AN elderly couple have lost a sweeping view of a park after Southend Council built an electricity substation on land protected by a covenant and without consultation with residents.

The large substation has been built in Southchurch Park East car park and will be used to power electric vehicle charging stations.

Thorpe ward councillors Ron Woodley and Martin Terry have objected to the substation on behalf of residents.

Jason Price said the substation is 4ft from his parent’s home in Lifstan Way.

He added “There was no consultation from the council, no poster and no information. Councillors had absolutely no knowledge of this. My mother and father are in their 70s and quite distressed about it.

“On the plans for the car park there is nothing that shows a substation or electric car chargers. They’ve driven a coach and horses straight through the covenants. It reduces their view of the parkland and it’s a terrible blight on the park. We will seek to have the covenants enforced in court.”

Mr Woodley said: “They didn’t check the covenants on the park which says that nothing can be built on the park apart from toilets, a pumping station for the lake and facilities for the car park in terms of shelters.

“They didn’t speak to the residents and they just built it without any consultation to councillors.”

The council maintains planning permission was granted for EV charging when the car park was built but Mr Woodley said: “It was about having ducting for EV charging available in the future. That’s not planning permission.

“This is making the lady of the house next door very ill and to do it without any consultation with anybody is just disgusting.”

Mr Terry added: “There’s the potential of having hundreds of these things around the town. If they are going to adopt an attitude of not speaking to anyone, what else are they going to build in our parks.”

Kevin Buck, councillor responsible for highways, transport and parking, said: “I am sorry to hear of the distress this has caused these residents.

“I am not familiar with the specific planning details of this case, but believe it went through the full planning due diligence process. This should have identified and considered any requirements of a local land covenant.

“These upgrades to the national electricity grid are a necessary part of ensuring that all energy distribution networks are able to cope with the increasing demands we all place upon them as part of our modern lives.”