AN Essex MP has backed residents over concerns of over-development in the area.

Witham MP Priti Patel met with councillors from Wickham Bishops parish council ahead of a planning appeal.

Residents are concerned that an application to build a new housing development in Handleys Lane will contribute to a crowded village.

A planning appeal is currently taking place for the land, which was originally refused by Maldon District Council’s planning committee.

Mrs Patel was accompanied by councillors Henry Bass, Iain MacGregor and Peter Bates.

After visiting the site, she spoke to several residents who live close to the proposed site.

She said: “Wickham Bishops is a village that has already experienced significant levels of new housing growth in recent years.

“These new proposals have already been thrown out by democratically elected councillors and residents are concerned that this development is out of character with the area and will have an impact on the roads and services.

“I have been making representations to the Planning Inspectorate in support of the local community.”