‘POORLY designed’ plans for more than 20 homes in Halstead have been thrown out by council planning bosses.

Bennett Homes first unveiled the plans for 23 homes to the north of the junction of Russell’s Road and A131 Mount Hill at the end of last year.

Planning permission was previously granted at the application site in 2022, securing a total of 20 homes.

The land had belonged to Halstead Hall care home.

The site was subsequently sold and is no longer part of the care home.

The proposed development was for 23 homes on the same site, six of which are “affordable”, with a “broadly similar layout” to the approved scheme, with all houses enclosed by a circular ring-road.

The main differences included the increase in market homes and in size and height, change in design and appearance, the introduction of terraced properties and detached or linked double garages, as well as the relocation of visitor parking bays.

Braintree Council planning officers recommended the plans for refusal after concerns were raised over the design, accessibility and the loss of trees.

Their statement reads: “Officers consider that the revised design and layout are of a poor standard, contrived to fit in additional and larger dwellings without due consideration to the built environment.

“This leads to officers having concerns regarding the accessibility, highway safety and private amenity provisions of the scheme.

“The design and layout results in adverse effects on the character and appearance of the area.

“Furthermore, the proposal results in a harmful loss of trees.”

Discussing the plans at the last meeting, councillor Jo Beavis said: “I think the officers have come to the right conclusion.

“I do believe Russell’s Road is the wrong place for the entrance to this site, it is such a tiny rural road.

“I’ve met with many developers going back some time years ago when this site was first being looked at and there was so much resistance to that road being used.

“I still feel it is overdevelopment in a rural setting, and it just interferes and upsets the long views of this setting too.”

The plans were unanimously rejected.