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CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a controversial seawall put up their own version to show people how it could look.

The Friends of Shoebury Common built its own 7ft mock-up out of chipboard around Uncle Tom’s Cabin yesterday, to give a glimpse at how big the proposed wall might be.

Southend Council wants to build the seawall to protect 500 homes across Shoebury Common from flooding, despite more than 80 per cent of residents opposing the plan.

Critics claim the wall will block sea views and used the chipboard mock-up to demonstrate.

Peter Lovett, 67, a member of the friends group, of Leitrim Avenue, Shoebury, said: “From my point of view, even we have been shocked at how big it is.

“We have at last been able to show the public what this wall is actually going to look like.”

Fellow member Peter Grubb, who runs Uncle Tom’s Cabin, where the mock up was situated, said: “It’s to illustrate the visual impact of the wall.

“A lot of people come in to see the plans we have displayed, but they don’t know what they are looking at.”

Southend Council expects to submit a planning application for the seawall in the next fewweeks.

The wall will come within 4m of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and block views of nearby beach huts, but although made of steel, wood panelling will soften its apperance.

Pedestrians will be able to access the seafront via steps and a ramp to the east of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

People at the seafront yesterday were against the wall being built.

Beach hut owner Ursula Ellis, 71, of Park Gardens, Hawkwell, said: “I thought this was supposed to be a democracy, 86 per cent of people were against it and the council still wants to go ahead.”

Fellow beach hut owner Ken Fosvery, 82, of Fortescue Chase, Thorpe Bay, said: “It’s just absolutelywasting council money.

"It’s just not needed.”

Southend Council said the seawall plan was likely to be decided on in the spring.