PLANS to build 120 homes on land in Wivenhoe have been thrown out after campaigners argued the scheme would set a dangerous precedent for developers to “walk all over” neighbourhood plans.

Taylor Wimpey had submitted a planning application to Colchester Council to build the new estate on land behind Broadfields in Wivenhoe, on a strip of land south of Elmstead Road and off Richard Avenue.

But Wivenhoe campaigners argued against the scheme, in a large part because 34 of the homes would be built outside of the area allocated for development within Wivenhoe’s neighbourhood plan.

Colchester councillor Mark Cory, who represents Wivenhoe ward, was one of several objectors to the scheme at a meeting of the authority’s planning committee on Thursday.

He said: “We come in force tonight because we really believe this sets a precedent for the future.

“This contravenes the Wivenhoe neighbourhood plan. It then contravenes the Local Plan in Colchester – that is a material consideration you should use this evening to object.”

He added: “West Mersea, Marks Tey, Eight Ash Green, West Bergholt and Wivenhoe all have gone through hundreds and hundreds of hours of time, thousands of pounds, considerable effort from inspectors and planning officers too.

“89 per cent of Wivenhoe residents accepted development in their village envelope.

Gazette: Taylor Wimpey wants to build 120 new homes in Wivenhoe. Picture: From the planning applicationTaylor Wimpey wants to build 120 new homes in Wivenhoe. Picture: From the planning application

“They accepted this site as shown in red, so we must stick to those red lines. Because if not, where next?

"If you break this precedent today you are breaking the Wivenhoe neighbourhood plan.

“Unless you want to accept a precedent to walk all over neighbourhood plans, I believe they need to go back to the drawing board.”

Objections were also raised over the lack of one-bedroom properties amongst the 120 homes, which are “significantly needed” in the area.

Amongst other concerns raised were fears over a lack of access for firefighters to some plots.

Planning officers had recommended the scheme be approved, but the committee voted against that recommendation and turned the plans down.

Officer James Ryan told the committee while the scheme did fall outside of Wivenhoe’s neighbourhood plan, this caused “no demonstrable harm”.