A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build 13 new homes opposite a pub in Althorne has been refused contrary to planning officers' recommendation for approval.

An application to build eight affordable apartments and five detached market houses opposite The Three Horseshoes pub in Burnham Road was refused at a Maldon District Council planning committee meeting last night.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: The proposed street scenesThe proposed street scenes

Plans also included three new accesses on to Burnham Road, private drives, vehicle parking and manoeuvring areas, gardens and landscaping.

Read more: Bid for homes opposite pub in Althorne spark objections

The bid sparked a string of objections for reasons including it being outside the village envelope, infrastructure, flooding, and it being "over-development" for the size of the site.

A resident raised some of the concerns at the council meeting.

He said: "This application is unsustainable with flawed housing and inadequate sewage disposal."

Althorne Parish councillor Terry Inkpen also voiced similar concerns at the meeting.

Mr Inkpen said: "The whole of Althorne is unsustainable anyway as evidenced by the fact that in Althorne from 2013 to 2017 there have been 22 applications for new dwellings, 17 in total were refused including ten after appeals.

"In all except one unsustainable location was one of the reasons for rejection."

Planning officers recommended approval of the application due to it being "acceptable in principle, overall" taking into account the "substantial benefits".

In particular the volume of affordable housing proposed would "weigh heavily in favour of the development", officers said.

The applicant's agent added: "I accept that Althorne isn't the most sustainable location, the report makes that point it accepts it and so do I, but that isn't a killing bow I don't think, I think you have to balance that against all of the benefits arising from the scheme.

"Your officers have weighed those benefits in that planning balance and consider that it tilts in favour of granting planning permission."

After debating the bid members of the committee voted to refused the plans.