DEVELOPERS have appealed against a decision to reject controversial plans for 280 homes, a primary school and nursery and offices on land in Weeley.

Applicants Brian and Eileen Lumber and David Weeley have now lodged an appeal after Tendring Council refused the scheme for the 44-acre site, south of Thorpe Road in November.

Residents claim the plans, which include a new primary school, 56-place early years nursery, 3,000sq metres of offices and public open space, would “dramatically” change the feel of their village.

A spokesman for Tendring Council said: “The planning committee turned down the application as they felt the scheme was disproportionate growth for Weeley.

“Committee members said although the site was earmarked for mixed-use development in the emerging Local Plan, more work needs to be done and objectors to the scheme should have their concerns heard by the planning inspector overseeing the plan.

“Because of the site’s inclusion in the emerging Local Plan the scheme had been recommended for approval by council officers.

“Now the developers have lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, which will determine whether permission can be granted.”

Both Weeley and Thorpe parish councils objected to the proposal.

Ward councillor Jeff Bray said there are two possible sites in Weeley for development and that residents had previously been assured that the independent Local Plan inspector would make the decision as to which was most appropriate.

He added that the site south of Thorpe Road was the “least favoured” of the two by villagers.

Mr Bray said: “We are not surprised to see the applicants have appealed the decision and now we hope the inspector listens to our reasons for refusal and supports them.”

The applicants said the development, which is intended to be carried out by Rose Builders, would have ensured “the delivery of much needed housing, including affordable housing, job opportunities and school places”.

Residents have until February 4 to make any further representations to the Planning Inspectorate.