Almost 500 residents have signed a petition opposing a planning application to build 93 flats in Chipping Ongar.

Plans for the development in Greensted Road were submitted to Epping Forest District Council in November of last year.

The proposals would see a residential development of 93 homes, in buildings up to three-storeys tall, with open space, car parking and landscaping.

In documents submitted to the council, the applicant claims the development will provide a mix of one bed, two bed, three bed and four bed homes, 40 per cent of which will be affordable.

The plans will be not go before the the council until March at the earliest.

A petition set up by the Ongar Residents Against the Planned Greensted Road Development group has so far amassed almost 500 signatures.

Epping Forest Guardian: The proposed site in Greensted Road, Chipping Ongar. Photo: Google MapsThe proposed site in Greensted Road, Chipping Ongar. Photo: Google Maps

The petition states: “Ongar residents deserve better. Officers and our elected councillors must and can respect the rural character of Chipping Ongar when approving new development and provide the well-designed homes respecting the local character, with detail meeting each neighbourhood’s particular needs.

“Chipping Ongar is a small rural historic town of medieval origins surrounded outlying settlements in the countryside. It is not an urban or suburban area or part of a London Borough.

“This will be a blight on the landscape and cramped living conditions for generations to come.”

The 3.3 hectares Green belt site has been allocated for development in the local plan which is awaiting approval from the planning inspectorate.

The site, which is adjacent to Chipping Ongar Primary School, is currently made up of redundant paddocks, previously used for agriculture and animal grazing.

Planning documents set out plans for the development to include ‘biodiversity enhancement areas’ to provide habitats for wildlife. These areas include wetland habitats, meadow grasslands, tree and thicket planting, reptile hibernaculas and bug hotels.

A play area has also been proposed for children under the age of six with timber play equipment along a footpath and ‘natural play elements’ such as boulders and logs.