TOP-LEVEL talks are set to be held with the housing minister after furious residents banded together to hit back at an influx of housing.

Residents across Mistley, Lawford and Bradfield joined together to lobby for change after planning permission for more than 1,800 homes in the area was granted or is awaiting a decision.

The group raised concerns with Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin saying they want central Government policy changes to stop rogue land promoters getting planning by exploiting a loophole in the Local Plan and then selling planning permission to the highest bidder.

They also want affordable homes included in all developments, appeal decisions made by inspectors to be consistent, and infrastructure to be properly researched and improved.

Mr Jenkin said: “This was a very well presented but frank cry from the heart from some very well-informed residents from around the area, concerned about housing developments.

“I’ve received quite a few concerns of this kind. We’ve got a diary date to see the minister of housing, particularly about how inspectors decide there is a housing shortage in the area or shortage of housing land.

“How inspectors rule on appeals in the same area have been contradictory to each other. Different inspectors are giving different reasons for giving permission on appeal and some aren’t compatible with each other. It seems very unjust.”

A spokesman for the residents group, said: “We are encouraged to hear that Bernard Jenkin is following up the points we raised with the housing minister. We need some action from the housing minister to stop this free for all.”

Last month, two residents slammed council bosses for “a lack of action” they say has left the area open to a swarm of housing estates. Becca Kenneison and Rosemary Smith wrote to Tendring Council’s chief executive Ian Davidson to ask what he is doing to “alleviate problems” from houses given planning permission while the council has not put a new Local Plan in place. Their concerns include overcrowded roads, traffic jams, a lack of school places, and a need for more doctors and recreational facilities.

Neil Stock, leader of Tendring Council, responded publicly saying the council will fight against applications that are detrimental to the area.

But this week the women hit back at a reply from the council’s planning department saying a new plan should be in place in nine months’ time. In a written response, they said: “We are left in the Manningtree area with the prospect of a severe deterioration in the quality of community life.

“Regarding local facilities we asked about, it seems scarcely an adequate answer for you to tell us section 106 agreements and planning conditions will produce enough money.”

The pair have asked for costings and assurances the council is working with other bodies to ensure the quality of community life will be maintained.