A FINAL decision on whether 50 homes can be built on a Colchester football pitch will be taken after an appeal hearing today. 

Developer Dishland has been locked in a planning battle with Colchester Council for about a year over its plans to build the homes on one pitch at the Gas Recreation Ground, off Bromley Road.

Its plans also include an all-weather community football pitch, a new club house which would also be used by a scout group and a drop-off area for children going to the nearby Roach Vale Primary School.

The proposals, which were strongly objected to by some residents, were thrown out by council planners in April because the land is a designated open space and not zoned for housing, but Dishland launched an appeal against the decision.

It says although it owns the land, more than half of it will not be developed and would instead be used by the community.

Bosses as the Gas Rec FC have backed the plans, which they believe would secure the club’s future at its home ground.

A planning appeal hearing will take place in Rowan House, in Sheepen Road, at 10am.