Campaigners against development projects in the Maldon district could have their rights to challenge planning rules severely restricted.

In a speech to the Confederation of British Industry, David Cameron said that the legal right to ask for a judge to review controversial planning decisions will be sharply curbed.

He said: “We urgently need to get a grip on this” and described many planning applications up for review as “pointless and vexatious”.

He also vowed to slash three-month consultation periods on future government policy proposals and reduce the time people can hear cases.

Burnham town councillor Jack Sheppard, who is currently urging residents to get behind a planning consultant to fight the plan for 450 new homes in the town, said he thought the idea was wrong.

He said: “That’s fine for him to say because he doesn’t have to challenge anything, he’s not going to have any awful buildings put up next to his house."

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