A DECISION whether to allow a further 80 homes to be built in a village will be made in a few weeks.

An appeal hearing lasting two days was held at Braintree Council on May 16, discussing Gladman's plans to build in Stonepath Meadow, Hatfield Peverel.

The plans were refused in October as the council felt the homes would have an unacceptable impact on the rural character.

Gladman appealed the decision, saying: "Delivery of new market and affordable homes now in Hatfield Peverel is a key contributor that will enable Hatfield Peverel to promote and sustain a strong, responsive and competitive economy.

"It will be demonstrated that the appeal proposals will deliver new homes of the right type and mix, at the right place and at the right time to meet market and affordable housing need and in turn will support (the council's) growth aspirations."

Plans by Gladman to build 140 homes near the site were already approved at a meeting in March this year.

A two-day appeal hearing, which included a site visit, took place for a further 80 homes and a decision is yet to be made.

The council has outlined 36 conditions if permission was to be granted, including that no more than 80 homes will be built, and that there is adequate visibility on the access roads.

Priti Patel, prospective Conservative MP for Witham, sent a statement to the planning appeal hearing opposing the plans.

She said: "Stonepath Meadow is in the countryside and forms an important part of the identity and history of Hatfield Peverel and should be protected for future generations to enjoy.

“I commend the commitment, hard work and dedication of local residents who have put forward a strong and compelling case to oppose this development.

"While we need new housing, development should not be at any cost and should not be at the expense of this historic and much loved part of the countryside.”

Priti Patel is standing against Labour candidate Phil Barlow, Green Party candidate James Abbott, and Lib Dem candidate Jo Hayes in June's General Election.