A huge retirement community received the green light to be built in Burnham.

The polarising 238-bed community for the over-55s off Maldon Road was approved by majority, despite opposition from many councillors and the public.

The development, proposed by construction company Think Green Land will include 103 bungalows, a 70-bed care home, 55-unit independent living building, shops, sports facilities and a new medical centre.

Adrian Fluker, leader of Maldon District Council will only have "one chance" to build a community like it.

He said: "My mother is now in her 90s, she lived in Burnham for 70s and now in my annexe and she is isolated.

"Wherever I go with her, dropping her off at various clubs and collecting her, I hear about isolation all the time, isolation applies no matter what community you are living in.

"Maldon may be the right place but from an economic point of view, the Genie is out of the bottle.

"The officers say this site is sustainable and if this is not approved the next application on this site could look like 300 or 400 houses and we will never get what our local development plan needs to achieve.

"We need to look after the elderly in our district and this would be for the people in the district.

"We have one chance to deliver something like this in this district, and this is it."

Concerns were raised about the site which sits outside the development boundary for Maldon district.

Heybridge West councillor, Miriam Lewis said the plans drove a "coach and horses" through the district's development plan.

She added: ""I think that I can see value in this development, where I am struggling is that I cannot see value in it being so far from the rest of the community.

"We are doing such an awful lot to engage communities and I wondered if there were any way around that."

The application has received opposition from many including representatives from Essex County Council and the NHS in the past.

Dale Evans, Essex County Council’s head of older people’s commissioning warned the development would be much better suited in Maldon, as the current site's "isolated location increases the risk of voids, social isolation for customers and risks to care delivery."

Stephen Savage, councillor for Maldon East, said: "Settlement outside the building area cannot happen? Oh yes it can.

"Maldon's garden suburb is outside the building area in its entirety, and it expands three parishes.

"As a Maldon Town councillor I would love to have something like this in Maldon, but we have built on Maldon now, and there is no space to take this.

"I see no reason why I should not support this plan."