Residents of are distraught after a controversial planning application to build a two-bedroom home on a green was approved.

The scheme, on a green between Handle Road and May Avenue, Canvey, was approved by the Castle Point planning committee after a vote narrowly in favour.

Five Canvey Independent councillors voted against the applications, while five Conservative councillors voted in favour.

Conservative councillor, Chas Mumford abstained, leaving the casting vote to the chairman of the committee, Conservative Benfleet councillor, Simon Hart, who voted in favour.

One of the councillors who voted against the planning application, Dave Blackwell, was left fuming at the outcome.

He said: “This was an application that should never have been approved.

“This area is a critical drainage area and that was not taken into account by the committee.

“In my opinion, this land is still owned by Essex County Council and not by the person that the officers say.

“This decision has put all our green spaces at risk by land speculators and I am hoping that the county council will contest the ownership of the land.

“They won’t be able to build on the area unless they buy it so it’s not cut and dried just yet and we will fight as much as we need to.

“In my opinion, there shouldn’t be anymore development on Canvey until the drainage is sorted and I fear that this will be the first of many areas that land grabbers will try and get.”

Mr Blackwell also went on to offer an update on the Virgin Media situation that also had residents of Handle Road up in arms.

Freshly laid paving is set to be dug up again in order to install fibre-optic cables along the road, despite no one in Handle Road wanting Virgin Media installed in their house.

Although nothing has been announced, Mr Blackwell was optimistic that the media giants would back out of the work.

He said: “I had a meeting on Saturday with the communications director, the contractors and the county council

“I raised the point of Article 58 which says that the path can’t be dug up again for two years after the original works were carried out and that the county council shouldn’t have approved it.

“The vibes I’m getting is that they might not bother and they pretty much said that they would reconsider and that there might not be any point.

“Virgin are very much aware that the road doesn’t want Virgin installed so there’s very little point in the work being done anyway.

“They set up a stand in the town centre a while ago and I went to speak to them as I knew they weren’t too popular on Canvey. They just told me that all they had received was complaints.”