People campaigning against the conversion of stables into homes on green belt land left a public meeting disappointed after councillors voted not to back them.

About 20 people living in Groves Lane, Chigwell, filled the parish council offices last night for a discussion on developer Elliot Pommerance’s plans to demolish stables and build six large two-storey houses.

Speakers raised concerns over traffic and what was described as the “destruction of one the last “true country lanes” in the district.

But five of the seven councillors present voted not to register an objection to the plans, with one warning that the site could be used for a greater density of housing.

Councillor John Knapmann added: “I honestly believe that this site will go at some point.

“That particular site is large enough for thirty houses. If you can be in control and actually have a smaller development, we would be far happier with that type of situation.

“It is a brown field site on green belt land and I cannot object.”

Councillor Roger Farthing for Chigwell Row added: “I don’t think you realise the amount of transport that it will generate if 40 liveries were rented out.”

Some members of the public accused the councillors of scaremongering and said they were disappointed with the outcome of the vote.

The final decision on the planning application will be made by Epping Forest District Council’s Planning Committee South.