CONTROVERSIAL plans to build nearly 80 new homes in a village have been approved despite widespread opposition.

Braintree Council’s planning committee has given the green light to Inland Limited’s proposal to install 78 new dwellings at Appletree Farm in Polecat Road, Cressing.

The scheme had been objected to by dozens of residents and Cressing Parish Council prior to a crunch meeting where councillors were told the village was already inundated with applications for new developments.

And those concerns were reiterated during the meeting by parish council chairman John Lawton, who pleaded with the district council to reject the plans.

He said: “Braintree Council has an annual building requirement of 716 homes in the Braintree district every year.

“Cressing alone has provided 349 of these and there is applications for another 680 currently going through the process.

“Before all these applications, the number of homes in the parish was 700 so its size will more than double with no additional infrastructure and no realistic thought about services in the parish.

“Cressing is rated as a third tier village, it has very little infrastructure therefore lacking the capacity for large developments.”

Following a debate, councillor James Abbott called for the application to be deferred due to a lack of information regarding where pedestrian crossings, which had been promised by the developer, would be installed in the new estate.

However, these calls were rejected by the committee, which then proceeded to approve the blueprints.

Councillor Iona Parker admitted she understood the concerns raised by objectors but was happy with the application put forward.

She said: “I would commend the applicant. I think this is a high quality scheme and they have done lots of work with officers to meet the concerns that we have had. I think the design is good and this is a brownfield site which is completely policy compliant.”

A total of 31 homes will be allocated as affordable and contributions will be made to health and education services.