More than 150 homes in Colchester were approved by planners despite fears over crashes causing long term residents to leave the area.

Colchester Councillors criticised the application for 153 houses by Persimmon Homes for its impact on traffic and wildlife, but approved it because they felt they could not fight an appeal from the applicant.

The applicant said plans had been amended to add new bus stops and footpaths since the last planning committee meeting.

This comes as another accident near the Berechurch Hall Road site renewed residents’ safety fears.

Mary Stuttle spoke against the application at a planning committee meeting.

She said: “The developers have not driven out just the badgers, foxes, deer and other wildlife I have enjoyed during my 20 years in this area, but also a large number of local residents of over 30 years standing and my neighbours.

Gazette: Plans - the layout of the proposed new estate off Berechurch Hall Road

“They have felt compelled to move because of the real concerns over safety issues around this site.

“I come here tonight in a week that has seen yet another accident near my home, when a car pulled out into the path of a motorcycle, resulting in the rider being taken to hospital.”

Responding to Ms Stuttle, councillor Sam McCarthey (Lib Dems, Shrub End) said: “It is not one or two people, it is practically every home along this stretch.”

Development manager Simon Cairns told the committee they would not be able to fight an appeal from the applicant.

He said: “If you were to decide to refuse this application, you would really struggle to find any grounds to sustain an appeal and you would be likely to have a significant award of costs against you.”


Councillor Gerard Oxford (The Highwoods Group, Highwoods) said: “Reluctantly I propose approval, because there is nothing concrete that we can use against it, however much it galls to do so.”

Representing Persimmon Homes, Paige Harris told the meeting: “To address the poor public transport provision in the locality, the Highways Authority requested off-site improvements to provide sustainable transport links along the key design lines westwards and northwards from the proposed development towards Colchester town centre.

“Therefore we amended our scheme to deliver a footway along the front of the site that will link to the consented footway-cycleway of the adjacent site and a new Toucan crossing.

“We will also be providing two new bus stops in Berechurch Hall Road and will be providing an upgraded footway-cycleway to link to the existing cycleway network with Camulodunum Way.”

The application was deferred at a Planning Committee meeting in early September so Essex County Council Highways could attend to answer questions from councillors about traffic calming.