Campaigners' fight against a 140 home development in their village received a welcome boost, thanks to a visit from a BBC film crew.

The producers of popular BBC rural affairs programme Countryfile visited Hatfield Peverel, where campaigners have achieved a rare call-in public inquiry into the development, which has even been discussed in Parliament.

Residents Kevin Dale, Ken Earney, Elise Gwyn-Williams and Lisa Hanikene were pleased to meet and talk to presenter Tom Heap on camera about the Stone Path Meadow development.

Whilst Andy Simmons spoke in relation to another proposed development - Gleneagles.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has been supporting residents' campaign, and brought the unusual case to the BBC's attention.

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at CPRE, said: "We are deeply concerned at the stress and impact this sort of speculative behaviour was having on our countryside, wildlife and on rural communities – land promoters actively work against local wishes for the sake of their own profit.

“Changes must be made to close these loopholes in national planning policy to ensure the planning system drives developments that are needed and welcomed by local communities.”

A video chronicling residents' fight against developer Gladman, produced by CPRE, has been seen by more than 30,000 people.

Andy Simmonds said: "Call-in inquiries such as this are rare, usually there are only about 10 per year nationwide, or less.

"The last one I can remember in Essex was for the expansion of Stansted Airport. The fact this particular case was called-in highlights the significance of the problem in Hatfield Peverel."

Witham MP Priti Patel is a long-term supporter of the campaign.

Countryfile goes on air on Sunday, March 11, at 6.30pm.

To view the video, visit