168 homes given go-ahead at former equestrian site

House building. Construction on a Hopkins Homes site. Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

The project will be the first phase of up to 575 homes on the land - Credit: Andrew Hendry

Permission has been granted for the first phase of a huge redevelopment of a former eventing stadium on the outskirts of Braintree.

Braintree District Council voted unanimously to approve plans for 168 homes on the former Towerlands site on April 5.

The scheme forms the first phase of a wider redevelopment of the renowned equestrian centre that could see up to 575 homes, a nursery, and retail and community facilities.

The committee gave the go-ahead for 168 two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses plus associated parking and landscaping, together with public open space, a play area, landscaping; and the layout, described as “a well-designed and carefully considered proposal”.

However, Panfield Parish Council objected over concerns of an increase in traffic entering the village, thereby degrading the area's character and eroding the separation from Braintree.

The parish council asked for a guarantee that investment will be put into improving roads in the village and to combat light pollution, street lights should not be installed.

“Panfield prides itself on being a dark skies area and residents did not want streetlights installed. Concerned that this developments lighting will impact upon residents and wildlife,” the council said.

Most Read

“Overall we understand that outline permission was granted but would like serious consideration given as to how section 106 monies and local investment from this development will be used to help Panfield parish as although it does not sit within their boundaries the effects will be inequitably be felt by this parish that prides itself on its appearance and community.”

Councillor David Mann said: “This is not a speculative site it has been through the local plans process. It is in part on previously developed land, is part brownfield and it will bring some significant community facilities in time given the high numbers of housing entailed.

“I think what we have is acceptable. No-one likes a concentration of new housing on their patch but this is a well-designed and something that has been through the democratic process and we can applaud that.”