Campaigners are celebrating an emphatic victory after an application to build 40 homes on farmland in High Garrett was thrown out by councillors.

Gordon Homes wanted to build the estate north of Grove Field, but the developers bid for the 1.65 hectare site, roughly the size of three football pitches, was unanimously rejected by members of Braintree Council’s committee on Tuesday.

The Bocking and High Garrett Action Group (BHGAG) were represented at the meeting and spoke in opposition to the plans.

With the Convent Lane and Broad Road Action Group (Clabrag) the group claimed an access route off the A131 was unsafe, saying Essex Highways had gone against its own policies when it rubber stamped plans.

Chairman Terry Surrey said: “There was a big highways issue raised and the councillors were astounded about what Essex Highways had put in its report.

“There were some good planning reasons to object the plans as well.

“No one bothered to turn up to the meeting from the developers despite them being booked to speak.

“We achieved what we needed to achieve and I am planning to call a meeting in the next few weeks with our steering group to formulate our next steps.”

Members of the campaign groups submitted hundreds of written objections to the application, with many residents worried about a domino effect leading to further development of the area in the future.

Terry Cooper, chairman of Clabrag, said: “The committee stood firm against highways and put public safety first.

“The objectors who spoke at the meeting all made very strong arguments for our case.

“It was a very good evening for us and there was some very interesting debate during the meeting.”