DEVELOPERS are planning to expand an industrial estate and build around 95 new homes.

It is hoped the expansion of Manor Trading Estate will also create up to 100 new jobs.

There are currently 97 business on site.

As well as an expansion, the estate in Armstrong Road, Benfleet, will be regenerated to repair and resurface the crumbling surfaces and broken drains.

Smart Planning, which represents the new owners of the estate, held a public meeting on Tuesday and yesterday at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley.

Business owner John Marchant, 48, said: “I’m all for the plans. If we can get better road surfaces and make our businesses more appealing to our customers, then great.

“But my concern is who is going to fit the bill for this and how much is it all going to cost? I also think we are not going to see a lot for our money for the first couple of years.”

Russell Forde, principal director of Smart Planning, confirmed planning applications will soon be lodged with Castle Point Council.

Residents, and parents whose children attend Robert Drake Primary School have expressed their concerns over extra traffic and noise, as well as their dismay over the clearance of four acres of greenbelt land last year.

The entrance to the housing development would run directly along side Robert Drake School out onto Church Road.

Joanna Sayer, 50, from Thundersley, said: “I am against the plans. We live close to the site just behind it. It was cleared last year and the council has done nothing about it. I am concerned that it seems the council is working with the developer instead of punishing the firm for clearing greenbelt.”

Mr Forde, said: “Smart Planning is working with the council to deliver this aspiration.

“The housing proposals are at a conceptual stage and it is intended that the proposal dovetail with the council’s strategic housing aspirations.”