CONTROVERSIAL plans to build another 100 new homes on Mersea have been given the go-ahead.

Mersea Homes’ bid to build the properties, off Dawes Lane, was approved by Colchester Council’s planning committee.

However, Tory councillor Robert Davidson warned committee members of the irreversible effect the plans would have on the island.

He said: “The view of Mersea, as the borough’s main tourism destination, will be ruined by these houses because everybody will see a solid development line as they approach the island rather than green field and trees.”

John Jowers, Conservative councillor for Mersea and Pyfleet, added: “I think this is premature, at the very least we could wait until we have determined what route we are going to take with the Local Plan.”

However Andrew Ransome, agent for Mersea Homes, told the meeting the application would bring significant benefits to the island.

He said: “The proposals allows for over 12 acres of public land for community uses, public open space and landscaping far in excess of normal planning policy requirements.

“This application does not seek to dictate how this land would be used but the principle of the land being used.”

Four councillors voted for approval, two against, with three committee members abstaining during the vote.

Trees will be used to hide the development from view as you arrive on the island.

John Akker, of the Stop350 campaign group, hit out at the decision.

He said: “It is in total disregard of all the information put to the planning committee by Stop350, residents and both Mersea councils.

“This will be worrying to the people of Mersea those in the borough just do not understand the pressures it is under.

“The roads, services, health service, cannot cope with the number of residents it already has and the vast number of tourists it is attracting.

“To rush this application through given how controversial it is, is not only bad for the council’s reputation but for democracy itself.”