A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build 230 homes to a village has been recommended for approval despite objections from scores of villagers.

Developer Bellway Homes is aiming to bring the homes to land east of Rectory Lane in Rivenhall.

Outline plans were submitted to Braintree Council in December 2020 and are the fourth phase of development on land in the area.

The first and second phases which are south of the newest application were granted planning permission in 2016.

The first aims to bring 222 homes to the area while the latter, after it was revised in 2018, looks to build a further 163 homes.

A third phase of development to build 58 homes located to the west of the newest site was granted permission in 2019.

Now the developers are hoping to get the green light for the fourth phase, which would bring 230 homes to Rivenhall.

The plans include a public open space, which includes sports pitches and facilities, as well as a play area.

Access to the site would be via Forest Road and Evans Way with bus, cycling and pedestrian connections to Rickstones Road.

Up to 69 of the homes – 30 per cent – would be affordable housing.

However, the proposals have been met by opposition from residents, with more than 60 objections sent to Braintree Council.

Witham Town Council and Rivenhall Parish Council have also objected to the plans.

The town council outlined a number of reasons for its opposition, which included "severe impact" on local highways infrastructure and "non-conformity" with Essex County Council highways policies, a "lack of amenities in Witham North including health facilities, a supermarket and employment opportunities”, and there being “no clear boundary between Witham and Rivenhall”.

But a report by Braintree Council planning officers has recommended the application be granted.

The proposals will go before a planning committee meeting on October 26.

A detailed planning application will go before the council at a later date.