CONCERNED residents have vowed to continue their fight against controversial plans for 280 homes in their village.

Applicants Brian and Eileen Lumber and David Weeley have resubmitted their application for the homes, on a site south of Thorpe Road, Weeley, to Tendring Council after planners decided not to contest an appeal.

Planning officers have now recommended the plans, which include a new primary school, 56-place early years nursery, offices and public open space, for approval.

Tendring Council originally refused the blueprints in November, but it decided not to defend the decision after the applicants lodged an appeal earlier this year.

The council decided not to contest the appeal following legal advice from a QC, which was given in a behind-closed-doors session of the planning committee.

A spokesman for the council said the decision was considered in private due to the confidential nature of the legal advice and that it had the potential to be relevant for other planning matters in the district.

The new plans were due to be debated by the planning committee at Weeley Council Chambers last week.

But the meeting has been postponed until Monday at 6pm, so the large number of concerned residents can be accommodated at the larger Clacton Town Hall.

Weeley and Tendring councillor Peter Harris said “Feelings among residents are running very high – there is a determination to fight this application all the way.

“This development will change our village community forever and destroy irreplaceable habitats for some rare species and sites of biodiversity.

“This is massively important to Weeley and its surrounding areas.

“I would urge all concerned residents to come along to the meeting on Monday. It could be your last chance to help stop these plans.

“Barleyfields should never have been included in the emerging local plan. It is an historic site dating back to Napoleonic times, which will require an archaeological dig but that could be lost forever.

“The proposed new rail footbridge is huge, ugly and more like a structure you’d see over the M25. It’s definitely not something you want to see in the countryside.”