A CONTROVERSIAL bypass through Thundersley could be scrapped, putting plans for a housing estate in jeopardy.

More than 72 acres of green belt land, east of Rayleigh Road, had been earmarked for 430 homes as part of Castle Point Council’s draft local plan.

Investigations were under way into whether a new road could be built between Stadium Way, on the Rayleigh Weir industrial estate and Daws Heath Road, to ease congestion.

Now some councillors are rejoicing after Essex County Council’s highways boss Rodney Bass refused to support the scheme during a visit to assess the borough’s struggling infrastructure.

Colin Riley, Conservative councillor for Victoria ward, said the double mini roundabout at the Woodmans Arms was already congested.

He added: “The traffic over the bank holiday was horrendous.

There is no reason for a road to go right through from Stadium Way to Daws Heath Road and it is good news for us Rodney Bass agrees with us.

“If we can’t get support from highways then surely we will have to reconsider this site.”

The land is one of 13 key sites included in Castle Point Council’s draft local plan which could pave the way for 4,000 new homes by 2031.

Planners at County Hall are carrying out studies into improving traffic along Rayleigh Road, between Rayleigh Weir, and Victoria House Corner roundabouts, to cope with future housing.

This could see the double roundabout and zebra crossings at the Woodmans Arms replaced with traffic lights in a £236,000 overhaul. Councillors claim this is being prompted by renewed interest from developer Barratt Homes who previously wanted to put 750 homes on the Thundersley site.

However, fellow Tory councillor Simon Hart, who represents Victoria ward, said he still intends to fight the housing plans at every turn.

Mr Hart said: “This bypass cannot be allowed to happen.

“I am totally against it cutting right through residential development.

“It will create a rat run to Leigh, Westcliff and Southend.

Rodney Bass says the Stadium Way junction is at capacity and cannot take any extra traffic, which is what we have been saying.

Mr Bass said: “This was a private meeting where I visited a number of locations.

“My personal views were expressed on a number of proposals.

I will now have these examined formally by officers.

“It is also unhelpful for local councillors to speculate on these issues before we have reached definitive conclusions.”