Villagers look set to lose their battle against plans to install controversial lagoons full of dirty water and fertiliser.

Planning officers have recommended Braintree Council approve Will Ketley’s plans to build the lagoons full of liquid digestate close to Gosfield Airfield, off Hedingham Road.

The lagoons are needed to store material produced by Ripper Farm Ltd which is also based at the airfields.

A report recommending approval of the application said: “The proposed lagoons would be located in the countryside but are considered to constitute an appropriate countryside use.

“While the lagoons will be located relatively close to residential dwelling houses sufficient details have been submitted which show that the lagoons have been designed with these constraints in mind, and that unacceptable impacts would not take place.

“Therefore, it is recommended that the application is approved.”

Both Gosfield and Sible Hedingham Parish Councils objected to the applications over concerns about a “moderately offensive odour” which the applicant conceded could be omitted from the lagoons.

Braintree Council received more than 50 objections from residents about the lagoons, with the potential smell and increased HGV traffic of most concern.

One resident said: “If this planning application goes ahead not only will it affect the quality of our day to day lives, but will probably devalue the homes we have worked hard to buy.”

Mr Ketley had previously planned to build three lagoons on the site but withdrew one of the applications back in March.

The 0.81 hectare site where the lagoons will be built is located less than two miles away from Gosfield Hall, Gosfield School and St Margaret’s Prep School and Nursery.

Braintree Council’s planning committee will vote on the proposals next week.