Controversial plans to build 90 new homes in a village have been given the go ahead.

Gladman Developments’ plans to construct the new houses on land off Station Road, Earls Colne, had been met with fierce opposition by residents and parish councillors.

However, Braintree Council’s planning committee gave its approval to the proposals during a meeting.

Though councillors were sympathetic with those objecting to the plans, it was agreed that the absence of a local housing plan meant there was no reason to refuse the proposals.

It was also noted a lack of objections from Highways and landscape officers would have made it impossible for the council to defend refusal if the decision was appealed.

Councillor David Mann said: “We’re in an uncomfortable place here. We have no five year land supply. We’re seeking it but we never quite find it and who knows when we can look forward to that security.

“I think the (officer’s) report is very fair and although there will be adverse impacts, I think an inspector would conclude that the adverse impacts would be insufficient to outweigh the perceived benefits.”

Not all planning committee members gave their backing to the plans.

Councillor Gabrielle Spray, who represents Earls Colne, said the location of the development would cause significant issues with traffic.

She said: “I can’t support this application I’m afraid. I’m not against housing in the villages but I don’t think this is in the right place. I don’t for one minute believe that the benefits outweigh the problems it will give us.”

A total of 54 letters objecting to the plans were submitted to the council, with concerns focusing on the impact the new homes would have on both health and educational services.

With outline planning permission now granted, Gladman has promised it will agree the finer details of its plans with the council within a two year period and building work will be complete by 2023.