CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 50 homes in a village on the outskirts of Colchester have been approved.

Dandara Homes have been given the green light to start work at its site off Hall Road, Copford, after its application was debated by Colchester Council’s planning committee.

Several issues were raised over the proposals, including access arrangements and the placement of a footway in London Road and Hall Road.

Marks Tey and Layer councillor Andrew Ellis, whose ward includes Copford, told the committee the site is “not favoured by the community”, instead suggesting it had been “imposed on the community by city planners in a process that was anything but collaborative”.

Gazette: Road - concerns have been raised over access to the siteRoad - concerns have been raised over access to the site (Image: Colchester Council)

Mr Ellis, who also expressed his frustration over a lack of bungalows, said: “How in this day and age can we think agreeing this ludicrously inadequate access is progress. It’s lunacy.

“If Essex Highways advice is that the access is fine, forgive me for not setting any great store in their advice currently. Have any of you enjoyed navigating your way around Stanway recently?”

In response to the criticism, Martin Mason of Essex Highways said: “I’m certainly not prepared to put my name to anything I would consider to be unsafe but given the existing level of traffic, the safety record, and the modest traffic that would be generated by this proposal, I’m content that the access arrangements would be safe.”

Gazette: Site - 50 homes will be built on land off Hall Road, CopfordSite - 50 homes will be built on land off Hall Road, Copford (Image: Colchester Council)

Gazette: Development - the site off Hall RoadDevelopment - the site off Hall Road (Image: Colchester Council)

Dandara Homes’ planning manager Andrew Owen also defended the development plans.

He said: “The scheme will deliver new homes including a policy-compliant level of affordable housing and the development will provide employment opportunities directly on site by Dandara operatives and local subcontractors and local apprentices within our supply chain and in the local service economy.

“Further investment will be provided to local sports, recreation, healthcare, and community projects

"This certainty and positive decision-making will encourage further investment.”

The proposals were reluctantly waved through by councillors, with five committee members voting for the plans and one against, while the other four members of the committee abstained from voting.

The huge 4.25-acre site is more than 19 times the size of Wimbledon’s Centre Court.