The council's planning boss has issued an apology after an oversight forced the Tey Road plans to be pulled from Tuesday night's crucial meeting.

Lynette Bowers Flint, who is portfolio holder for Braintree Council's planning department, admitted a mistake had been made during the meeting where the application had been due to be discussed.

Mrs Bowers-Flint said the plans would now be decided at a future meeting in the new year and said measures would be put in place to prevent a similar mistake happening again.

She said: "Officers have had to withdraw the planning application at Tey Road, Earls Colne this evening.

"Unfortunately it has transpired that the application had not been advertised as a departure application. This should have been done as the site is located outside the defined settlement limits in Earls Colne.

"Whilst this has been addressed and acknowledged in the published report and an extensive public consultation has been undertaken, as a result of a procedural matter, the application cannot now be considered until early in the new year.

"I have spoken with officers who are looking to put in place measures to prevent a reoccurance of this issue..

"I can assure local residents will be notified of the date once the application has been scheduled for a committee meeting in the new year and I give my apologies for any inconvenience caused."

She continued: "I had a few representations made to me about this application and obviously it was a contentious one.

"I have never done this before but I feel it is my duty as cabinet member to apologise to all the people who had either supported or objected to that planning application for the inconvenience caused by this planning department."