PLANS FOR a 'monstrous' retirement block in which residents would be like 'inmates' has been rejected at odds with officers' suggestion.

Last night (April 18) Epping Forest District Councillors went against officers' advice and voted down proposals to build 184 bedrooms across 105 apartments on Alderton Hill, Loughton.

The councillors' objections followed 208 letters calling for the proposals to be binned with only 28 in support.

Of those in favour of the build, 13 were from addresses outside of Loughton, three of which have ties to development companies and estate agents.

Cllr Chris Roberts said: "This development is an obvious overdevelopment of the site.

"The layout, density and design are too high, too big, too bulky and too ugly, not in keeping with the area.

"Alderton Hill is a road with various styles of high-end homes. They all have one thing in common. Each one is a high end family home.

"The size of this project will negatively impact upon resident's privacy with insufficient parking for the number of flats."

Had they been successful, the applicants would build linked blocks of apartments with integrated care facilities and supporting amenity facilities, 64 car spaces in 'undercroft parking' at the rear and south side of the block.

Cllr Judy Jennings found issue with the development's size and its car parking provisions

She said: "It seems to me the residents should be called inmates of this rather monstrous block.

"The plans ask for 51 (car parking) spaces for residents, 11 for staff.

"If you have people coming all day long servicing these flats, cooking, laundry, medical provisions I cannot see that these 11 parking spaces are in anyway sufficient.

"I have never seen so many objections and so strong objections (to an application)."