MORE than 700 residents have joined a campaign group and more than 100 have filed objections over plans for a 78-home development.

Developers submitted the controversial plans for the houses at River View, in Witham, earlier this month and since then it has attracted a raft of criticism.

A website called Protect Witham River Walk! has now attracted 733 members at the latest count while a total of 111 objections have been sent to Braintree Council.

Dudley Chignall, who is behind the website, said: "I set it up because I was frustrated with the pillaging of the countryside that developers do.

"I decided to do it as a way to alleviate my anger and my frustrations about this and it seems as though the rest of Witham agrees with me.

"I think the weak point in the application is the access road because that road was never built to handle that amount of traffic.

"You're going to have an extra 231 bedrooms on the site so the amount of traffic that will generated which will be going past Helen Court and trying to get onto Maldon Road will be huge."

There have also been concerns about the impact the development would have on a nearby town centre beauty spot - the River Walk.

Meanwhile, Witham MP Priti Patel says she is backing residents who want to the see the plans turned down.

Ms Patel said: "This scheme is completely unacceptable for this part of Witham.

"The scale of the development proposed is far too large and this scheme will have a devastating impact on traffic, safety and the amenity of nearby residents, including those who live at Helen Court.

"Previous development proposals for this site have been rejected and I am campaigning with residents for this one to be thrown out too."

At a town council meeting on Monday night, Witham Town Council recommended Braintree Council refuse the application.