MAJOR plans to build 1,000 homes on the Braintree and Bocking border have been given the green light.

Gallagher Estates has been granted outline planning permission to construct a new development on land to the east of Broad Road following a Braintree Council planning committee meeting.

Councillors were warned about traffic concerns by public speakers before voting in favour of the scheme.

Particular fears about an access road being created along Broad Road creating gridlock back up to Braintree town centre were raised, however councillors stated they had little choice but to approve the plans because there had been no complaints from Essex Highways.

David Mann, councillor for Bocking North, said: “We have to remind ourselves from the onset this isn’t an application for a speculative development. This site has been under consideration for development for over 20 years.

“I have to vote according the evidence that is in front of us. I shall support the application because it has been done properly. The applicants have gone through the Local Plan process and co-operated with planning officers and have come out with something that is acceptable.

“The key for me is the lack of objections from Highways and in fact the lack of objections from any of the statutory consultees means we haven’t got any reasons for refusal.”

Gallagher Estates’ proposals include provision for a new primary school and early years facilities, new community spaces and a small business centre with space for retailers, cafes and restaurants.

The developer will also create a new roundabout along the A131 to provide a second access road to the development, however construction traffic will use the road created off Broad Road until the 100th dwelling has been occupied.

Planning officers revealed at Tuesday’s meeting that significant widening would be carried out along the A131 between Marks Farm and Broad Road roundabouts to cater for the new development, with Martin Mason saying improvements would be “far bigger than anything” seen before.

Planning boss Gabrielle Spray added she was hopeful improvements to the A131 would make a “significant difference”, but this was met with murmurs of discontent from the watching public.

She said: “Without doubt the issue of most concern to residents are the highways matters.

“There are no objections from county highways. It is not just difficult but nigh on impossible for a committee to defer or refuse an application on highway grounds without their objection.”