PLANS to create a huge Jehovah’s Witness base on the outskirts of Chelmsford could be scrapped if its planning application is not supported, it has been revealed.

The International Bible Students Association, the charity which manages Jehovah’s Witnesses’ printing and literature distribution, wants to create a new British headquarters on an 82-acre site at Temple Farm, off Ship Road, West Hanningfield.

The association agreed to buy the land from its current owners, the Small family, in December, as long as it gets planning permission for the project. in a deal is expected to exceed £10million.

Peter Black, the agent acting on behalf of the Small family, said: “If it goes ahead, it will only create benefits for the people of Chelmsford. It will look absolutely tremendous. I do feel though, if they can’t get the permission on the site to build, then I doubt they will go ahead with it at all.”

The association, which is also working closely with Chelmsford Council over the proposals, hope to reach a positive conclusion.

Steve Canning, from the association, said: “We are heartened by the positive response we have received from all parties to date, including neighbourhood residential groups and businesses – even the current occupiers of Temple Farm.

“Although there are many details still to resolve and finalise, it does appear that what is being proposed at this early stage will provide an ideal long term solution for the Temple Farm area.”

The Weekly News has been told a planning application for the site will be submitted “within the next few weeks”.