A 15-CARAVAN traveller site has been hit with a “temporary stop notice” after complaints over “unauthorised construction” on the site.

Basildon Council has previously given planning permission for five caravans to be based on a patch of land near Lower Avenue, in Bowers Gifford.

However, this week the council has issued a temporary stop notice – ordering any work taking place to stop – after residents claimed “tonnes of concrete” had been delivered and “15 caravans” are on the site.

The council has said it is “currently investigating a possible breach of planning law” and told residents, in an email seen by the Echo, a “temporary stop notice” is in place, acting as an “interim injunction”.

A resident living in the Plotlands, close to the site, claimed work had been taking place across the site and fears it is “expanding”.

He said: “We live in a small semi-rural location, the roads are not maintained and having more families living here will cause absolute chaos for us.

“The thing is people can do what they want here, no one can do anything about this. It feels absolutely crazy that we are in the highest council tax bracket yet we are plagued with this.

“This will be absolute chaos we fear and it is frightening to us. It is causing a great deal of anxiety for all the residents.”

Pitsea South East Labour councillor, Ben Westwick, has also been made aware of the issue.

He said: “It has come to my attention that there have been unauthorised construction activities at the site.

“Given that the surrounding land is designated as green belt, it is protected from development under strict planning regulations.

“Consequently, an enforcement notice, along with a temporary stop notice, has been issued under the Town and Country Planning Act.

“We will be keeping a very close eye on this situation. Illegally building on green belt land will not be tolerated in the slightest.

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of preserving green spaces for future generations.

“Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.”

A Basildon Council spokesperson said: “Basildon Council is investigating the possible breach of planning law in Pitsea.”