At a meeting of the Basildon Council planning committee on Wednesday 11 August, approval was given for 245 apartments in two 11 storey blocks to be built where the Great Oaks retail park is currently located on the edge of the town centre. Earlier this month, council officers had recommended that the proposal be approved. The developer is GS8 Basildon Ltd. This is how it was covered in the Echo: Basildon Council approves homes for Great Oaks retail park.
The Tory administration took over after the local elections back in May. One of the Tory campaign promises was to review plans for the redevelopment of Basildon town centre. This is one of their as yet, undeleted campaign pages promising to fight ‘The Disasterplan’ – http://thedisasterplan.com/ We tried to screenshot this page for posterity but it wouldn’t allow us to do so…funny that! Anyway, the page and the associated files have been downloaded to our laptop so all is not lost.
As we noted in this post – New faces, same old shite:( – all the council’s review seems to have achieved is getting a few stories shaved off some of the proposed developments. The council bidding to scrap the scheme for 492 apartments in the Market Square area of the town which would have included a 17 storey tower was, as we noted in this post – Facing both ways are we? – little more than some duplicitous grandstanding for public relations purposes. It should be noted that the recently elected Tory councillor for the St. Martin’s ward, Davida Ademuyiwa, is not at all happy about approval being given for the Great Oaks development. Splits and ructions ahead?
So, it looks as though the grand ‘masterplan’ for the town centre championed by the previous leader of Basildon Council, Gavin Callaghan lives on with just a few storeys lopped off across the board. As we’ve previously noted, the vast majority of the new apartments will be private, for sale or rent, and will be aimed at a demographic of younger commuters. There will be a token number of ‘affordable’ homes and that will be it. These proposed developments are in the town centre with easy access to the railway station and frequent train services into London. These apartment blocks will be in Basildon but they won’t be a meaningful part of the wider community. Rather than re-hash all of the arguments we’ve made against the proposals for the re-development of the town centre, we’ll refer you to this post which went up on our sister blog, The Stirrer, last year: ‘Regeneration’ – the only way is up | October 6, 2020.
We’ll leave you with this: In the news: Leader of Basildon Council to host open meetings in each of the borough’s five towns. One of them will be in the town centre – save this date:
Wednesday 8 September, 6.30pm – 8pm | Basildon Library, St Martin’s Square, Basildon SS14 1EE
Suffice to say, we think there will be an ‘interesting’ exchange of views at this event!