LIBERAL Democrat councillors in Rayleigh have renewed attacks on plans to build at least 800 new homes on the border of the town.

Councillors Chris and June Lumley say the infrastructure of the area is already over-stretched and will not be able to cope with the new homes.

The couple, who represent Grange Ward, have joined with Lib Dem councillors in Downhall and Rawreth in fighting the scheme, which has been earmarked by the Tory administration for farmland between London Road and Rawreth Lane. Mr Lumley said: “Although it is not in our ward, the impact of extra traffic will be keenly felt.

“It is difficult at certain times of the day to pull out of drives and side roads into London Road now, and the impact on doctors and schools has not been considered.

“What is annoying is there are other greenfield and brownfield sites in Rayleigh, such as off the Hockley Road and the end of Bull Lane.

“But every time it comes to extra houses they always pick our side of Rayleigh.

“Unlike the other major routes in the town, such as Hockley Road, Eastwood Road and the High Road, London Road does not have any connecting roads to dodge the traffic.

“All the side roads feed back into London Road and you cannot escape a traffic jam.

“We just do not have the road infrastructure to cope with such development.”

Rochford District Council has to find room in the district for about 5,500 new homes by 2025 under the East of England plan, which sets the Government housing targets for the area.

The district council revealed its provisional plans for where the housing would go last autumn as part of its core strategy document.

Residents were consulted about the plans and many in Rawreth and Hawkwell strongly objected to the proposals.

The Tory councillor for planning, Keith Hudson, has said the housing figures have been forced on the council by the Government.

He also said that none of the planned housing locations are yet set in stone and the council is still making up its mind before submitting a final decision to the Government.

However, nationally, the Tories have said the targets for each local authority will be scrapped if they are returned to power at the next general election.