PASSIONATE residents held a protest against plans to build a 600-home mini town in Rochford over major concerns for the safety of school pupils.

Holt Farm infants and junior schools, fear that the estate, centring on land off Ashingdon Road and Oxford Road, will be directly opposite the school entrance.

The developer plans to widen the road to allow turns into the estate but this would mean narrowing pavements at the schools.

And on Friday, more than 150 residents, including scores of children, took part in a protest.

Lisa Fox, 37, who has three children at the schools, said: “There are a lot of issues, the traffic in the area is ridiculous, but the main issue is the entrance being the school, and they are talking about reducing the size of the pavements.

“It is really worrying. We could deal with the number of homes if the access was elsewhere. Do they know the area? All they would have to do is drive past at 3.30pm to know 600 homes will not work.”

Infants headteacher Robin Goosier, who attended the protest, said: “It is very exciting to be a part of because we are bringing the community together to fight something that is of such grave importance, and that is children’s safety, it must be a priority.”

The school has also written to Rochford Council, Essex County Council and developer Bloor Homes.

The developer says it wants to provide children’s play areas, a park and community facilities.

George Ioannou, ward councillor for Roche North & Rural, said: “I have a lot of concerns that the developers have not considered the infrastructure or the safety of children. I will be campaigning to have the amount of homes drastically reduced, if not the whole development scrapped.”

Mike Webb, ward councillor for Hawkwell East, said “Having an access point for a new housing development opposite a school is dangerous and needs to be reviewed. Ashingdon Road is already at breaking point and we cannot take any further development.” A petition has been started by the Rochford Cares Facebook group to stop the plans.