RESIDENTS from Stanford-le-Hope staged a protest inside Thurrock Council to show their dismay at plans to build 350 homes on greenbelt land.

Action group Residents Against Inappropriate Developments (RAID) staged the peaceful protest in the civic offices in New Road, Grays before the planning meeting on Thursday (December 16) to raise objections to the proposed development by Barratt Homes on the St Clere’s Golf Course in Butts Lane, Stanford-le-Hope.

Thurrock’s planning committee unanimously agreed with the officers advise that it would “represent inappropriate development in the green belt”.

Phil Anderson, ward councillor Stanford East and Corringham Town said at the meeting: “All these developers are trying to take away our greenbelt.

“The council has a plan in place and in that we have set out clear sites for the most appropriate places to build new homes.

“This is something we need to declare to the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC).”

Thurrock Council is a consultee to the plans and can only pass on advise to the TTGDC who is the planning authority.

Steve Brampton, chairman of RAID, said after the meeting: “The meeting went really well, it is really good news. It is just another tick in the box for us.

“Our next move is to keep door knocking and canvassing to get as many people as possible to the Development Corporation planning meeting next year, we think it could be as soon as February.

“We are also going to try and call a public meeting before the plans go to committee to let as many residents know as possible.”

The Gazette revealed in August how the 172 acres of land had been bought by developer Barratt Homes and only last month the firm put in their planning permission.

Mr Brampton, 42, of Butts Lane added: “We wanted Thurrock Council to know there are a lot of residents against this development.

“There is strong feelings from many residents against this and we wanted to show that peacefully.

“We have knocked on more than 500 doors and collected about 600 signatures on the on-going petition, lots of people had no idea about the plans. The way Barratt have gone about it is underhand.

“This development would have a catastrophic impact on Stanford-le-Hope, Butts Lane is a lane and it will not be able to cope with all the extra traffic and over and above all the land is greenbelt.”