Residents have got their MP’s support in a bid to put an end to a pong in their neighbourhood.

People living in Woodham Park Drive, Benfleet, have been complaining about the smell coming from nearby Richmond Park for more than five years.

Last August it was hoped a solution had been found after an unconnected private sewer was identified and linked up, but the stink has continued, leading residents to step up their calls for a permanent solution.

Resident Betty Almklev, 84, who lives in Woodham Park Drive, said: “I have lived here for more than 40 years and the smell has got very bad despite my complaints to the water company.

“It is embarrassing when my friends come to visit and I can’t even open doors or windows.

“With the hot weather last week the stench was pretty bad.”

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris has now joined the fight and has vowed to write to water regulator Ofwat.

Andrew Sheldon, Conservative councillor for St Mary’s ward at Castle Point Council, is also on the case and has been in touch with water company Anglian Water about the situation.

He said: “I find it incredible that Anglian Water has only just admitted to the problem and got round to fixing it. Both I and the Castle Point environmental health team were only told of the problem when I requested a site visit to the works for myself and councillor Alf Partridge, last week.

“Anglian Water should have told us about the problem. They should have fixed it earlier and fully considered the misery any delay in doing so would cause to local residents.”

A spokesman for Anglian Water said the smell was due to a system set up to deal with increases in rainwater, which sends the waste through to the playing field sewage outlet.

He added: “This emergency precaution kicks in to prevent flooding in the homes of residents such as seeing their toilets over-flowing, or blockages in sewage pipe outlets in the area.

“We have been working hard to resolve the issue of the foul smell and would ask residents to work with us to ensure they dispose of their waste appropriately, such being cautious about throwing oil down sinks, or items like nappies down the toilet instead of using bins, which can lead to blockages in pipes and the sewage system.”