. But Cllr Baker believes that the project will ease the borough’s housing problems.

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He said: “My response to people opposing this would be that people need somewhere to live, we’ve got almost 2,000 people on housing lists and it’s a bit of a nightmare.

“The response from West Horndon residents is reasonably positive from what I understand.”

The public consultation ends on February 22, with the council urging people to email with comments.

Cllr Baker added: “I just want people to get involved with the consultation, we need to understand what their thoughts are.”

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