CAMPAIGNERS fear plans to build houses on the edge of a village could ‘open the floodgates’ and see thousands of new homes built in the countryside.

Members of the Bocking and High Garrett Residents Association Group (BAHGRAG) are being urged to demonstrate their opposition to plans to build 33 new homes on a greenfield site off Grove Field.

Applicant Gordon Homes had plans to construct 40 houses on the same site turned down by Braintree Council last year but now hopes its latest scheme will be approved.

The developer argues it has addressed concerns about previous proposals and has reduced to the number of homes it wants to build.

However campaigners say the scheme has ‘no more merit’ than the previous application and residents are now being encouraged to object to the plans to help preserve the countryside.

Campaign group BAHGRAG is already fighting against plans to build up to 300 homes off Church Street in Bocking and the group fear Gordon Homes’ 33 home plans could set an unwelcome precedent.

In a rallying call to residents, a spokesman for the group said: “If this 33 home application goes ahead it could allow another access route to the 300 homes site and the adjoining fields, opening the floodgate to thousands more houses to Foley House and beyond to Gosfield.

“We need your help to try to stop this assault on our precious countryside which will be destroyed forever, while we face our roads becoming gridlocked and even more dangerous in the Bocking and High Garrett areas.

“This opportunistic development would be a burden on the local infrastructure, schools and doctors are already operating over capacity.”

As well as planning applications for Church Street and Grove Field, formal proposals to build 95 homes off Bovingdon Road in Bocking are expected to be submitted in the coming weeks.

Greenfields housing association unveiled its vision for the former Courtauld Mill site during a public consultation last month and said it will consider feedback before submitting an application.