DOZENS of affordable homes could be built in a village after a housing group submitted official plans to council bosses.

Greenfields Community Housing is seeking outline planning permission to build 86 homes on brownfield land off Bovingdon Road, Bocking.

The site in question has been used as farmland and skip storage in the past, and was also once home to a mill built by the Courtauld family.

Greenfields, which is based in Braintree, says it hopes to allocate 90 per cent of the new builds as affordable housing.

Exact details of the scheme will be put together if outline permission is granted by Braintree Council, but Greenfields says a mix of apartments, houses and bungalows would be built, all offering between one to three bedrooms.

Parking for each property would be provided, along with storage space for bikes and household waste.

Pre-application consultations, including public drop-in sessions, have been staged earlier this year and the applicant says key concerns such as the impact on the environment and development in the countryside have been addressed. Despite admitting those concerns may remain, Greenfields insist the benefits of the new housing outweigh the negatives and the plans should be given the green light.

A planning statement said: “The very modest level of harm is inevitable if the council is to meet anything like its full needs for market and affordable housing as set out in its emerging plan.

“Against this low level of harm is the opportunity to deliver very substantial benefits, in the form of much needed affordable and market housing, new transport opportunities and a long-term boost to the vitality of Bocking.

“The applicant has shown these harms cannot be said to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the very substantial public benefits to permitting new homes in this location.”

Greenfields is aiming to build 1,800 affordable homes by 2025 and has pledged to spend £73 million renovating some of its existing 8,500 properties in Essex and Suffolk.

It is also in discussions with fellow housing group Colne Housing over plans to form a partnership which will see the two firms spend £500m on providing further affordable homes in East Anglia.