The director of a huge new retirement village was “overwhelmed” after the proposal got the thumbs-up.

Think Green Land’s new 238-bed retirement community on a site off Maldon Road, Burnham was given approval by a majority of councillors after a long and controversial application process.

Despite opposition from Burnham Town Council and ward members on Maldon District Council, the plans were given the green light.

Ian Holloway, project director of the development, was delighted as he saw the proposal passed.

He said: “Clearly, we are pleased with the outcome of the council meeting last week but perhaps more importantly were overwhelmed with the level of support we received for our project from the local community.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to progress the development and look forward to working closely with all key stakeholders to ensure timely delivery.

“We remain very focussed on delivering an environment of truly exceptional quality with care to match such that is not yet available in the UK.”

The developers said they had worked “collaboratively” with the council on delivering the plans, satisfying the needs of the planning officers who recommended the retirement village for approval.

The site will include a small array of shops, leisure facilities and a medical centre which will be used by residents of the 103 bungalows, a 70-bed care home and 55-unit independent living building.

The development will also be fitted with solar panels and electric car charging points to make the site more sustainable and reduce costs for residents.

A spokesman for Think Green Land told councillors at the planning committee the plans were in keeping with the “homegrown need in the district” to accommodate the over-55s, adding that “67 per cent of Maldon’s population growth in the next 15 years, will be in the over-65 age group”.

The spokesman said: “The recommendation for approval represented a culmination of 18 months of collaboration between the council’s officers and the applicant’s planning and design team.

“There is an acute homegrown need in the district for elderly persons’ accommodation. This is not a small or a medium-size need, it is very significant.

“A number of issues brought up by officers were addressed, not just addressed but positively addressed.”

The plans were passed by a majority of councillors.