A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build more than 230 homes in the countryside on the outskirts of Burnham has been turned down.

Developers wanted the go-ahead for 233 homes as phase two of the Burnham Waters retirement community.

Phase one was granted planning permission in 2019.

The latest proposals included 133 new bungalows, 100 apartments and a community building.

The developers said there was a "significant need" for more housing for the elderly.

Agent Stuart Row said: "The first phase of the retirement community was approved in 2019 because the council recognised that it could not provide for the significant numbers of its elderly population in allocated sites which are controlled by large housebuilders who don't build retirement homes.

"Precisely the same planning policy circumstances that applied in 2019 remain in effect now and those same policies support this second phase which will further assist in meeting the continuing acute need for retirement homes in this district."

READ MORE: More than 120 objections to 230 extra homes at Burnham retirement village

Maldon District Council planning officers had recommended the plans for approval ahead of last night's meeting.

Their report said: "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."

There was a 200-name petition backing the development.

But more than 120 people had objected to the homes and the planning committee rejected the proposals.