Essex councils plan to cooperate on potential housing development

Two Essex councils are planning to sign an agreement to cooperate on the development of new homes in order to help them meet the Localism Act's duty to cooperate.

New homes: councils to cooperate on delivery
New homes: councils to cooperate on delivery

Basildon and Brentwood Borough Councils are due to sign a memorandum of understanding early next month, intended to ensure both councils work together to investigate whether land to the west of Laindon and east of West Horndon has any potential for meeting some of the development needs of both authorities.

The Localism Act 2011 established a "duty to cooperate", which requires local planning authorities to work together on strategic, cross-boundary planning matters.

Basildon Council’s cabinet member for planning and regeneration Richard Moore said the agreement would allow both councils to look at opportunities that could lead to the development of "much needed new homes" in both boroughs.

"It is essential that we fully investigate potential areas for development properly to ensure we make the most of possible opportunities we have within our boundaries," he said.

Brentwood Borough Council Planning and Development Committee chair Phil Baker added: "Having had an extensive consultation in Brentwood on the local plan last year, we have listened to our residents concerns about protecting the villages.

"We look forward to working with Basildon to explore – and the key word here is explore - the best way of delivering the new homes our residents and their families need in the future."

A consultation document for the proposal for the area will be discussed at Basildon Council’s cabinet on 4 December.

According to the councils, the document will set out the context, challenges, and constraints of the area and seek views on whether the initial concept for development should be taken any further by both councils as part of local development plan preparation and through the duty to cooperate.

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