A PETITION has been set up against the building of homes on green belt land in Brentwood.

Brentwood Council will sign off its Local Development Plan in December which will outline sites in the borough for thousands of new homes, as demanded by government.

Opposition councillors and residents have become concerned after council leader Barry Aspinell recently told a council meeting it was “open season” for land to be developed, but that the character and parks of surrounding villages would be protected.

In a statement, Brentwood’s Conservative leader Louise McKinlay said Mr Aspinell’s “open season” comments were worrying.

She said: “We are fortunate to have some lovely green areas in the borough, and these form part of the character of the local environment.

“Statements from Mr Aspinell regarding ‘open season’ on developing such areas are worrying to say the least and we are looking to make a stand against any plans they or developers may have.”

Mr Aspinell though said the council had no intention of building on such land.

He said: “I want to make it perfectly clear this administration has no intention of building on these sensitive green belt areas in the villages around Brentwood.

“I made that pledge to all the parish chairs when I met them recently and told them that if there are any areas they think would be good to be developed in some way in their ward to let me know and it’s something we could look at for the local development plan.”