FRUSTRATED residents collected a 500-signature petition against homes destined for Benfleet green belt.

Members of Residents Against Glyders Expansion (RAGE) handed in the petition at the Castle Point Council offices, in Kiln Road, Thundersley.

Reeds Hill Farm, in Essex Way – referred to as “land off the Glyders” in the plan - is owned by Jill Reeves, Conservative county councillor for Hadleigh, and her husband, Richard Reeves, 67. The site is earmarked for 35 houses.

Robert Baillie, chairman of RAGE, built up 510 signatures in just 30 days and says the overwhelming feeling is one of frustration.

Mr Baillie, 64, of St Mary's Close, said: “We object to the policy of the council for the development of 4,000 new properties in the borough over the next 15 years, in particular proposals for the construction for 35 homes off Glyders, on the grounds that the area cannot sustain this level of development, afford to lose valuable green space and the infrastructure cannot cope with an increase in population and traffic.

“We feel very strongly about this and will be doing all we can to ensure the homes do not get built.”

The committee has 11 members and is looking for more members to attend its meetings.

Mr Baillie also criticised the council for failing to be clear regarding transport improvements due to be introduced alongside the development.

He added: “The online version is more specific than the paper version.”

Castle Point Council’s Local Plan sets out where 4,000 homes will be built in Castle Point by 2031.

The council agreed to extend the consultation period to March 28 after a number of homes didn’t receive a consultation package.

Other concerns were flagged up as the consultation process continued, with residents saying they were unable to read the maps in the packages sent out, due to the lack of road names.