SERIOUS fears have been raised about plans to turn a playing field into a housing estate.

Residents say they believe Castle Point Council wants to build a large number of homes on land behind 60 North Avenue, Canvey.

The council says there are no plans for a development at the moment but has not ruled out future building after purchasing the North Avenue property.

The council spent about £279,950 on the purchase.

Christine Tilley, 45, from North Avenue, Canvey said: “If the council does build on this land we will lose another playing field that families have enjoyed for decades.

“If this goes ahead where will our children enjoy playing outside? So many youngsters need to be outdoors much more.

“I don’t see any reason for the council to buy this home other than to create the estate behind it.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

“It seems to me the council is determined to take away our green space on the island.”

Barry Taylor, 59, who also lives in North Avenue, said: “We have got to fight this and cannot allow the council to destroy our playing fields.

“Everyone complains about young people having no where to go and that’s because we are building on every piece of land.”

David Backwell, Canvey Independent councillor for Canvey Central, said: “The council has spent money buying back a council house which they might knock down to get to the recreation field at the back to build more houses.

“I think it is outrageous and no green space is safe from this administration.

“This field is used by the kids to play on, I played football on it as a kid.”

Norman Smith, Tory leader of the council, said: “We have bought it with a view to do something with it in time. It’s very likely it will be used for social housing, but we have not made any decision over the use of the rest of the land. It is all just speculation at the time.

“We have only just bought it for the sake of the property and have not had any decisions about anything else yet.”