CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 150 homes on farmland in a picturesque village are set for approval.

Gladman Developments wants permission to build the properties, including 30 per cent affordable homes, on land north of Halstead Road in Eight Ash Green.

Planning officers have recommended the outline application be approved subject to the developer agreeing to provide funding for the village’s community facilities, nearby schools, open spaces and GP practices.

However, Eight Ash Green Parish Council has warned the application was “premature” whilst the village’s Neighbourhood Plan was being put together.

The application was called in to the planning committee by ward councillor Lewis Barber (Con, Lexden and Braiswick).

He said: “The application is premature before completion and submission of the neighbourhood plan.

“There are also insufficient plans for infrastructure in this application, which is a key reason for residents choosing this area for development as part of the neighbourhood plan.”

However, planners said the plans would “achieve the number of dwellings required to support growth in Eight Ash Green”.

A report states: “The current proposal would provide economic benefits, for example, in respect of employment during the construction phase, as well as support for existing and future businesses, services and facilities by introducing additional residents that would make use of them and provide future spend in the economy.

“The proposal will provide housing in a sustainable location so future residents would not be reliant on private car, being able to walk or use public transport to access necessary services and facilities, thereby minimising environmental impacts; ecological enhancements can also be secured as part of the development.”

Colchester councillors will have the final say.