Cuts include £13.5m from housing schemes, as Essex town is hit hardest by Thames Gateway review

Basildon is set to lose £17m of Homes and Communities Agency funding over the next two years, including about £13.5m of housing cash, according to figures seen by Building.

Last month, Building reported that the super quango was reviewing all capital spending in the Thames Gateway region and was favouring projects that were expected to get under way within the current spending review period, which ends in 2011.

An internal document from that review focuses on schemes in Essex. It ranks them as high, medium or low priority, with the regeneration of Basildon the main loser.

The low priority schemes, which did have earmarked funding of £17m but are now thought unlikely to receive anything, include phase two of the 3,000-home regeneration of Basildon’s town centre, for which Barratt and Wilson Bowden are sole bidders. This had been set to receive £4.5m by 2011.

Also deemed low priority are the 4,500-home mixed-use Gardiners Lane South scheme, which was to have received £2.9m, and a scheme, known only as Basildon Housing Project in the document, which looks set to be stripped of at least £6m over the next two years. In total, housing-led schemes account for about £13.5m of the £17m.

Planned land acquisitions of £3.25m until 2011 are also identified as low priority.

Nevertheless the £2.45m first phase of the town centre development is still rated as high priority, so is likely to go ahead.

Meanwhile, the agency has approved £3m of funding for Prospects college in the town and more than £500,000 for enabling works.

A spokesman for the HCA said the agency was in “constant dialogue” over funding and “regularly reviewed” spending plans.

A spokesperson for the Basildon Renaissance Partnership said it accepted it had to justify its spending priorities.