A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build more than 230 new retirement homes on the outskirts of Burnham will go before planners next week.

Work is starting on the new Burnham Waters retirement community which was given planning permission last October.

It includes 103 bungalows for the over-55s, a 70-bed care home, 55 assisted living apartments, shops, a medical centre and sports facilities including a swimming pool.

The retirement village is being built on a site north west of the B1010 Maldon Road.

It split public opinion, with more than 50 objections and almost 70 letters of support.

One objector claimed Burnham was "under siege" from developers, but supporters said the new surgery would help ease the pressure on existing services.

Now developers want the go-ahead to build a second phase on fields bordering the north and east of the first site.

The proposals include 132 new bungalows, 100 apartments and a "multi-use community building".

The latest proposed homes would share the same access road from the B1010 as the original site.

But there have been more than 120 objections to the plans.

One said: "The application is an outrageous attempt by the developer to increase their capacity and profit now the original development has been agreed.

"Burnham cannot take any more development whether it is for family or retirement communities as our infrastructure just cannot cope.

Another said: "Surely there is not enough infrastructure to cope with any more buildings within Burnham on Crouch.

"We already have problems with the amount of traffic and the state of the roads which will only increase with still more properties on the outskirts of the town because there is only one way into or out of Burnham."

But the proposals are recommended for approval when they go before Maldon District Council's planning committee next Wednesday.

A council report says: "The development has been assessed as being acceptable in principle, overall, taking into account the substantial benefits of the proposal which would outweigh the harm the development would cause to the character and appearance of the area and the limits on accessibility.

"In particular, the provision of specialist housing for the elderly, which Maldon district residents would be given priority to, would weigh heavily in favour of the development.

"There would also be notable economic benefits generated.

"The development is not anticipated to cause material harm to the amenity of the occupiers of existing residents, highway safety or nature conservation. The development has also been found to be satisfactory in terms of flood risk and drainage."

The developers say work on phase two will not start until phase one is significantly delivered, including all community

facilities, services and buildings, if the plans get the go-ahead.

The planning committee meeting is on Wednesday at 7.30pm.