AS planners are asking where in the district an estimated 10,000 extra homes should go, a developer has put in a bid to build 166 of them.

Brian Sheridan has applied for planning permission to construct the homes on the site of a nursery off Pick Hill in Waltham Abbey, as people are being asked where development should go over the next 20 years as part of its Local Plan.

His plans also include a new health centre and pharmacy for the plot at Knollys Nursery, as well as parking, access roads and a green for residents.

But residents fear the development would put pressure on nearby roads and drainage and rob them of open space.

Charles Brand, 83, of Pick Hill, said: “We’re against it. For a start, the little road could not take the traffic.

“The road that goes around our estate is so narrow, the bus has a job to get through.

“The open space is lovely. I bought this house 10 years ago because of it.”

Neighbour Margaret Radley, 76, said: “It’s terrible. All the lovely open countryside is why we moved here.

“The extra traffic will be a problem. The medical centre will mean more traffic. There’s enough that goes up this road as it is.”

John Macaulay, 73, added: “It’s all part of the green belt. It’s a nice little lane and people walk their children and dogs there.

“That will be the first lot (of houses) and then they’ll want to develop the rest of the site.”

Tony Draper, 69, also of Pick Hill, said: “I don’t know about the drainage, because I flood here sometimes. I think the drainage will be a problem.”

Mike Smith, 69, of Waltham Abbey Residents’ Association, said the site was at risk of flooding and the surrounding roads would not be able to cope with extra traffic.

He is urging people in the town not to take part in the Local Plan consultation, which he called “un-democratic”.

“You’re given no facts,” he added. “All we’re told is that maybe they’re going to build some houses and my reaction is great – how many and where? What infrastructure are you going to put in?”

He said the town had been categorised as ‘deprived’ in the document and people feared this could lead to it becoming a ghetto for social housing.

No-one from Mr Sheridan’s planning agents, LM Associates, has yet been available for comment.

  •  The Local Plan consultation closes on October 15 and can be seen clicking here .

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