Controversial and heavily opposed plans for 45 homes on green belt land are set for refusal after planners refused to give their backing.

Ahead of a meeting of Epping Forest District Council next week, officers have recommended that proposals by millionaire Giovanni Abella, a director of firm Salad UK, are turned down.

Mr Abella, who withdrew a similar application last year after a public campaign against it, hopes to build the homes – 18 of which would be “affordable” – in St Leonard’s Road, Nazeing.

The development, which has provoked anger and dismay from local residents, has seen packed public meetings and approximately 70 letters of opposition.

Councillors will take the final vote on the development next Wednesday (November 18).

The proposals, which would also include a multi-purpose hall, sports pitch and car park, have been slammed in public letters to the council.

Labelled as “purely a money making venture which will spoil the village”, concerns include the site’s location on a flood plain, possible negative impact on wildlife and the pressure that could be placed on local roads.

District council officers say it would be inappropriate on green belt land, unsustainable and unserved by public transport and would have “a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the countryside”.

They also claim that key maps showing the lay of the land have not been submitted by Mr Abella, who supplies vegetables to major supermarkets.

Despite the level of opposition, Nazeing Parish Council have given their support for the plans.

They have, however, made a list of 11 conditions they would request if permission is granted.

These include the applicant giving unused land on the site to the parish council for a new wildlife sanctuary, building a memorial to children killed in a Second World War bombing raid and potentially opening a new post office.

Mr Abella’s agents Hertford Planning Service have been contacted for comment.

The district council meeting next Wednesday runs from 7.30pm at the civic offices in Epping.