REDEVELOPMENT plans for Colchester’s former Severalls Hospital site have suffered a setback.

A planning decision on the first phase of a 1,500-home scheme for the former mental hospital site has been postponed while important details are ironed out.

Joint landowners, North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Homes and Communities Agency have been told they may be forced to change their application for 248 homes on a corner of the site, close to Mill Road. Colchester Council’s planning committee members raised concerns about drainage, the size of gardens, children’s play space and traffic.

Anne Turrell, a Mile End ward councillor, said: “Some issues need to be looked at and one is the drainage. The land in Mile End is clay.

“A lot of houses have been built in Mile End over the past ten years, so we have learned a lot about new buildings and the issues with them.

“It goes without saying I would prefer them not to build any more houses in Mile End.”

Fellow ward councillor Martin Goss said he was concerned the wrong kind of homes would be built on the site. He also echoed worries about drainage and extra traffic.

New Town ward councillor Theresa Higgins said she felt the development should include a shop or a pub.

She added: “It’s a shame. If you are trying to establish a community, you need some sort of pub for them, at least.”

The majority of proposed homes would be houses, with just 30 one or two-bedroom flats.

In total, about 1,500 homes, a primary school and community facilities are planned for the site of the hospital.

Neighbours have objected because the new homes would overlook their houses and bring extra traffic. Luisa White, of Thomas Walkey Close, said: “It’s madness. So many things are wrong with this development.”