AN appeal has been launched after plans for a new estate were refused by Maldon District Council.

The Wickford Development Company is appealing against the council’s decision to turn down a 23-home development in Tolleshunt D’Arcy.

The plans for the Tollesbury Road houses include an access road, parking, public open space and landscaping.

The developer also faced a backlash for their proposal to build over existing woodland.

Nick and Angie Burrows, who are against the plans, said: “This is a conservation area where guidelines are put in place to protect these areas.

“We have a nine-year-old-son, who is very concerned with all these trees being destroyed and that it is very bad for the environment. He has said where will all the animals go? They will leave and we have to protect them, as that is their home.”

Resident Michael Smee said: “I have lived in this village for 44 years and witnessed the growth of Campions Wood, planted by our neighbour Joyce Allingham with a grant from the Woodland Trust, over 30 years ago.

“This was meant as a legacy for the village and is now a mature wood, full of wildlife, and is the heart and lungs of the village within the conservation area.

“To have an Essex village with its own designed woodland in its centre is unique.

“The village and its infrastructure are not sustainable for 23 new households and their needs.

“The village now has no surgery and Tollesbury and Tiptree surgeries are full.”

Conservation officer Tim Howson said: “The impact of the proposal upon the conservation area’s significance would be quite considerable.

“The development would conflict with the advice set out in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Conservation Area Review and Appraisal, which identifies the woodland as an ‘important green space’ – the loss of which would be severely detrimental to the rural character of Tolleshunt D’Arcy.”

In its objection, Essex Wildlife Trust said: “The proposal will result in the destruction of a significant area of locally important biodiversity within a TPO woodland, including loss of habitat supporting protected species – bats – and a red-listed bird species of conservation concern – nightingale.

“While we acknowledge that a small area of woodland would be retained under the proposals, this will not be sufficient to avoid a net loss of biodiversity.”

The initial planning application was made in March and refused in June.