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A new proposed four-storey housing development has been branded “ridiculous” by a local councillor and a residents’ campaign.

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The plans are to knock down the Breakthru Church and house currently on the site, and replace them with a block of 18 flats.

Residents have united to fight the plans, which have not yet been formally submitted to Brentwood Council.

Cllr Mike le-Surf said: “We are very concerned at this proposal and what’s on the table as it would be a massive overdevelopment of the area.

“Primrose Hill is one of the loveliest little streets in Brentwood, with lovely houses. It doesn’t need another massive development next to it.

“It is ridiculous, as it will be double the height of what is already there.”

Jennifer Daly, who lives next door to the church, said: “We have started the campaign for a sensible development to demonstrate to the developer the strength of local feeling against what they are proposing for the development of the Crown Street/Primrose Hill junction site.”

She said they were against the planned flats because of their height, light, invasion of privacy, construction, and the parking and congestion issues for existing residents.

‘Change character’

Ms Daly added: “They would both drastically and detrimentally change the character of the local area on a site currently occupied by the church built in 1845, a house and car parking.”

Dean Kitchener, pastor at the church, said his congregation had outgrown the church and were seeking new premises.

He is working with project managers Provision on the plans.

He said: “We are trying to balance the needs of the church with the views of the neighbours and working within the planning guidelines.”

Provision held a meeting last week to show residents the plans. Simon Brenchley, the firm’s managing director, said: “The meeting was held to engage with the community and to offer an opportunity to hear any concerns so that we could consider them.”

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