“SHODDY” Castle Point Council maps are making it hard to make sense of an important planning strategy document, residents have complained.

The council called five public meetings to seek views and explain its Local Plan, which sets out where 4,000 homes are likley to be built between 2015 and 2031.

However, people who went along to the first meeting say maps put up by the council to illustrate the proposals did not include street names and left it unclear which roads would be affected.

Some say they had to resort to comparing the council maps with street maps on Google in an effort work out which areas would be built on.

Sandra Smith, 70, of Thundersley Park Road, said she was very disappointed after attending the first session, at the council’s Thundersley offices, on Tuesday.

She said there was just one large-scale map and it failed to clearly identify the development areas .

She added: “I think, with a project of this size, the council should be doing all it can to make this easy for residents to understand.

“Instead, I am having to go out of my way to mark where I live on the map.

“I had to use Google Maps to do it, but I’m sure a lot of older people either won’t have the internet, or won’t know how to search for their home on it.”

Mrs Smith and her husband, Leonard, are particularly concerned 200 homes could be built on land between Felstead Road and Catherine Road, which is close to their home.

Mr Smith said: “I think access to the A13 is something which needs to be addressed, as traffic on Bread and Cheese Hill is bad enough at times already. If there are hundreds more homes, then the traffic will be terrible.

“There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.”

Mark Baillieul, 32, of Warren Chase, Thundersley, was also disappointed by what he saw at the meeting.

He said: “I came because I didn’t know how this directly affected my parents, who recently moved to the area, but this map isn’t helping answer any questions.”