A COUNCIL decision to give similar names to roads in one area has led to fears drivers could become confused.

Labour councillors have questioned a decision by the Tory-controlled council to name a new road leading into Markhams Chase in Laindon, ‘Markhams Close’.

In addition, a new row of houses on the Markhams Chase estate would be named ‘Markhams Terrace’.

This would lead to three “Markhams” in the same area.

Labour ward councillor Richard Rackham said the similar names could lead to confusion.

He said: “I am surprised that, in an area that has already had the renaming of roads to local objection, the council would do this without considering the implications of the confusion it could cause.

“We have got experience as a council of these things happening in other places. We have also got experience of the confusion similar names causes in a small area.

“Those people who have to deliver services to the local people are going to be confused. Because of that local people will be disadvantaged.”

The changes are being made as part of the plans to demolish Markhams Chase Leisure Centre and build 73 homes in its place.

The site, along with land off Cranes Farm Road, has been sold to a developer as part of a programme of sales across the borough to help fund the £38million sporting village at Gloucester Park.

Labour leader Lynda Gordon said residents had a similar problem with roads on the Craylands estate.

She said: “They know there are problems when they do these things. It’s the arrogance, they don’t want to look at the history of anywhere they just carry on.”

However, Malcolm Buckley, cabinet member with the environment, worked with officers to create the new addresses.

He said the names would apply to new houses only so it would not disrupt existing residents.

He said: “There are quite a number of areas where you have a similar pattern. The name came about to reflect the area. It was felt that naming all of them as Markhams something would actually cause less confusion than if we called them something else. People will associate them with the area.”