Do you worry about Basildon's high-rise future? Basildon Council is consulting on their Town Centre 'Master Plan'
A public consultation into the future of Basildon Town Centre has been launched by Basildon Council and will be open for the next six weeks to let residents have their say.
Basildon Conservatives have already outlined our fears about these misguided plans, which re-imagines Basildon as a wilderness of high-rise tower blocks, with residents housed in tiny flats with little or no immediate green space and precious little infrastructure. Cllr Anthony Hedley, Basildon Conservatives Spokesman on Regeneration, said: "There are still unanswered questions around any financial commitment by the taxpayer, which seems likely to be substantial. There is little detail in the Administrations' plans and we would want to know more about the scale of this development, number of blocks, their height, which is rumoured to be in excess of 20 storeys in some cases, fire safety plans, accessibility, parking provision, and infrastructure to support these developments".
Even a Labour former councillor for the town centre, Andrew Buxton, who represented St Martin's Ward (2015-19), has described the Administration's high-rise plans as "like Sim City".
Cllr Andrew Baggott, Leader of Basildon Conservatives and Leader of the Opposition on Basildon Council, also voiced his concerns. "We are seeking clarity around how and when a full resident engagement and proper public consultation will be undertaken. Putting this out on Facebook with a link to the website is not, in our view, sufficient consultation on such a wide-reaching and massive change to Basildon Town Centre. We have serious concerns about the high-rise, high density housing the Labour-led coalition are pursuing for Basildon and the apparent lack of infrastructure to support it. We are also skeptical about proposals for a stadium and relocation of the Council offices. We do not think constructing a grandiose new building to house councillors will be high on residents' list of priorities at the present time".
It is in the interests of everybody that Basildon once again becomes a thriving town centre that every resident of the Borough can be proud of and will want to visit but it is important that Basildon residents' views are fully taken into account.
For more information and to tell Labour and Independents what you think of their plans, complete the survey at www.basildon.gov.uk/masterplan.