RESIDENTS celebrated last night after plans to build 350 homes on green belt land in Chadwell St Mary were refused.

Members of the Stop Heath Place Development group whooped for joy and could be heard shouting “thank you” from the public gallery at the Thurrock Council development meeting after members threw out the proposal for the homes on land north of Godman Road.

The night started with nearly 80 campaigners parading banners and chanting “no building on our green belt” outside the Civic Offices in Grays.

The group then packed the public gallery and cheered councillor Barbara Rice and resident Angela Ruff as they told the chamber in no uncertain terms why the development shouldn’t be allowed.

Campaigners have fought the application for the best part of a year, and in December handed in a petition against the development 1,500 names strong to the council in December.

Last month, a campaign group in Corringham were also successful after plans to build 800 homes on green belt land in the town were rejected.

For the full report and reaction, see next week’s Gazette.