OUTRAGED residents were shocked to see a neighbour attempt to extend his garden by fencing off a popular green.

Fencing has been put up on a piece of green land between Florence Road and Oxford Road, Canvey.

The green has been described as a ‘utopia’ by some residents, who allow their children to play on the open space safely within site of their homes. The area is popular with dog walkers as well.

Castle Point Council has confirmed there is no planning permission in place for the work, and insisted it will investigate the issue at the earliest possible date.

The fencing was put at the start of last week, and a petition launched on Wednesday has already accumulated over 400 signatures from angry residents who fear for a loss of open, green space.

Residents, who claim the green has been used by children to play on for more than 50 years, have also raised fears that the fencing has turned the walkway into an alleyway, which may attract crime and anti social behaviour.

The petition, started by Bill Flateau, said: “Our families will suffer from our children not being able to play out on the green which has been used for over 50 years by these residents and not only this the local dog walkers use this on a daily basis.

“This green gives a sense of utopia for our homes because of how well maintained this is (which is maintained by the local council and highways), we are trying to reduce the crime rate on the island and not encourage it, this will create an ally way and this will increase the crime rate.

“If this neighbour gets away with this then it will also effect our property values, daily peace of life and our current view will be taken away from us all.

“We are asking for your support because if this happens it will set a precedent for the rest of the Greens and walkways on the Island.”

A Castle Point Council spokesman said: “This has only recently been reported to us we will look into this at our earliest opportunity.”

To add your support to the petition, visit www.change.org/p/bill-flateau-lindsey-brirttain-james-mann-lisa-marshall-devina-petty-a-neighbour-is-trying-take-a-section-of-green-that-is-used-by-the-local-residents