A BENFLEET estate agent has pledged its support for a campaign to stop a restaurant opening on parkland.

Amos Estates has joined forces with residents and paid £600 for placards to put outside homes criticising plans to build a Hungry Horse restaurant and bar on John Burrows Sports and Recreation Ground, Hadleigh.

About 50 signs bearing the slogan We Say No Pub In Our Park have been handed out across the town.

Darren Dukes, of Amos Estates, in London Road, said worried householders near the park approached the estate agent for financial help and to show solidarity against the plans.

Mr Dukes said: “Hadleigh is my community and I agree with other residents that this is not a suitable location for a restaurant or public house.

“My family like John Burrows just us as it is, a peaceful and tranquil bit of greenery where we can enjoy our spare time.

“The development would be better placed within the town centre.”

Alf Papworth, chairman of the Solby Estate Residents’ Association and co-ordinator of the Neighbourhood Watch, has a billboard outside his home and says a number of other residents are supporting the view that a restaurant shouldn’t open on the 1.15-acre site.

Mr Papworth, 80, of Ashdown Crescent, Hadleigh, said: “The overwhelming feeling is that this needs to be nipped in the bud.

“I can’t thank Amos Estates enough for their help and I am totally in agreement with them.

“I have a sign outside my home and so does my daughter-in-law.

If others continue to sign the petition, we will be in a very strong position.”

The project is part of the Castle Point Regeneration Partnership’s plan for the park, which would see improved sports changing facilities and a 180-space car park, as well as moving the tennis courts to elsewhere on the site.

There would also be CCTV and 24-7 security.