CONTROVERSIAL plans for 600 homes and a new primary school in Rochford have been given the go-ahead.

More than 100 people packed out Rochford’s council chamber as the proposals for the development on fields off Hall Road, Rochford, were discussed.

Councillors overwhelmingly voted in favour of the plans, despite passionate objections from residents.

Campaigner Brian Martin, from the West Rochford Action Group set up to oppose the plans, said the decision was a nightmare come true.

He said: “Talking to the council was like talking to a brick wall.

“But we are not finished and we are not giving up the fight.

“We will take it all the way to communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles.”

Among Mr Martin’s concerns is the increased volume of cars travelling along the road, which goes under a bridge into Hall Road.

He added: “Traffic is going to be hell, it is bad enough now.”

The council’s housing blueprint states there has to be 600 homes built in West Rochford before 2021. Officers said because of this, if they refused the plans, developers Bellway Homes could appeal and would probably get the decision overturned.

The outline plans do not include specific details, so it is not clear how many bedrooms the houses will have or what they will look like. However, it has been confirmed the development will include a bus route through the site, 574 houses and 27 flats, plus a public park.

Ian Croxford, who lives in Hall Road, spoke at the meeting on behalf of the West Rochford Action Group. He said the area was already too clogged up with cars and there was no room to improve the roads and therefore accommodate the extra traffic.

He said: “The objections we make are not nimby objections. We appreciate and accept our district must evolve and grow.

“In deciding on this application I would respectfully suggest avoid the easy option. If there is going to be growth it has to be done in a careful way. Hall Road is already, at peak times, over capacity.”

However, councillors voted 19 to eight to approve the plans.

The developers are now expected to come back with more detailed plans soon.