OUTRAGED residents have hit out at plans to build 1,000 homes at a popular beauty spot following the release of a masterplan for the area.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) revealed its initial concept designs for the new estate at Middlewick Ranges, off Mersea Road, Colchester, to the public for the first time this week.

Plans show the 1,000 homes will be built on the northern edge of the site, which is a well-known wildlife haven, near Abbot’s Road.

A green corridor will be maintained at the estate’s border and green routes through the estate will also be created if approval for the homes is granted.

The DIO says the estate will be “sensitively designed” and will bring infrastructure improvements and new community facilities for the area.

READ MORE: Details of 1,000 home estate at Middlewick to be revealed

However, resident Peter Collen said the masterplan was severely lacking in detail.

He said: “There is no idea of what amenities will be available and nothing about the change to the level of services in the area.

“1,000 homes will be between 2,000 and 3,000 more people and our services are stretched as it is.”

Dave Smith added roads were already at breaking point.

“The junction at the corner of Abbot’s Road and Mersea Road is already a death trap. It cannot cope at the moment so another 2,000 cars will not help,” he said.

Anne Gloc said residents were keen to see the site remain as it was.

She said: “We have accommodated the Army over a long period of time and it seems we are not getting anything back.”

Community group Friends of Middlewick Ranges want the area to be made into a country park.

Stephanie Murran said: “We want the DIO to be aware of the feeling and voice of the community which is that the do not want any building on The Wick. It is vital to save this land as if it goes it won’t come back.”

Protesters are set to hold a demonstration outside the consultation at Orchard Baptist Church between noon and 1pm on Saturday.

READ MORE: Demonstration against Middlewick Ranges 1,000 homes plan

Operations at Middlewick will relocate in 2021 after which the Ministry of Defence plans to dispose of the land.

Visit middlewickconsultation.co.uk.