CONTROVERSIAL plans for 115 homes that were put on ice over concerns about protected bats and newts have been recommended for approval.

Tendring Council deferred a decision over the development in Robinson Road, Brightlingsea, following a meeting of its planning committee last month.

Councillors said they did not have enough information about protected species, including great crested newts and bats.

Although initial wildlife habitat surveys had been carried out, the committee did not feel they went far enough and called for more work to be done.

Natural England had no objection to the application but during a visit to the site the committee were made aware of a great crested newt thought to have been hibernating in the area.

There were also concerns about a loss of a hedgerow, a second access being created as part of the scheme, the ability of Robinson Road to take the extra traffic and the size of some of the new gardens.

Hopkins Homes wants to build 115 properties, along with garages, access roads, parking and a public open space.

The plans attracted 24 objections but are recommended for approval.

They are due to go before Tendring Council at a later date.