AN appeal has been launched over a controversial housing development in Halstead.

The application for five homes to be build on Chapel Hill was refused by Braintree Council in July last year on environmental grounds.

In its objection the council said the site is located in the countryside and falls outside of Halstead’s town boundary.

It said the housing “would have an urbanising affect and represent unwarranted encroachment into the countryside, eroding the open nature of this part of the district”.

Developers Phase 2 Planning have since launched an appeal in a bid to overturn the council’s decision.

During the initial application, 12 people objected to the development before Braintree Council refused the homes.

One objector, who lives on Chapel Hill, highlighted some of the concerns for the wildlife inhabiting the area.

They said: “A loss of wildlife will be caused by the development. A mature apple tree exists on the site and an oak tree is in the neighbouring meadow.

“Deer, muntjac and fallow are seen on the site everyday.

“The site is also a home to squirrels, foxes, badgers, wild birds native and visiting, bats, and birds of prey. Rare orchids grow on the site. The former land owner, would mark these when the gardener was due to mow the lawn so they could be protected.”

The application states: “The majority of vegetation on the boundaries will be retained and the development of the site has been designed to have only a minimal impact on visual amenities.

“As such, the development of the site will provide a new housing within a sustainable location whilst at the same time contribute to protecting and enhancing the natural, built and historic environment.”