RESIDENTS are prepared to back plans for a housing development on playing fields in Colchester.

Dishland applied to build 50 houses and flats on the Gas Rec playing field, in Bromley Road.

One football pitch will be retained and handed over to Gas Recreation Football Club, and the developers will build an Astroturf training pitch, a clubhouse, a Scout hut and a drop-off area for Roach Vale Primary School.

Gillian Bolderstone, chairman of Parsons Heath Residents’ Association, said: “I am wary about losing green space, but for the football club and for the Scouts it seems like a great opportunity. It is as important to keep community groups, perhaps even more than keeping green space.”

Peter Halliday, chairman of Welshwood Park Residents’ Association, said: “The developer has done his best to allay people’s concerns.

“My main concern is still the amount of extra traffic the development will create, but that aside, it sounds very positive.”

Borough councillors have expressed concerns about the plans because the land is not allocated for housing.

Colchester Council will have the final say.