Essex: Homes’ plans revealed as protesters march against proposals for their town

Plans for a new building for Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall.

Plans for a new building for Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall. - Credit: Archant

Plans for 1,100 homes within six square miles of rural Braintree district have been unveiled – as a community group marched against further proposals for 350 homes in the same area.

Redrow Homes has asked to Braintree District Council (BDC) to consider initial blueprints for 850 homes, along with a primary school and small shopping area, at the southern edge of Witham.

The proposed development, between the railway line and the A12 at Lodge Farm off Hatfield Road, would also include open space and allotments.

Under BDC’s core strategy the site is earmarked for 600 homes, but the authority recently announced a call for housing sites as it was forced to increase its prediction for the amount of housing needed over the coming two decades.

Separate outline plans for a 250 home development on agricultural land off Western Road, Silver End, have also been submitted by Gladman Developments to BDC.

These have already met with opposition from local residents and the parish council.

The two projects, unveiled this month, come as a group of residents in Coggeshall marched through their town in protest at proposals for expansion across the A120.

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A scheme put forward by the Honywood Community Science School and the Marks Hall Estate would see a new £30m school building constructed on farmland, funded by a 350 home and industrial park development on the existing education site, with school facilities on estate land in part on the northern side of the Braintree-Colchester link road.

The Coggeshall Community Action Group held a demonstration from the town clock tower to Marks Hall yesterday , in protest against the proposals.

Group chairman Martyn Lucas said: “The group has been overwhelmed by the support we have received from local residents and like-minded organisations and their willingness to help us in what may well be a long and difficult fight.”

When the plans were unveiled back in March headteacher Simon Mason said: “We have been presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure something truly incredible for our community.

“Some local people would prefer not to have the additional housing in their community. We need to try our hardest to gain the support of these members of our community so everyone locally is pulling toward the realisation of this project, not spending their time finding reasons why it cannot happen.”