THE decision on a proposed new housing development will be made by a planning inspector after a meeting found Braintree Council would have unanimously refused the application.

Parkland Developments wants to build 73 homes on a site just east of Halstead High Street off of St Andrew’s Road.

The sensitive site boasts old air raid shelters and the plans for new housing have sparked opposition from preservation group Halstead 21st Century, the public and councillors. But because Braintree Council failed to rule on the application before the February 21 deadline, the developers have lodged an appeal, so the final decision will be made by a government planning inspector.

Despite no longer having a say over the outcome, the proposals were put before a planning committing on Tuesday, when district councillors unanimously ruled against the development.

Halstead town councillors also attended the meeting to opppose the planning bid.

A spokesman for Halstead 21st Century Group said: “We are very grateful to town councillors for such a strong presence at the meeting, as well as Essex county councillor Jo Beavis.

“Having so much support from the Halstead people has been a terrific boost. But we must remember the case has gone to appeal, so the decision will be made by the Planning Inspectorate.”