Proposals for new homes have sparked fears that a village could become overdeveloped.

The proposal to build 17 houses on the site of Winterdale Manor in Southminster Road, Althorne, has caused concern from residents in the surrounding the area, with one saying “Sadly our lovely Essex villages are going, never to be replaced.”

Anne Bailey, who objected to the plans, said: “With the extra housing in Burnham, usage of our junction and road and the T-junction at Fords corner will be increased tremendously making crossing the road extremely dangerous.

“Speed of traffic down Summer Hill often exceeds the speed limit.

“Traffic down Button Hill has no speed limit, making the junction very dangerous.”

The plans are to build nine two-bedroom homes, five three-bedroom detached properties and three four-bedroom detached homes.

A previous application for the site, which is currently being used as offices, was refused by Maldon District Council three years ago.

A spokesman for 2M Architects, designers of the development, said: “Back in 2015 an outline planning application for residential use was submitted and one of the planning comments made was that the proposed scheme was an ‘unwelcome visual intrusion into the open countryside’.

“However this site is hardly in the ‘open countryside’ as it is bordered by other residential properties and a car repair unit. In fact, if there was one eyesore in this part of Althorne, it has to be said that this title should be give to the car repair yard.

“There have, and continue to be, schemes built in the district that fulfil the criteria of being ‘in the open countryside’ far more than the site under consideration here.”

The application for the development had been made by Clint Bardwell, who has lived in Althorne for around 20 years. Bidwells, who represent Mr Bardwell’s business, Bardwell Plant and Agricultural Services, said he has a “vested interest” in providing more homes for people in the area.

A spokesman said: “The current proposal is considered to address the issues that the council raised in their pre-application response on a separate proposal.

“In summary, the proposal would lead to the effective use of a brownfield site in a sustainable location, provide much needed housing in the area including smaller units, evidence has been submitted to address the loss of employment and the impact on the area is acceptable.”