COUNCIL bosses have rejected concerns that their own vision to build a new business park in Great Notley could be threatened by plans for a similar scheme close to Stansted Airport.

Cabinet members at Braintree Council met on Monday to discuss the latest proposals for the Horizon 120 business park, which will be built just off the A131.

During the meeting, members paved the way for a deal between the council and Marshgate Group to be formally approved over the development of the first 20 acres of the 65-acre site in Great Notley.

The deal will see developers Marshgate tasked with building new offices, warehouses and industrial buildings before finding suitable businesses to the fill them.

Braintree Council hopes the new centre will create nearly 2,000 jobs once the scheme is completed.

However, in the moments before cabinet members gave their approval to the deal, councillor David Mann queried whether the project would be undermined by Uttlesford Council’s own plan to build a new refuse depot and business park on a 15-acre site in Little Canfield, just 14 miles away.

Mr Mann said: “I noticed the emergence of perhaps an additional release of employment land in Uttlesford.

“I wondered if we had details of the extent and possible timing of that release because they will naturally will be our competitors in this respect so speed may be of the essence.”

Cabinet bosses admitted the proposals did create some risk to their own plans but insisted they were confident there would be little “overlap”.

Corporate transformation boss John McKee said: “The impact on the plan if we keep to the timescales that we are driving is minimised because they will take much longer to bring any of their employment land forward.

“It just means greater impetus to us to drive for the plan this year and get on site in 2020.

“The main 25 per cent of the site will be under development before they come forward with any of their schemes.”

Deputy council leader Tom Cunningham added: “If you look at employment land that is within immediate locality of an airport campus it tends to be employment land for different purposes than perhaps we are looking to explore at Horizon 120. Whilst there may be some overlap, I think it is quite likely we may be focusing on a different target audience to the employment land that will become available near Stansted Airport.”