I am writing to the Braintree and Witham Times as the owner, with my wife, of the land on which Bellway is hoping to build 78 new homes in central Witham.

You have published a number of letters critical to the planned development.

Dudley Chignall is “frustrated with the pillaging of the countryside which developers do”.

The site is in the centre of the town, with the A12 on one side and the high street on the other.

He, and others, also express concern about the volume of traffic that the houses with generate.

The proposed development is about the same size as the Maidment Cresent area and much closer to the shops, schools, buses and the train station so most people living there are likely not to use their cars.

The impact on the River Walk is another apparent cause for concern.

The new houses will be much further away from the River Walk than the houses north of Howbridge Road.

The area near the river is on the flood plain and will not be built on.

There have been detailed surveys of the wildlife and measures will be taken to minimise any disturbance.

Concerns have also been made about the safety of the footpath from the river up to the park.

I believe this footpath will be much safer once the new houses have been built.

There will be streetlights and the neglected and vandalised fence between our land and the park, which is the responsibility of Braintree Council, not us, will be replaced.

Over the last few years the old stables and the fields have been used by homeless people and on three occasions the stable buildings have been set alight.

In spite of the security fencing we have put up children do enter the buildings.

The whole area will be more pleasant and safer once the houses have been built.

I also cannot understand how the Witham Chamber of Commerce can object to a project that will increase the trade in the town without increasing the demand for parking.

Priti Patel is as aware as anyone of the need to build new houses and of the Government’s commitment to do so.

She says the planned number of houses is too great, but the number is simply the minimum that will allow any developer to proceed and the density will be no different from other sites.

I cannot believe the majority of Witham residents will object to the development if they know the facts.

The alternative is to continue to have an unused site in the centre of the town which is a source of danger to those that pass it and enter it.

N Hockings

Douglas, Isle of Man