PLANS to build a huge nine-storey flat block in an industrial estate were thrown out after concerns were raised it could set a “dangerous precedent”.

Basildon Council’s planning committee rejected plans to build 72 flats in Christopher Martin Road, in the Cranes Farm industrial estate, Basildon.

The proposal was initially recommended for approval by planning officers and would have seen the high rise block of flats built on the car park to the west of the Phoenix Place office block.

But councillors voted against the recommendation, raising a host of concerns on the location, appearance, and lack of open space and nearby amenities.

Labour councillor for Pitsea, Jack Ferguson, said: “We have heard tonight a lot about sustainable land and sustainable development. This is not it.

“There is a severe lack of infrastructure around and there is a severe lack of amenities for residents if they were to move in.

“This would set a dangerous precedent for turning industrial land into residential land and that is concerning.”

The proposal also failed to include any provision for affordable housing.

Not all councillors were against the plan, with councillor Derrick Fellows, of the Nethermayne ward, wary that a rejection could be overturned on appeal.

He also insisted that although the plans did not keep with the industrial use of the area, it is no worse than plans the council has previously approved.

He said: “I remind other members that we have been told that this potential block was marketed as commercial space for two years and there were no takers.

“So how many more years?

“Yes it is ugly, but it is in an ugly area where we have the likes of Costa Coffee not that far, we have the waste plant not that far.

“It may not be in keeping with the area, but it is no uglier than others we have put up.

“I am very concerned because there has been a similar ruling against us, and we do not have a five year housing plan, that we would lose this appeal, so I am minded to support it.”

Planning officers stated prior to the meeting that the proposal was a “relatively sustainable development”.

Adding that the “adverse impacts of the scheme are limited” and should be approved.

All but one councillor voted against the plans at Tuesday’s planning committee meeting.