FURIOUS residents have slammed council bosses for “destroying their vibrant green space” and turning it into a “dried-up eyesore” as part of anti-flooding measures.

For years, residents in Tyrell’s Road, Billericay, have enjoyed jubilee parties and celebrations on the green outside their homes but in a bid to prevent flooding, Essex County Council “dug it up to install a flood garden”.

The flood garden was aimed at preventing flooding issues on the street, but residents have described it as a “giant litter box for foxes” and also fear the ridged edge is a trip hazard.

Allen Scoot, 36, a Tyrell’s Road resident, said: “My neighbours on the road have flooding issues and they always happen when there is a heavy downpour. We rush out to help with brooms because the drainage on the street packs up.

“In October we got a leaflet saying we would have works in November for a ‘rain garden’ contracted by a landscaper. They did the work and planted a load of ugly plants in the sand and put bark mulch on top.

“That garden was a sun-trap, the plants all withered and were crisp, they shrivelled up and died. You could pull them out with two fingers.

“When they all died, the grass came back in December, but it has been killed now, every plant that had survived is dead, it is just mulch.”

Mr Scoot added that his then 35-weeks pregnant wife had an accident on January 7, which saw her lose her footing on the curb and fall headfirst into the rain garden.

“There is no lighting, and the pathway fills up like a puddle, thousand have been wasted on this and by trying to replant on it,” Mr Scoot said.

The resident claims he has been in regular contact with Essex County Council but has been told nothing else can be done.

He said: “There are fox holes everywhere, it is like a giant litter box, they are always around the holes, and they are unearthing the broadband cables, it has been an ongoing mess from last year.

“Essex County Council will not go back on it. Every message we send they say they have done a good job and they are claiming the plants are going to enhance the area.”

A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “The raingardens at this location were delivered collaboratively with Basildon Council. They were designed and planted to provide flood resilience, along with biodiversity and environmental enhancements for the area.

“Changes to the planting mix were identified as soon as the work was complete, and this was reported to our landscapers.

"On return to site to carry out the necessary planting changes, it appeared that unauthorised seeding and removal of shrubs has occurred. The council suspects that this has been done maliciously.

“A site visit was made on February 9 to ascertain what needs addressing and a remedial plan is now being finalised.

“We have been in regular correspondence with the residents of Tyrrells Road about the remedial work needed.

"This has now been increased by external tampering to the project. We will update residents once plans to rectify the issues are finalised.”