A PETITION has been launched to fight plans for a new pub and hotel in Wickford.

Marston’s pub chain is planning for a venue on land north of Radwinter Avenue.

This would mean concreting over designated green space on Wick Green near Salcott Crescent.

A public consultation was carried out over the plans in February and some residents raised concerns over the increased levels of traffic and amount of noise a new development would bring.

Now, a petition has been launched by the group Wickford Save Open Space (SoS) urging Basildon Council not to proceed with the plans.

Wickford SoS aims to encourage the council and Wickford residents to officially recognise the Wick Green as a protected space and prevent the town centre merging into the Wick.

The petition has been created on the council’s website by Yvonne Child, founder of Wickford SoS.

She said: “We believe that in order to maintain our community, obtain cleaner air and thus improve the health, wellbeing of residents that the loss of this public open space would set a precedent that threatens every public park, recreational area, and playing field in the borough.

“Furthermore, Basildon Council, by virtue of its status as a public authority, should at the very minimum uphold its proposed planning policy to replace any loss of this land which separates the residential area from the town centre.

“We believe that Basildon Council’s actions are detrimental to the residents’ pursuit of a better quality of life, wellbeing, and happiness.”

Ms Child additionally claimed developing the land would likely lead to an increase in traffic, echoing previous resident concerns, as the green is the only route for residents on the surrounding estate to access the town centre without a car or other transport.

The green leads to a footbridge over the dual carriageway, Golden Jubilee Way, which cuts off pedestrian access between the Wick estate and the shopping centre.

The petition is set to run until May 17. It has so far been signed by more than 40 people.

Visit bit.ly/2FsGKpM.