PLANS for 1,217 homes in South Stifford, branded “the most important residential development outside London” could be in serious doubt.

The application for the development at Fiddler’s Reach, in Wouldham Road, was approved by Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation in 2009, but the applicant, Family Mosaic Thurrock, has yet to sign a Section 106 agreement.

The development cannot go ahead without the agreement, so Family Mosaic must either sign it, or withdraw its bid.

However, the social housing company doesn’t want to do either at this stage, and has asked the Development Corporation for more time.

Its agent said: “The development for which the resolution to grant was given on this site is not currently financially viable as a consequence of the economic recession, and is unlikely to achieve viability for many years to come. Forcing the signature of the agreement starts the clock ticking and development would have to commence within three years, otherwise the planning permission would lapse.

“The development as applied for is most unlikely to achieve viability within this timeframe.”

The agent said it was “disappointing” officers at the corporation don’t want to give the company more time.

Corporation planning committee member Sunny Crouch said the corporation should be “giving someone else a crack at this development, unless the applicant gets its act together”.

But fellow committee member Will Mckee disagreed, saying: “The applicant is saying give me until the end of the year, we are in no worse position by leaving it as it is now, as we would be by rescinding the planning application.”

The committee voted to give Family Mosaic six months to resolve the application.