MORE than 220 furious residents have objected to plans to build 78 homes on land near a town beauty spot.

It comes as the Witham Chamber of Commerce, which represents 165 businesses, says it will be objecting to the River View plans.

Tina Townsend, the leader, said: “We’re not objecting to the idea that the houses need to be built but we are objecting to where they want to build them.

“You have to think that 78 homes is going to bring more than 100 cars to area and the roads just simply will not be able to cope - it’s just a step too far. It’ll become a concrete jungle and I don’t think that’s what anyone wants to see.”

A group of more than 800 members campaigning against the plans have hit out at the developer’s claim the River Walk won’t be affected.

Rebekah McGrane, one founder member, said: “While we are aware the Gimsons site is not actually part of the River Walk, Bellway’s proposed extension of the road at River View will cut straight across the public footpath that many residents use to access the River Walk on a daily basis.

“That path is frequented by children on bicycles, people exercising their dogs off the lead, and residents of Helen Court enjoying some fresh air in their wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

“Bellway may now have added a small crossing to their plans, but the footpath will be unprotected along the entire length of the road meaning it will no longer be safe for the vast majority of users.”

Witham Town Council has called on Braintree Council to consider the application in Witham after objecting to bid and recommending it be refused.

Meanwhile, the district council has responded to concerns about it agreeing to sell a piece of land to provide access to the site for £1.8 million. It would only go ahead if permission is given.

A spokesman said: “We sell land on a regular basis to housing developers that is subject to planning permission being granted.

“As a land owner, cabinet make the decisions on land sales on behalf of the council and the planning department determine planning applications which is a statutory function of local authorities.

“The two processes are dealt with separately.”