Land described as an ‘important regeneration site’ will be sold off to make way for more housing.

Braintree Council approved the recommendation to complete the sale of land east of High Street in Halstead during a cabinet meeting.

The land, which is home to 16 air raid shelters and woodland, was described as vacant and overgrown by councillors during the meeting.

It is hoped a developer will come forward with a proposal to build a mix of houses and flats once the site has been sold, however it is not known how many homes could be built there.

Council leader Graham Butland said: “This is an important piece of land and I think there is a genuine desire to see something created there that will be of added benefit to the town of Halstead.”

Halstead 21st Century group have campaigned to protect the land from development since 2013.

A spokesperson for the group pleaded with those who in charge of the future of the land to open a dialogue with Halstead 21st Century group.

The spokesperson said: “We do not seek to overturn the asset managers recommendation, however with information regarding the proposed sale of the site now in the public realm, we trust that Braintree District Council, Vendors, proposed purchasers and perspective developers will engage in dialogue we have sort for so long.”

Councillor Jackie Pell resonated the plea for a continued discussion about the future of the land.

She said: “There are things on there (the land) that the town would like to see remain on there.

“Once its sold I hope the developer will work with people who are anti about it.”