A campaign to prevent countryside being turned into housing has attracted impressive support.

So far, 34 people have signed letters delivered by neighbours Pamela Bicknell, 67, and Tracy Allingham, 48, of Oak Road, in opposition to early plans to turn the fields to the south of Oak Road into houses.

No planning application for the area has currently be submitted, but the developers have asked for a screening opinion, which is a planning process to determine whether any future planning application submitted for major development at the site would have to be accompanied by a full environmental statement.

Mrs Allingham said: “We are getting the response we need and we are planning to take the letters to the council on Monday.

“Everyone is getting behind the campaign and no-one wants the houses here.

“We have been joking about blocking the road at both ends so that no lorries can get through if a planning application is submitted and approved.

“The environmental impact this could have would be huge, as there would be between 300 and 600 extra cars on the roads, and the land is prone to flooding. We also regularly see muntjac deer and bats, and a lot of cyclists and dog walkers come to the area and they would all have nowhere to go if the land is built on.”

There are currently nine objection comments to the plans on the Council’s website.

A spokesperson from Braintree District Council said: “As the planning authority we are required to issue the screening opinion within three weeks. There is currently no planning application lodged for this site and it will be for the applicant to decide whether they proceed to make an application for planning permission in the future.”