A controversial planning application for more than 100 homes on Devonshire Road has been given the go-ahead despite concerns over a severe lack of local health services.

The proposal to build 102 homes on Devonshire Road, South Stifford, was deferred in August after concerns were raised over the shortage of GP services and dentists.

Thurrock’s planning committee met on Thursday evening to discuss the application again and this time gave it the go-ahead after agreeing that a contribution of £40,000 should be made towards the health centre in Grays.

The contribution has been agreed on despite a planning report released ahead of the meeting clearly stating: “The council cannot reasonably or lawfully accept contributions at this time towards local healthcare facilities.”

Michelle Peters, a resident living on Moore Avenue near Devonshire Road said: “It’s the same old story, the big people get what they want and the little people don’t. We are going to suffer with the lack of health services here.”

Thurrock Council failed to comment on the application last week after it was revealed that the applicant appeared to have started work on the site without planning permission. Developer Bellway Homes said it was “pre-commencement work” for ecology and is positive for the area.