A DEVELOPER has finally submitted a planning application which could mean 78 homes are built near a town centre beauty spot.

Bellway homes handed-in its proposals to Braintree Council earlier this week for the houses which would go up next to River Walk in Witham.

A number of residents and action groups have already spoken out against the proposals over fears about the impact on River Walk and its wildlife as well as extra traffic following meetings with the developers.

However, according to the planning statement, Bellway has “demonstrated that there are no ‘adverse impacts’ that would ‘significantly and demonstrably’ outweigh the benefits of allowing sustainable development.”

As part of the plans River View would be widened and extended from where the junction with Maldon Road is at the moment.

In an objection letter to the district council, David House wrote: “As a resident of Witham since 2001 I have to object to this proposed development. There is already far too much new housing in Witham and this is a step too far.

“This is one of the few quiet areas of Witham left and it will completely ruin the wonderful Park and River Walk which are arguably the towns most popular communal area.

“While I appreciate that housing is needed in Essex please don’t develop this wonderful central green space which is home to many animals. Our roads are already overcrowded, our schools are full, our doctors unable to cope.

“Bellway don’t care about the further impact on Witham, but it's us residents who will have our town spoiled forever.

“Our river walk will have a road cut though it so its no longer safe for our children and animals to roam safely. “

In meetings before the application was submitted, documents showed the developers were made aware by Braintree Council’s landscape team that a “buffer zone” of trees between the River Walk and homes would be needed.

The council will make the final decision.