A EURO MP has stepped in to lend his support to green belt campaigners fighting housing development in Billericay.

Stuart Agnew, Ukip Member of the European Parliament, visited Outwood Common Road, in Billericay, along with Billericay East candidate Terry Gandy and Billericay West candidate Susan McCaffery.

Both are fighting for Ukip seats in the Basildon Council elections on May 22.

The land has been included in Basildon Council’s draft local plan as a site of potential housing development between now and 2031, much to the outrage of residents, who fear their town will merge with Basildon.

Mr Agnew said: “I saw two perfectly good wheat fields scheduled to be concreted over for housing and yet, while I was driving through south Essex, there were several noticeable areas of abandoned industrial activity that could and should be used for housing.

“I am concerned councillors are making life easy for developers when they are looking for ways to insert more housing into local communities.

“It also makes no sense to me, as a farmer, for land to be taken out of crop production, when worldwide demand for food has never been greater.”