Plans hailed by residents for a bird sanctuary near the Essex coast have been rejected by a council. 

Featherfields Haven Parrot Rescue and Sanctuary, in Maltings Lane, Kirby-le-Soken, had applied to build an extension for its sanctuary on a vacant field. 

The plans were received well by many residents, who said the centre would be a great addition to the area.

Resident Tracey Carpenter said: “Finally someone has had the initiative and forethought to provide a much-needed resource to this area. 

“Until now the closest help available for injured birds has been in Colchester.

"As a supporter of protecting our environment and encouraging the preservation of natural areas, I feel this project is long overdue. 

“I find it to be a well-thought-out project in a secluded area, that plans to blend in with the environment around it.  

“In my opinion, it can only add to the necessary resources of bird owners in this area and believe that it will enhance the natural beauty of the area due to its close proximity to the recycle centre.” 

Residents said that following the closure of Bird Aid in Walton, there was a lack of facilities close by, with the nearest place for wild birds and parrots located in Colchester. 

However, the plans for 12 single-storey units with natural cladding and wire mesh aviaries have been rejected by Tendring Council’s planning committee. 

In the decision, the council called the plans “harmful” and “degrading”, while Frinton and Walton Town Council criticised the proximity to a site of special scientific interest. 

The decision says: “The proposal fails to comply with the statutory plan-led approach and conflicts with the council's strategic approach for growth. 

“The proposal would have a demonstrably harmful impact upon the character and undeveloped nature of the Coastal Protection Belt designation.  

“Moreover, there is no compelling functional or operational requirement for the development to be located within the Coastal Protection Belt. 

“The scheme would degrade the character of the area and diminish the existing quality of the rural landscape.”