A TORNADO squadron leader who died in a mid-air collision will have a road named after him to create a lasting memorial to his life.

Samuel Bailey, who was born and bred in Hockley, died aged just 36 along with two colleagues in the RAF.

He will be honoured with a road named Samuel Bailey Drive on the £17.9million housing development being constructed by Beech Grove Homes, which will see 72 properties on the site of the former Bullwood Hall prison.

The decision came after Sanctuary Housing Group agreed the move with Rochford District Council.

Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois said he was delighted with the decision and has spoken to Mr Bailey’s family who were touched by the gesture.

During a video posted on Facebook he said: “Sanctuary, to be fair, you’ve done the right thing, thank you.

“I have had several run-ins with Sanctuary in the past, therefore, I am delighted to see that they have done the right thing in this instance.

“Squadron Leader Bailey gave his life for his country, so it is fitting that this Hockley man has a suitable tribute in the town so that his name may be remembered for ever more.”

Sqn Ld Bailey had been an instructor with 15 (Reserve) Squadron since 2004 before the crash in July 2012.

He died along with Bangor-born Flt Lt Hywel Poole and Flt Lt Adam Sanders, 27, who grew up in Lancashire.

Sqd Ldr Paul Evans, from RAF Lossiemouth, survived but was badly injured.

The crash happened over the Moray Firth, off the coast of Sutherland, near Helmsdale.

The crews were on separate training sorties at the time and were heading for a firing range when they collided.

The Ministry of Defence accepted liability in 2014 and said lessons had been learned. His wife, Fiona, was serving at RAF Lossiemouth at the time.