CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 13 homes on land earmarked for a medical centre have been recommended for approval by council planners.

Tendring Council had originally rejected an application for 240 homes off Halstead Road, Kirby Cross, but the plans were given the green light on appeal by a Government planning inspector.

The go-ahead included a condition that either a new 40-bed care home or a healthcare facility must also be built.

But developer Linden Homes is seeking approval to build 13 additional homes in place of the ‘hub’ after claiming they had tested the care home/healthcare facility market and found no demand for such use for the site, as such saw an opportunity to provide additional housing on the site as an alternative.

The application was due to go before the council’s planning committee in January, but the item was deferred to allow negotiations to take place with the applicant over securing amendments to a number of plots 1-4.

The blueprints have now been recommend for approval and will go before the planning committee on Tuesday.

A report by planning officers said: "The applicant has submitted revised plans indicating that plots one and two have been amended to one-bedroom bungalows and plots three and four have been moved further southwards within the site.

“The proposed development would not result in any harmful impact upon visual amenity or neighbouring amenities and provides a site layout and sufficient additional parking spaces to serve the proposed units.”

Tendring Council has received 63 letters of objection and a petition containing 213 signatures, which claims there was no evidence that there is no demand for healthcare facilities.

Residents are concerned that the extra homes will exacerbate existing parking problems and some claimed they were assured by Linden Homes that there would be no homes built in the area and it would be reserved for open space.

A design and access statement by the applicant said: "The design meets the conditions of the outline approval and meets all the necessary design criteria, as the proposed design responds to the effect, character of the site and wider landscape.

"We believe that the proposed development is appropriate in scale and style, in a suitable location to provide good quality traditional family homes."