THOUSANDS of new homes are set to be built on the edge of Braintree in the coming years.

The majority of the new houses will be put up in the Bocking area, sparking major concerns about congestion and increased pressure on schools and doctors surgeries.

The latest scheme to be approved was the 575 homes planned by The Unex Group for the former Towerlands site of Panfield Lane.

But the proposals will form less than quarter of the new properties planned for the surrounding area.

Here is everything you need to know about the new developments which have been granted planning permission.

1,000 homes at Straits Mill

Braintree and Witham Times:

By far the biggest of the projects is the 1,000 homes plan for Straits Mill, which lies between Broad Road and the A131.

It was put forward by L and Q Estates. who were granted planning permission by Braintree Council back in January 2020.

The new homes will be built alongside a new primary school, community centre, park and employment area.

It is expected to create 550 new jobs during the construction phase, while the new school will add a further 40 jobs to the area.

The developer behind the plans also plans to build a new doctor's surgery within the development, along with indoor sports facilities, shops, restaurants, cafes and a new park.

A network of cycling and pedestrian facilities will be introduced and there will be improvements made to the river walk to the south of the site.

There will also be allotments, equipped play areas, public art and recycling facilities which will be created.

Group planning director Richard Edwards said: "We have worked closely with Braintree Council and the local community to put forward plans that meets the needs of the local community.

"This site in Braintree will deliver a wide package of measures as part of the section 106 agreement.

"As well as housing, the development will provide a new school and a whole raft of facilities that will benefit the wider community as well as create jobs from the employment units that will be built."

825 homes off Panfield Lane

Braintree and Witham Times:

The second biggest project planned for the area is Mersea Homes and Hills Residential's proposals for land to the west of Panfield Lane.

The scheme, was in the pipeline for four years before it was approved in July 2019.

It will see the two firms contribute both land and funding to a new school, doctor’s surgery and sports facility.

A new link road will also be built between Panfield Lane and Springwood Drive in an attempt to ease growing concerns about congestion in the west of Braintree.

When approving the proposals, councillors were in agreement the plans fitted into their own vision for the greenfield site.

Despite objections and fears the scheme would impact traffic in the area, neither Highways England nor Essex Highways offered any objections.

575 homes at the former Towerlands site

Braintree and Witham Times:

The former Towerlands Park site, in Bocking, is set to be turned into a 575-home estate after members of Braintree Council’s planning committee gave the green light during a meeting on Tuesday.

The Unex Group now has outline planning permission in place for the scheme, which will include the construction of 172 affordable homes, a new nursery or school and shops.

The council’s planning boss Gabrielle Spray said she was impressed by the plans and believed they would have a positive impact on the area.

She said: “There is an awful lot to like about this development. I know when the Straits Mill application came up we all thought it was an extremely high quality design."

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

The site is estimated to be the size of 45 football pitches.

265 homes off Church Street

Braintree and Witham Times:

Gladman Developments controversially obtained planning permission to build off Church Street by way of appeal.

The developer had been engaged in a three-year battle with residents and Braintree Council over the proposals before getting permission last month.

Gladman launched its appeal in 2017 after the council failed to rule on the application within the statutory 13-week period.

Councillors later stated they would have rejected the plans anyway due to concerns it would harm the landscape and character of the countryside.

But planning inspector Zoe Hill said the impact of the scheme would only have a “slight adverse impact” on the area.

It is understood campaigners may yet take legal action to stop the scheme.