A BID to remove a children’s play area and woodland to make way for a flood basin has sparked anger among residents.

Essex County Council wants to put a floodwater detention basin near the Brickhouse Farm Community Centre in Poulton Close, Maldon.

The plan for the Maldon District Council-owned land would see tens of silver birch trees removed and the children’s play area relocated.

Resident Brendan Harrington, of Mariners Way, said he was vehemently opposed to the development and that his neighbours are “seething”.

Mr Harrington said: “In 2017, there were plans to remove the allotments in the same area but that was entirely thrown out.

“Now, there has been so much development with Taylor Wimpey’s plans but rather than put flood plans into their new estate, the council has decided to try and put it here.

“They’re planning on wiping out almost half a hectare of land where people walk and kids play.

“It’s a way of saving money – it’s happened before with Persimmon Homes’ plans in Heybridge. But this is right in the middle of two developed housing estates.

“This will be right in the back of people’s gardens. I saw the plans and they are planning to build a manhole right at the back of my garden.

“There are some people that haven’t event been consulted about this in Marlowe Close and Mariners Way.

“There has been no consultation, no plans sent out and no thought to people who do not have an internet connection to see the plans online.

“I took it upon myself to print out the plans and the covering letters and went around the houses distributing.

“We already have at least 40 objections and the number is growing.

“The worst flooding we have had was in August 2013 where we had 100 millimetres of rain in two hours.

“If that basin is built and it fills up, hell and high water will come flooding into my garden.”

A petition has been put together to present to Maldon District Council.

Mr Harrington added: “These new developers are not putting in any infrastructure and we are sick of it.

“I moved to Maldon 22 years ago and we’ve never had a problem with flooding here.”

A county council spokesman said it identifies critical drainage areas (CDAs), which are areas at higher risk of flooding.

“The Maldon Central area of Maldon is one such CDA and has been prioritised for further investigation,” he said.

“Given the close proximity of the open space to the main surface water flow path within the CDA, we are proposing to reduce flows here at times of heavy rainfall while keeping the space open and accessible for all other times it is not in use.

“This option was found to be the most economically viable within the highly urbanised catchment and protects the largest amount of properties.”

The deadline for objections is February 12.