AN estate agents has backed a campaign to stop a 660-home housing estate from being built.

Acasa Estates Agents, a Rochford based company, have bought and installed 200 large signs, which oppose the planned development on the busy Ashingdon Road, in Rochford.

Residents have been outraged with the plans, with the estate agents the first company to get involved in the fight, with traffic and environmental concerns being cited as the main sticking points.

A petition for a vote of no confidence in Rochford District Council, set up by the Rochford Supporters Group, has reached 1,500 signatures, meaning it has to be discussed at a full council meeting.

Mike Steptoe, leader of Rochford Council, hit back at the petition, rejecting the calls to stop the homes being built.

Hugo Rodrigues, the owner of Acasa Estate agents, told the Echo that the estate agents want to make a real difference in the community.

The 35 year-old said: “The signs do not make sense for our business, but it makes sense for the community.

“We’re hoping that because we’re an estate agents, it has a positive effect on the campaign.

“When it comes to the development, there’s no common sense and it’s stupid.

“It doesn’t add anything to the town. There are no new schools or GP surgeries and the road runs right through the town. It’s baffling.”

The boss added: “It’s a worthwhile campaign and I wanted to get involved.

“We want what’s best for the community and the residents.

“I live and work in the town. I care about the people in this town.

“It’s not fair on residents.”

Melanie English, the organiser of the campaign, said they’re delighted with the estate agents’ support, adding: “It’s ironic that an estate agents are opposing houses being built.

“They came forward and wanted to put the signs up.

“They’re a member of the group and have signed the petition.

“All the signs are along Ashingdon Road. That’s what they wanted to do.

“The petition shows what can happen when the community comes together. You get results.

“Everyone’s hard work has paid off and it’s great to see.

“I keep hearing that we’re the talk of the town at the moment, we’re at the height of discussions.

“Reading between the lines, we’re making a real difference.”