Residents say they feel betrayed by Basildon Council’s proposal to approve more travellers pitches in the borough.

National planning policy requires Basildon Council to allocate land for traveller pitches into its proposals for future housing in its local plan.

The proposal for 22 pitches in Hovefields and the Honiley area, Wickford, was approved for consultation nearly two years ago.

The council confirmed it will reconsider the elements of the Draft Local Plan at today’s Infrastructure, Growth and Development committee meeting.

Hovefields Resident Association chairman, Jenny Mace, said: “To create such an imbalance in our community is morally wrong and against all government guidelines.

“This represents a 200 per cent increase in traveller provision, with settled residents numbering only nine households in total.”

“The National Planning Policy states when making a Plan, local authorities should ensure their plan also promotes peaceful and integrated co-existence between the site and the local community.

Ms Mace said residents’ homes were recently damaged by fireworks and marbles.

She fears more traveller pitches will mean more trouble for residents.

She said: “Enough is enough.

“Pitches should not be considered in Hovefields.

“The council also has a duty of care to residents. The council needs to reconsider this option, perhaps looking to land that they own to build traveller pitches on.”

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “Work is still ongoing and no decision has been made in respect of the final Local Plan and how many, if any, traveller pitches will be located in the Hovefields and Honiley area.

“The committee will meet to discuss a report on the likely need for traveller pitches going forward.

This has reduced since the Draft Local Plan was prepared.

“Emerging evidence now indicates a need for around 39 pitches in total.

“The Infrastructure, Growth and Development Committee will discuss where these could be based in the New Year.”