Anxious villagers fear an expanse of natural beauty could become an ”eyesore” if a 65-home estate is built.

Earls Colne Parish Council has discussed building houses on fields between Homefield Way and Colne Valley Golf Club, based off Station Road in Earls Colne.

Although no planning application has been formally submitted, councillors have been negotiating with landowners to also bring in a new three-acre recreational ground on the land.

Ian Sparks, vice-chairman of the parish council, said: “We want some amenity land as we haven’t got a proper recreation ground.

“The recreation land in the village is a private land so if you go on there you get turfed off."

See this week's Halstead Gazette for the full story.