A parish council has voted to be renamed a town council – but will have the same powers as before.

Heybridge Parish Council will become Heybridge Town Council as of April 1.

Both parish and town councils are part of local government and are governed by the same laws.

The only difference is some town councils have a mayor.

Heybridge Parish Council said the decision had been made as a result of the increase in the number of homes being built in the village.

Council chairman Simon Burwood said: “We are facing a tough time ahead with the ever increasing danger that Heybridge is totally subsumed by Maldon and whilst we get on with and work well with our closest neighbour, local people want to see us working for Heybridge.

“We are now bigger than Burnham, which is itself a town, and the developments in North Heybridge will see our community grow still further.”

The issue was first discussed at a council meeting back in June last year.

A celebration of the renaming of the council will be held at Plantation Hall in the village on Sunday April 1 from 1pm to 4pm.