The owner of a south Essex business has described the "damaging" impact that urgent roadworks have had on his trade and the industrial estate he is based in.

The Factory Shops owner, Carl Cantor, has expressed frustration at the impact of emergency works being undertaken by Anglian Water in Sutton Road, which is closed until Thursday as workers replace a severely damaged main sewage pipe.

Mr Cantor said: “The Purdeys industrial estate is not seeing any customers.

“We are getting a trickle of customers but that is down substantially. We have lost well over 50 per cent of our customers and other businesses on the estate have been hit hard and potentially worse.

“Easter is a vital period of trade for us, and we will now be packing a lot more Easter products than we had wanted, as there was little planning we can do due to the lack of notice.

“Rayleigh, Hadleigh and Hockley are totally gridlocked. People have seen how bad the traffic is and are avoiding our area.

“We want people to come out and support our local businesses. We will be open on Thursday so hopefully we can get back to normal.”

Anglian Water has apologised for the disruption and has re-iterated that work will be completed on Thursday and that it is making efforts to ensure people are aware that businesses are open.