A PETITION has been launched calling for a vote of no confidence in Rochford Council.

It was created by the Rochford Supporters, a group opposed to a planned development in Ashingdon Road.

Developers want to build 660 homes on the site but campaigners have lodged significant concerns on ecological and traffic grounds.

To date, about 260 letters of opposition have been sent to the council.

Melanie English, who set up Rochford Supporters, claimed residents have lost faith in the council.

She said: “[Council leader] Mike Steptoe and the council have not responded to 261 residents’ letters.

“We haven’t even had an acknowledgement from them. The lack of confidence is clear to see. The council is able to take the land out of the core strategy; they have the ability to do that.

“This needs to be done on Ashingdon Road. The infrastructure is currently not there.”

Ms English added: “When we were drafting it, the council advised us that there is no formal review of the core strategy as it will be replaced by the new local plan .

“Just saying that they will carry it forward into the new local plan is not good enough.

“If the overdevelopment of Rochford is continued, it will cause material economic damage to the district and impact many aspects of residents’ lives.”

The campaigner added: “Mark Francois may get involved again, but his hands are tied.We’ve got plenty in the pipeline. Our arsenal is ready.”

A Rochford District Council spokesman said: “The council’s local development plan consists of a number of documents which were adopted between 2011 and 2015. This plan covers a period to 2025 and sets out the infrastructure required to support new developments and how this will be funded.

“The council has been actively working on preparing a new local plan to replace its existing development plan documents and undertook an ‘Issues and Options’ public consultation in early 2018.

“The council expects to adopt its new Local Plan by 2022.”

To view the petition, go to https://bit.ly/2VlTk1j.