A DEVELOPER must pay almost £40,000 towards a new health centre and improving a large park if it wants to build 48 new flats, a council says.

Chelmsford-based firm Marden Homes plan to knock down existing buildings and construct two, three storey blocks of flats at land off Burnt Mills Road, Pitsea.

But Basildon Council is making strong demands for the company to help with healthcare improvements and upgrades at Northlands Park - along with providing 15 affordable homes.

Councillors are set to rubber stamp the plans at a meeting next week.

Pat Reid, Labour councillor for Pitsea North West, said: “I think if developers want to build homes they should pay for what needs doing in the area.

“The first thing residents talk about is the lack of infrastructure.

“We need housing desperately and it’s difficult as nobody wants them near them.

“The council’s hands are tied as the Government is telling us how many homes we must be building.”

The site currently has a detached home and series of small retail units and private members club.

The larger block will have 33 flats with 19 one bedroom flats and 15 two bedroom homes.

The smaller block is to have 15 flats with six one bed and nine two bed homes.

In a report due to go before Basildon Council’s planning committee next week, it was stated the new blocks would be in-keeping with the character of the area.

The report said: “This form is not considered to look out of character in this area, particularly given that there are three storey blocks only a short distance to the south-east of the site, in Charleston Court and Calvert Drive, and that it would be seen with the two storey office building on the adjoining site to the east.”

The report said the latest plans would have “traditional” brickwork and hipped tiled roofs.

It added: “The changes to the appearance of these buildings are acceptable and provide a positive image, creating a landmark, and would result in a more traditional street form along this road, adding interest to the street scene.”