MAJOR plans to build hundreds of new homes on the site of a former golf course have been recommended for approval.

A final decision on the application for the former Towerlands Park site in Bocking is due to be made by Braintree Council's planning committee tomorrow.

The scheme would see 575 homes built, alongside a 56-place nursery school and shops.

Towerlands Park closed in July 2012 and the land, which has been marked as a potential site for housing in the council’s draft local plan, has been empty ever since.

The Unex Group has submitted plans to redevelop the land which covers an area which is around the same size as 43 football pitches.

Around 86 objections have been submitted by members of the public to the scheme, with many citing concerns over increased traffic and overdevelopment of the site.

Panfield Parish Council has also objected, stating the application "seriously underestimates" the number of vehicle movements it would generate.

Councillors also fear the scheme makes no provision for extra employment opportunities and the need for more medical services.

But Braintree Council's planning officers have brushed off those concerns and are recommending the application be approved.

In their report, the officers state: "In terms of highways, the development would result in increased vehicular movements in the area.

"Both Highways England and Essex County Highways have assessed the application and neither raise any objection.

"Overall, although there are identified detrimental impacts which must be factored into the planning balance, officers consider that the benefits of this substantial proposal, in this location, clearly outweigh these."

The benefits identified by officers include a high quality design of houses, 172 of the homes being allocated as affordable, and the introduction of new community facilities such as a new nursery.

It is expected it will take eight years to build the development.

The Unex Group would be required to make financial contributions to healthcare, education and leisure facilities as part of its planning permission.

Tomorrow's planning meeting where the scheme will be discussed will be streamed live on YouTube from 7.15pm.