ENVIRONMENTAL campaign group Extinction Rebellion staged a protest over plans to build 172 homes in an area thought to be at risk of flooding.

The homes, planned for Gunners Park, Shoebury, would be below the current high tide mark.

Plans for the homes were previously approved, but stalled because of fears over flooding.

The Environment Agency would only allow the homes to go ahead if work planned on nearby seawalls offered a one in 200-year flooding event protection but those now in the pipeline will offer less than half that.

The Southend Branch of Extinction Rebellion staged the protest.

A spokesman for the pressure group said: “The group sought to draw attention to rapidly rising sea levels, caused by climate change melting ice in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere.

“The group called for a complete end to building new homes at or below sea level in Essex and condemned property developers and councils as irresponsible for continuing to pursue such schemes.

Jon Fuller of South East Essex Friends of the Earth, who was at the protest, said: “Councillors need to wake up and smell the coffee, we are now in the era of consequences.

“Plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Bradwell and argued that scheme should be scrapped. Even if we stop burning fossil fuels today, a degree of sea level rise is now locked in, so it is essential that we stop building major infrastructure next to water”.

Garrison Developments has already built hundreds of homes on the garrison estate.

The new design of flats and houses has living areas raised up from the ground to protect them from any future floods.

Garrison Developments is also building nine commercial units, a retail unit and a veterinary surgery on land adjacent to Gunners Park and a primary school in Shoebury.

A Lidl supermarket is set to be the first to open on the site on land off New Barge Pier Road,

opposite Hinguar Primary School.