A VILLAGE that has been blighted by new developments has become the first in Tendring to publish its own neighbourhood plan.

Alresford has been inundated with new homes in recent years and there are outstanding planning permissions for more than 300 more properties.

Parish councillors have said they do want some development, especially of affordable homes, but that they want it restricted to within a newly defined boundary in the heart of the parish.

Councillors have claimed many developers’ plans for the village were speculative but were only granted because Tendring Council did not have a five-year plan for future housing in place.

A planning inspector, rejecting an appeal for 40 more homes earlier this year, said the level of development which had already taken place in Alresford is “more than can be considered limited".

Councillors and residents have now come up with a neighbourhood plan that defines the area in which new developments on brownfield sites would be more acceptable.

Alresford Parish Council has now submitted the final version of its plan to the district council so that it can undertake a public consultation.

A neighbourhood plan, once formally adopted, carries the same legal status as a district local plan and becomes a "material consideration" in the determination of planning applications.

Chairman Frank Belgrove said: "The parish council is delighted that the district council's cabinet has approved this the first time round. It's wonderful news for the village.

"We don't want to prohibit development, but this will help us to direct development where we want it.

"We don't want to see the countryside eaten up anymore and instead want development on brownfield sites in the village centre.

"It was the residents who put forward their ideas for this and the people who have worked on it - councillors and ordinary local people - have been fantastic."

It took four years to put together the neighbourhood plan, which was backed by the district council's cabinet on Friday.

Tendring Council leader Neil Stock said: "I'd like to applaud and congratulate the parish council on being the first in Tendring and one of the first in Essex to put forward a neighbourhood plan.

"They've put a lot of work into drawing this up."

Ward councillor Gary Scott praised Mr Belgrove and councillor Simon Clark for their work on the plan, which aims to protect natural habitats, historic buildings and Alresford Creek.

It is understood that other parishes, including Elmstead and Ardleigh and now looking to follow suit due to concerns over where the future Colchester/Tendring garden community will be situated.