RESIDENTS lined up to tell a developer why they did not want him to build 1,600 homes between Braintree and Rayne.

Wayne Gold, of the Acorn Property Group, has applied for outline permission to build Brook Green on either side of the FlitchWay.

At a Rayne Parish Council meeting last week, Mr Gold was quizzed by 30 residents and agreed to a site visit the following Thursday.

Objections included feared congestion, the strain on village facilities and the lack of communication.

Rayne resident Emma Wood said: “The developer responded in a very poor fashion. Many of the questions he answered with ‘I don’t know’.

“He made it clear the development would be going ahead and they would appeal if it was turned down.

“It was plain in my view that the developers were not really interested in local impact.”

Don Smith, chairman of Rayne Parish Council, said: “There is a great deal of strong feeling with this development, and Mr Gold made a right mess of things to be frank.

“He said he would be open and transparent about communication, but actually most people in Rayne aren’t aware. People do recognise houses are required, it’s just the way it has all been handled.”

A further 30 residents met him at Rayne railway station cafe in Station Road, before taking Mr Gold on a walk around the area to show him the views and nature they fear will be lost if his proposals go ahead.

He met people, including Terrance Barnes, a Rayne resident for 50 years.

He said: “The village enjoys the isolation it has from Braintree town, and this development would just destroy the identity.

“It’s undesirable because we have too much traffic here already.”

Marie Phillipson said: “We do understand as residents we need more housing but we can’t put something in until the infrastructure can cope with it.

“The fact Braintree has access to open spaces is a big part of the town – it’s about that feeling of being able to take your children to the countryside.”

Stan Davies, chairman of the Friends of the FlitchWay group, added: “The Flitch Way is the most visited country park in Essex and it is used by all sorts of people.

“It will have an adverse effect on the habitat.

“The developer was very vague and evasive. It wasn’t what people wanted to hear, and the idea of the four storey houses is outrageous.”

Mr Gold said: “I think people accept there is a housing requirement and we needed to find a space large enough to accommodate that. We have always been approachable and try to communicate – we have nothing to hide.

“We want this to be a success for everyone and we want to help the residents as much as possible.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

Steve Trippett, of Rayne, said: “I don’t know if it has been taken into consideration the amount of traffic there will be.

“There will probably be about 3,000 more cars and it already gets clogged.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

Pamela Mascall said: “It’s going to be in totally the wrong place. It has always been somewhere people can walk and take children and it’s already packed with people at the weekends.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

John West, of Gilda Terrace, said: “The developer had spoken about demolishing some of the houses as it will ruin his estate.

“Also, traffic is a huge issue for us as, by about 3.30pm, Braintree is a no-go zone.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

Michelle Edwards said: “I have lived here since I was two but it really makes me think whether we should bid on another house here as it will be devalued by the new houses.”