Colchester housing scheme on hold

WORK on a controversial housing development in an Essex town has been put on hold, the EADT can reveal.

WORK on a controversial housing development in an Essex town has been put on hold, the EADT can reveal.

Persimmon Homes' Riverside Quarter development next to Cowdray Avenue, Colchester angered many residents because it was due to be built against the borough council's wishes.

A planning inspector gave the go-ahead last year, but the housing giant has said it will not be building any of its 117 homes next to the River Colne until “the mortgage market improves”.

Workers had already started clearing the site, cutting down memorial trees planted in honour of soldiers killed in combat to make way for an access road.

Paul Gibbs, development director for Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “During the current economic climate, it is prudent business practice to regularly review all aspects of our operations on a region by region basis.

“In line with current market conditions our proposed Riverside Quarter development won't commence until the mortgage market improves.”

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The news was welcomed by Colchester Green Party, which last year held a protest at the development site.

Spokesman Peter Lynn said: “I welcome the news that the development has been put on hold - it shows how volatile the housing market is.

“One really sad thing is that it is too late for the trees which have been chopped down, they were irreplaceable and planted to commemorate the war dead.”

Colchester MP Bob Russell told the EADT: “I am sure that in due course the builders will return, but for now we are spared the development which the local community did not want.”

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