THE seventh neighbourhood plan to be adopted in the Braintree district has been approved to help villagers have a say on where homes could be built.

The Feering Neighbourhood Plan, which has been eight years in the making, will be adopted after councillors unanimously voted to approve it at a meeting of full council last Tuesday.

The plan, created by Feering Parish Council, can now be used when determining future planning applications in the area.

It sets out how the community want to shape the development and growth of their area and what it should look like.

This includes focusing on safeguarding historic buildings and green spaces, protecting and improving community facilities and what local infrastructure should be provided.

This follows a planning referendum held in October last year where 94.68 per cent of votes were in favour of the neighbourhood plan to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

Braintree Council planning boss Gabrielle Spray said: “It’s fantastic news this neighbourhood plan is now over the line after over eight years in the making.

“I would like to thank and congratulate the parish council and the local community on producing an excellent plan which will now be used as a key document when deciding future planning applications in the area.”

Chairman of Feering Parish Council, Paul Lees said: “As a community we are delighted that Braintree Council have adopted Feering Neighbourhood Plan.

“We expect the neighbourhood plan will ensure that Feering Parish Council will be consulted as part of the master planning process for the Braintree Council Local Plan. 

"[We expect] any new developments in Feering will be environmentally cutting edge, in keeping with the village and sustainable both in construction and infrastructure. 

“The plan has taken several years of effort by the community and reflects the community's desire to take its responsibilities to future generations seriously.”

There are seven neighbourhood plans which have been adopted in the district, including in Coggeshall, Cressing, Hatfield Peverel and Kelvedon.

Nine more plans are currently in progress.