A MAJOR dog rehoming centre could be built on the site of one of Basildon’s biggest car boot sales.

The Dogs Trust, a national charity, has unveiled plans to build 71 kennels, a reception, training area, vets clinic and dog behavioural assessment unit on the site of the boot sale, known as “The Big One”.

The sale is held twice a week on land by the Nevendon roundabout, at the junction for the A127 and A132.

If the plan goes ahead, three businesses on the site – Nevendon Nursery and Garden sales, Nevendon Pet Centre and T J Builders Merchants – could also go.

The plan comes as kennels across south Essex struggle to cope with an influx of unwanted pets.

The Dogs Trust has 17 centres across the country and rehomes 13,000 animals a year.

The five-acre rehoming centre would have exercise runs and fencing, plus new houses for staff and roads and footpaths between them.

There would be flats or houses for staff and the buildings would be developed to look like a farm.

The Dogs Trust has been in talks with leading councilllors over its plans for several months.

Malcolm Buckley, councillor in charge of environment, said: “It may improve the traffic flow, which would be a positive, to get rid of the boot sale. I am open minded about the use by the Dogs Trust. It is a charity which is needed and it has identified south Essex as an area of priority.”

He said a number of planning issues, such as the scale of the building, it being in green belt and effect on traffic, would have to be looked at in detail.

A letter sent in with the application by the Dogs Trust says: “We have negotiated, subject to planning consent, a site on the northern outskirts of Basildon with the intention of building a rehoming centre.

“(Apart from the bootsale) the site also has a number of businesses operating from it every day. Should we be successful in obtaining planning consent, all of this activity in the green belt would be removed.”

The site is owned by Peter Stevenson, who rents out the land, but he was unavailable for comment.