A SHOWGROUND boss who has been hosting events for more than 25 years has been told to take down his marquee.

The site, at Battlesbridge Antiques Centre, is now facing a planning battle following complaints from disgruntled residents.

The showground first became home to a classic car and motorbike show in 1987 and has since become a venue for sports events, displays and camping.

Money was ploughed into updating showers and installing caravan hook-ups in 2012 in preparation for the London Olympics, and owner Jim Gallie also splashed out on a luxury marquee which is popular for weddings.

Three years ago he decided to apply for a permanent licence to allow events to take place on Battlesbridge Showground all year round.

The permanent licence was finally granted at appeal following complaints from a handful of residents, who were concerned about a rise in the number of shows taking place and the disruption this could cause.

Last year Chelmsford Council issued an enforcement notice on the luxury marquee on the land, off Maltings Road. Residents noticed it was kept up constantly, which means it should require full planning permission.

Mr Gallie has now submitted applications to Chelmsford Council asking to keep the marquee and carry on using the showground.

He is willing to accept restrictions on show times, the type of events he hosts and noise control in a bid to ease concerns and stop the complaints.

Mr Gallie said: “We don’t see the point in having to take the marquee down because it's going to be very time consuming to keep taking it down and putting it back up.

“We are willing to have conditions put on us by the council to ease residents concerns. We are not going to have a nightclub on site every night.

We are going to carry on as we have been doing for 25 years.”