A LANDOWNER has offered Thurrock Council an alternative site for the borough’s first hospice.

News of his idea came as campaigners against plans to site the hospice on green belt land at Malgraves Farm, in Lower Dunton Road, Horndonon- the-Hill, handed in a petition.

A public consultation by the council identified Malgraves Farm as the preferred location for the new St Luke’s Hospice – alongside 50 homes, to be built by Countryside.

But the site, opposite Langdon Hills Golf Club, have been criticised by residents and councillor Sue Little for being out of keeping with the character of the village, having poor public transport links and being only two miles from the charity’s Basildon hospice.

Now, landowner Tony Gothard, from Tilbury, has revealed he offered the council an alternative site, near Davy Down Park, North Stifford – between South Ockendon and Lakeside – three years ago.

Mr Gothard, 66, said: “Davy Down is only three-quarters of a mile from Lakeside and there are two buses that go past it.”

A council spokesman said the authority had not yet expressed a preference for the site.

He said: “Discussions have been held with this gentleman about this site, but have been via the pre-application advice service, which is confidential and before any application is made.”