CAMPAIGNING residents and councillors believe a flood-prone road will become a “nightmare” after development plans were unanimously approved.

Tendring Council’s planning committee signed off detailed blueprints on Wednesday evening for 132 new dwellings set to be built between Clacton and Holland-on-Sea.

The estate will be located on 21 acres of land stretching from Valley Farm Holiday Park, in Valley Road, to the Happy Valley Bowling Club, in Sladbury’s Lane.

Outline planning permission had originally been sought back in June this year, but a decision was deferred after several concerns were raised.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Among other issues, clarification over water drainage and the potential for an increased risk of flooding in the area was required.

Following further inspections and results from Essex County Council and the Environment Agency, the in-depth plans were approved by councillors.

Speaking at the planning committee meeting officer Susanne Chapman-Ennos, said the Environment Agency had found no issues with the development.

She said: “With regards to the flooding, further consultation took place and the Environment Agency has provided further response.

“Overall, it is considered based on the evidence provided the flooding situation will not be made worse by the proposed development.

“In a one in 30 year or one in 100 year flood event the development would improve the flooding situation.”

Those who already live in the area, however, still believe the severity of flooding will worsen if homes are enabled to feed water drainage into a nearby watercourse.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Tee Rollings, 59, has lived in Sladbury’s Lane with her husband for two years, and has lived in Clacton since she was 25-years-old.

She said: “I not happy about it really because Sladbury’s Lane has flooded three times this year alone right outside my bungalow.

“The traffic as well is already busy and will no doubt be much busier with the extra houses going up, so trying to get out on to Holland Road is going to be a nightmare.

“We are very concerned about all the water from these new builds being diverted into Pickers Ditch and it is going to put our homes at risk.

“I could go on and on but it is not going make any difference now as they have ignored our concerns and worries like we don't matter.”

Andy Baker, Tendring councillor for Eastcliff, has been striving to highlight the concerns surrounding the flood risk, alongside residents, for some time.

Speaking after the ruling he said: “I am disappointed with the decision but unfortunately I think it was inevitable.

“We had to highlight the problems which we believe there to be and there is still the potential that flooding will increase.

“I would not like to speak for them, but I don’t think the residents are going to accept this and they are going to be heavily disappointed.”

Mr Baker’s fellow Independent councillor, Mark Stephenson, has also been supportive of the campaign against the development’s water drainage plans.

He added: “Andy Baker and I tried to demonstrate the flooding problems that already exist and how this planning application will only make matters worse.

“We always knew we could not stop the application but what we were more concerned about was that it would be done right.

“This decision is now on the planning committee and the authorities who thought it was okay.”

Phase 2 Planning & Development Ltd and Tendring Council has been contacted for comment.