UK - Elected representatives in a local authority outside London have opposed plans to develop 126 acres of greenbelt land acquired last January by the £2bn (€2.3bn) Nottinghamshire pension fund.

Basildon council leader Tony Ball and chief executive Bala Mahendran have written to the leader of Nottinghamshire local authority to express concerns over proposals for Little Chalvedon.

The letter is understood to have accused Nottinghamshire pension fund of "risking a pension fund on speculation", warning that the owners would be unable to build on the site for 20 years.

Plans mooted for part of the site by local firm Meridian Strategic Land - but for which no planning permission has yet been sought - include 1,300 residential units, leisure facilities and a "traditional" village centre - "village green, shops, library, school, community building [and a] park".

According to the plans, "there would be a new neighbourhood centre financed by the development and located conveniently central for the benefit of the whole community".

The development proposals also include plans for parkland and community woodland that would be open to public access. More than 60% of Basildon is greenbelt.

Nottinghamshire investment manager Simon Cunningdale did not respond to requests for an interview, but the scheme has said the £4.2m acquisition was "strategic".

Real estate assets valued at £394m make up 13% of the scheme, which has an allocation target of between 5% and 25%.

This is not the first time the Basildon acquisition has caused controversy.

It became a partisan issue after opposition Labour councillors at a council meeting called last June to condemn the acquisition accused incumbent Conservatives of failing to disclose the acquisition to avoid public disapproval ahead of an election.

The councillors are understood to be especially irked because they have yet to ratify a 20-year growth plan as part of the local development framework.

The Conservative-dominated council favours an option that "puts the protection of the green belt above everything else" and "aims to make the most of what is already in place by regenerating existing urban areas [and] utilising existing services and infrastructure".

This proposal would cap new residential at 6,500 units - all within existing built-up areas.

A decision on the plan is scheduled for this week. In the meantime, neither Ball nor Meridian director Dave Newberry responded before deadline to requests for interview.