Detailed plans for hundreds of homes on the Severalls Hospital site have finally received the go-ahead.

Colchester Council’s planning committee yesterday unanimously approved plans for 248 homes - the first phase of a 1,500 home scheme at the former mental health hospital.

One quarter will be affordbale homes which will be spread across the site.

Planners at Colchester Council deferred a decision on the application in March after residents in Thomas Wakley Close voiced concerns that the plans were overbearing.

Landowners the Homes and Communities Agency and the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust worked with residents in a bid to resolve the deadlock.

Martin Goss, Mile End ward councillor who is not on the planning committee, last night praised developers for considering residents' views and making adjustments to designs.

He said: “There have been some pretty shocking housing developments in Colchester in the last 20 years and I was pretty concerned this would end up in the same box.

“I’m now convinced this is one of the best and I hope it will set a benchmark for what we do over the next 20 years.

“All the concerns of residents have been dealt with.

“I don't want to see 2200 homes there but we know the Severalls site has to be developed and I think we now have the best deal for local residents and the future of the community.”

For more on this story see Monday's Gazette,