PLANS have been submitted for 540 new homes in Billericay.

Developers Redrow want to build the properties on the green belt, including just under a third of which will be classed as “affordable”.

The estate, which would be accessed from Mountnessing Road and London Road, has already caused controversy.

Billericay Action Group urged residents to submit their objections to the council before the deadline of January 28.

The campaign group also stated this development would not meet the needs of families in the area.

And a spokesman added it would create a “poor precedent” if Basildon Council accepted the plans.

Councillor David Dadds, ward member for Billericay East and a former mayor, claimed the town’s infrastructure will not cope.

He said: “The infrastructure is not here for those homes in that volume.

“It is at its peak at certain times during the day. It would only be exacerbated with these homes.

“Getting around Billericay is already a challenge.

“There’s long waiting lists for the GP surgeries.

“It’s a small town.

“We have to be careful with how we proceed with applications like this.

“It’s quite a speculative application that is on green belt land.

“It has to be rejected.”

Redrow defended its plans and said families have been consulted.

Sarah Kirk, planning manager at Redrow Eastern, said: “Basildon Council identified our site for the provision of new homes in the Local Plan.

“We have signed an agreement with the council for a decision on our application to be taken after the local plan has been approved by the inspector.

“We are also working with the community and Basildon Council on a masterplan for the wider South West Billericay area, which is identified for development in the submitted Local Plan and includes our application site. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with Basildon Council and our neighbours as the application progresses through planning.” A Local Plan sets out sites appropriate for housing to meet quotas.