HUNDREDS of huge containers must be removed from a Southend Airport car park because they breach planning permission.

In an effort to make the most of empty space with the majority of flights grounded, airport bosses used a long-stay car park for pallet storage.

Rochford Council has now issued a planning enforcement notice and ordered the airport to remove any storage from the car park by August.

The airport and the council have been in discussions since January over the use of the car park, with the airport highlighting “logistical difficulties” in removing the items.

A spokesman for Rochford District Council ,said: “The council issued a planning enforcement notice on March 26 2021, for a planning breach occurring on land at Southend Airport.

“This was in relation to the unauthorised use of long stay car park number two to store a large amount of wooden pallets.

“Since the planning breach first occurred in January 2021 the council has been in communication with the airport and its land owner to resolve the matter.

“However, efforts to organise the removal of the pallets have been delayed due to a number of logistical difficulties, which has resulted in a formal notice being served.

“The airport have agreed to the removal of all pallets by the end of July 2021 in line with the requirements of the notice.”

Southend Airport have confirmed the pallets are currently being removed and the site should be cleared within the notice deadline.

A spokesman for Southend Airport said: “London Southend Airport provided storage solutions on the premises whilst passenger operations remain closed due to Covid.

“The airport is open to opportunities to utilise the space available, from pallet storage to NHS Covid testing facilities.

“The pallets are currently being removed from the site with full clearance expected by August.”

“At the moment, foreign holidays are banned for all UK residents.

“The earliest date people could be able to holiday abroad is May 17.”