Go-ahead given for first phase of 1,100-home development

A sketch of the Heybridge North Garden Suburb development

A sketch of the Heybridge North Garden Suburb development - Credit: Countryside Properties PLC.

The first phase of up to 1,138 new homes in an Essex garden suburb have been approved by community leaders as part of a massive mixed-use development.

Maldon District Council approved the first 160 homes of the project on (April 8) with 30% of the homes set to be affordable.

The authority considered the application by Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd for land in Maypole Road, Heybridge.

Outline permission for the wider scheme, which also includes a primary school, early years childcare facility and a 120-bed care home, was granted on appeal in 2019.

Planning agent Matthew Wood, of Phase 2 Planning, told Maldon District Council the proposals represented a sustainable and policy-compliant form of development.

He said: “Officers have now concluded that the proposals now presented would be fully acceptable as a good representation of the village edge character that is aimed for in this part of the suburb.”

Each of the new 160 houses will have an electric vehicle charging point, according to officers at the meeting.

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Councillor Adrian Fluker told the committee there was a shortage of bungalows in the district and questioned why only three had been proposed for the first phase.

According to a council report, one condition of the wider scheme is for 4% of the homes to be bungalows, which would equate to six in this phase - though officers are confident the remaining bungalows could be provided in later phases of the scheme.

Councillor Mark Durham said: “We’ve got less than 50% of our members here tonight, which I think is a rather sad indictment.

“I know that some members may feel that this doesn’t concern them, but of course this concerns the entire district because of the fact we don’t have a five-year land supply, this application is absolutely critical to us having any chance of regaining that.

“Until we get a five-year land supply, every single parish, every area in the district, is liable to be developed where we don’t want it.”

Chairman Mark Heard (Independent Group, Maldon West) said earlier in the meeting some members were not present because they were unwell.