Southend Council has opened an investigation to identify a mystery brown liquid that has been coating the cars, windows and gardens of residents in Leigh.

Residents in Salisbury Road, Leigh, have been left bemused by a brown oily liquid which they often wake up to find coating their road.

Initially, those living on Salisbury Road in Leigh thought the stains marking their cars, windows, garden furniture and washing were from bird droppings.

Neighbours were swift to dismiss to idea the pools of liquid were a result of insects as residents felt they would have noticed a consistent presence of swarms.

Another idea was that it was weather related, but the liquid supposedly appears with no relation to rain or other weather conditions.

Residents say it is an ongoing problem occurring almost every day for the last few years.

In recent weeks they have come to suspect the liquid may be jet fuel either leaking from or dumped by overhead aircraft coming and going from Southend Airport some three miles away.

Southend Airport has however dismissed this as an impossibility.

A spokesperson for the airport said: “There are strict regulations which only allow fuel to be dumped over sea and above 10,000 feet to allow evaporation/dissipation before reaching the ground.

“Regardless of this, there are simply no aircraft operating at the airport with the capacity to dump fuel, so it is essentially impossible.”

Residents in the area are searching for answers so they can be sure their health is not at risk from the mysterious liquid.

Last week they contacted the council over the matter, which has confirmed it has opened an investigation into the matter to establish the source of the liquid.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said: “Our environmental health team were yesterday (Thursday, September 9) made aware of a complaint from a local resident regarding a substance found on their vehicle.

“Our team will be carrying out an investigation to ascertain what exactly the substance is. As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”