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16 June 2010, 00:00
People living in the Vange area in Basildon have started a campaign after hearing the council wants to acquire land, which could be sold off to developers to build on.
Samantha Carter's helping to head up the fight after a notice was put only in the Yellow Advertiser to highlight the council's plans - We're told residents living close by had not been receiving that paper for weeks because of a shortage of staff to deliver it.
More than 200 people have already joined a Facebook group set up by the mum-of-one on Monday and people have been talking about the impact, selling off the land would have, on both the environment, as well as on the children who play there after school and on weekends.
Samantha's been telling Heart she's in touch with the FA in Essex, has written to Prince William (who started the Fields in Trust charity to help save green spaces) and also plans to speak with Natural England to push the environmental side of their argument. Today, a petition's being handed to the council, along with letters from residents opposed to it.
The recreational land by Kent View Road - which includes a nursery and football pitch where the local team play - is one of three areas earmarked by Basildon Council which, if sold off, could provide money to help fund the town's Sporting Village.
Any objections are to be received by Basildon Council by June 17th 2010.
Councillor Phil Turner, cabinet member for resources says:
“The disposal of land at Kent View Road was approved in principle on the 24th June 2009 as part of the Council's asset management plan.
“Part of the process is to consult on appropriating land for planning purposes. This means that any future use can be governed through the planning process. As such, an appropriation notice was displayed from the 27th May, stating that representations must be made to the council by 17 June. Following this, all comments will be taken into account.
“The asset management plan helps to fund council priorities, with the Sporting Village our top priority. Sites such as Kent View Road will help to fund a fantastic new facility that will include the only 50-metre pool in Essex, a regional gymnastics centre, 8 court sports hall, fitness suite and learner pool that will provide key training facilities for our many swimming clubs, athletes and the South Essex Gymnastics Club."
" All of the sites identified in the plan would be disposed of under this strategy. They are not new sites, but sites that are no longer providing the level of service intended, or are in a poor state of repair and further investment is considered unviable.
“The Open Spaces assessment that was adopted by cabinet on 18th March shows that the Basildon area (including Vange) has the greatest supply of open space per head of the population in the District.
“ Disposal of the Kent View Road site could help to improve the open space in the Vange area that is currently of a poor quality due to security, access and quality of play equipment.”