A stinging attack has been launched on Colchester Council’s planning department after it revealed it was set to recommend approval of a controversial development.

A statement released by Vincent Pearce, the council’s development services manager, said officers were minded to recommend approval of the Stour Valley Heritage Centre at Horkesley Park.

Colchester councillors are due to vote on the plans next month.

But the recommendation has drawn a furious response from the Stour Valley Action Group, which has consistently opposed the project.

In a statement, it said it was “appalled”.

Mr Pearce is due to meet with action group chairman Will Pavry later this week.