Councillors have given the go-ahead for 160 new homes in Little Dunmow - despite fears it will lead to two communities merging.

Concerns were voiced that the development at Moors Fields, off Station Road, in Little Dunmow, would effectively join up Little Dunmow and the large development of Flitch Green.

Uttlesford District Council planning committee heard how the current sewage capacity was insufficient but that was a problem between the developer Catesby Land and Planning Limited and Anglian Water.

Of the 160 new homes proposed, up to 64 will be affordable housing.

The plans also include creation of a new 100 sq m building as an office hub to provide a local workplace, enable remote working and help reduce the need for future occupiers to travel to work.

Approximately eight hectares of the site will be open space and include a new countryside park, allotments, community orchard, new play areas, and a circular walking and cycling trial.

Councillor Geoff Bagnall said: “The building is in Little Dunmow and yet the building is up against Flitch Green. If that is not coalescence I don’t know what is.”

Councillor Judy Emanuel said: “I like the country park, I like the large landscape buffer – we are short of country parks – we don’t have any in Uttlesford so it would be positive to have one.

“But that said I think it is coalescence.”

Councillor Melvin Caton felt it was a sustainable location but added: “We won’t be able to resist development everywhere and it seems to me we have to choose the ones which are the least worst option and this seems to me to be the least worst option.”

Anglian Water said it had no objection to the development but warns there is currently not enough capacity to treat the sewage flows from the development site.

A bid to find a solution is currently taking place.

Planning officer Nigel Brown said: “The developer at the end of the day needs to put their hand in their pocket which is what is going to be happening between the developer and Anglian Water.”