FURIOUS residents have vowed to continue the fight against a controversial 500-home development... despite work having already started.

Developer, Countryside, has started infrastructure works on the site on the edge of Rayleigh, known as Wolsey Park.

The 115 acre site has planning permission for 500 homes, 35 per cent of which are affordable, and has been carefully designed around a landscape-led masterplan.

The new estate will sit north of London Road.

But campaigners who have long-opposed the plans and are refusing the give up the fight.

Ellen Dickson, 44, said: “It should never have gone ahead in the first place.

“The size of this development is a town, not just a few houses.

“Rayleigh and Rochford will not be able to cope with this huge influx of unnecessary housing.

“It is just not right.”

Margaret Perry, 77, said the whole community is preparing to fight off the proposals.

The grandmother-of-three said: “We simply cannot sit back and let this happen.

“It is far too many houses for this piece of land and part of the area.

“Our message is, we will do anything we can to stop this going ahead.

“There are some rumours of a protest but I don’t know any more yet.”

Construction is due to start shortly on the first 192 homes which will comprise a combination of one- to five- bed homes.

A developer spokesman said: “As part of the development, Countryside will invest significantly in services and infrastructure.

“This will be used for primary and secondary school improvements, the provision of youth facilities, new sports pitches, local highway works and improvements to the operation of Rawreth Brook.

Andrew Carrington, managing director of housebuilding, Strategic Land, Countryside, said: “We are delighted to begin construction work on Wolsey Park. Once complete, the development will deliver a wide range of much needed new homes in an attractive parkland setting.”