RESIDENTS are rejoicing after an appeal to build a new housing estate in Little Thurrock was thrown out by the planning inspectorate.

A week-long appeal hearing took place last month after developers launched a bid against the council’s decision to oppose the plans.

And now the plans, which would have seen 280 homes built on Little Thurrock Marshes, have been kicked out.

Residents launched a fiercely fought campaign against the plans and celebrated when they were initially rejected in June 2017.

Chairman of Thurrock Park residents committee, Tony Coughlin, welcomed the news.

He said: “This is a clear victory for the people of Thurrock Park, Little Thurrock and Thurrock as a borough.

“We have seen enough of our land being built on, both on green belt and on much valued open space.

“Enough is enough. I would like to thank Thurrock Council, in supporting our cause during this appeal, as well as the Thurrock council planning committee rejecting the original application in 2017, and Thurrock Gazette in highlighting our plight and cause in recent months.

“We accept there is a demand for housing in the area, we are not Nimbys, but campaigning on the side of what is right.

“Who in there right mind would want to build 280 residential dwellings on a flood plain, on green belt, adjacent and within 50 yards of the A1089 which already has high pollution levels along its corridor, and all extra traffic via Churchill road which is already busy.

“This has been a long campaign from end to end taking over two years from when the original application was made, to this week and the success has only been achieved by a robust, consistent and clear campaign and, above all, local residents working together for the good of the area.”

The residents’ campaign centred on the loss of green belt which proved a sticking point at the appeal stage as well.

The appeal decision letter read: “There is no dispute that apart from a small portion of land on the western side, the appeal site is located in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It was agreed that the proposals would be inappropriate development and therefore, by definition, harmful to the GB. The main issue is whether the harm by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm would be clearly outweighed by other considerations.”