Chigwell councillors have lodged an objection to a housing development on green belt land, despite believing the plans would be a sensible use of the site.

The parish council's planning committee unanimously decided to formally register its opposition to a revised plan from developer, Elliot Pomerance, to demolish stables and build four and five bedroom properties in Grove Lane, Chigwell.

The position of the houses were altered and designs changed  in an attempt to make the buildings fit in better with the surrounding area.

An original proposal was rejected by Epping Forest District Council because of the site’s protected status.

But the green belt boundaries are expected to be redrawn as part of the Local Plan to build 10,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

Explaining the parish council's decision, Planning Committee chairman Richard Alvin said: “The committee does not wish to be looking at the release of small sites from the green belt on an ad hoc basis.”

Cllr Alvin added: “The site is one we anticipate would be released in 2017 and at that point we feel it would be a sensible scheme for the site.

“The site could accommodate double or treble the number of dwellings of a smaller size and traffic movements for six houses would be far more acceptable than 12 or 18.”

Steven Cenci of the Grove Lane Residents' Group who oppose the plans because of the Green Belt restrictions and fears of heavty traffic flow in their road, said: "We are delighted with the objection from the committee.

"It seems like a stay of execution and we will now try to find another area of land to suggest for the plans which won't impact people living in the area." 

A final decision on the plans will be made at an Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting which is expected to take place on September 3 at Roding Valley High School in Brook Road, Loughton.