NEARLY 50 new homes could be built in the middle of an industrial estate.

Plans have been submitted to Basildon Council for 22 two-bedrooom and 29 three-bedroom houses on Shotgate Trading Estate.

Eight industrial units would to be demolished to make way for the development in Bruce Grove, Shotgate.

Four of the buildings have been empty for more than a year.

Nibs Buses hopes to relocate its depot in the future and the neighbouring double glazing factory also has plans to move premises to enable the development to take place.

David Harrison, chairman of Shotgate Parish Council and founder of Wickford Action Group, said: “I think the main problem with plans for these houses is that it’s an industrial estate. Most people would take the view it’s the wrong place for a housing development.

“I think we would need to look more closely at plans and see some images of how the development would look. Building an access road in Bruce Grove would worry me, and increased traffic and parking always raises concerns among residents.

“I wouldn’t have thought Basildon Council would approve these plans.”

The homes would be a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses.

Applicants Panter Trading believe the empty units are in such a state of disrepair they are beyond renovation.

In documents submitted to the council, planning agent Barry Stacey, from Designed Images, said: “In real terms demolition and constructing a new development is the most viable and preferred option.

“We believe that the development of this site will be comfortable for this setting and bearing in mind what is being offered locally, and its closeness to major public utilities, we feel we will be setting the standards for future developments which will take place.”

The site, on the north eastern corner of the trading estate, is surrounded by homes in Bruce Grove and Bridge Road.

Basildon Council is due make a decision on the outline plans by July.