TWO councillors are locked in argument about how best to fight off plans for more than 100 new homes in a village.

A planning appeal has been held over proposals by Gladman Homes to build 118 homes off Wick Lane.

Both Tendring Council leader Neil Stock and his UKIP opponent Richard Everett are against the homes.

However, they are in battle over the best way to fight them.

Mr Stock says a new local plan - the blueprint for development - will lay out where homes can be built.

However, Mr Everett says he is fuelling speculative development.

Mr Everett says Tendring Council can already demonstrate a five year housing supply, which would make it harder for housing schemes to gain planning approval.

But Mr Stock disputes this saying the UKIP councillor’s opposition to Tendring’s Local Plan - the blueprint for development - is putting villages at risk.

He said settlements will be vulnerable to unwanted development without a local plan.

Both Mr Stock and Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin oppose the plans for the new homes in Ardleigh, as does Tendring Council which rejected the scheme last summer.

Ardleigh villagers are also up in arms about the proposed new homes saying they will increase the size of the village by 40 per cent.

Mr Everett, who spoke at the planning appeal, said he fears the village will lose its battle against the proposed new homes because Tendring Council said it doesn’t have a five year housing supply, a claim he is contesting.

He said: “If the Local Plan committee, which Neil Stock is chairman of, voted for a five year housing supply the objectors would have a chance of winning.

“Without it, they do not have much likelihood of success.”

Mr Stock (Con), however, hit back at the claims and said Mr Everett “did not know what he was talking about”.

The council leader instead accused Mr Everett of placing settlements at risk of unwanted development.

He added: “He’s objected to and opposed the Local Plan at every opportunity.

“It seriously risks these applications being successful. It has been explained to Mr Everett on numerous occasions how planning works. He doesn’t understand.

Ian Blackford, vice-chairman of Ardleigh Action Group, said in his view, the Wick Lane scheme was “unsustainable”.

He said the village’s infrastructure could not cope with the extra homes which were also unwanted by residents.

He added: “Ardleigh doesn’t need a development which increases the village by 40 per cent.

“That’s a completely unacceptable and ridiculous proposition.”