Residents have slammed train bosses and accused them of trying to sneak through plans to build a multi-storey car park in Witham.

Greater Anglia hopes to increase car parking capacity at the town’s station and is looking to secure a lawful development certificate from Braintree Council to build another tier on top of the existing car park in Easton Road.

The firm had planned to build a two-storey car park at the station but withdrew the plans earlier this year due to concerns raised about the impact it would have on nearby homeowners.

The new proposal has once again been met by fierce opposition, with residents questioning why Greater Anglia is now looking for a certificate to build another tier, rather than gaining planning permission.

Sam Mott, of Avenue Road, said: “I didn’t know anything about it until one of the residents told me the other day.

“I don’t think it is as bad as what they were proposing before but the residents round here don’t want to be overlooked by a high rise car park. It’s a monstrosity and we don’t want it.

“It’s like they have tried to sneak it through the back door without anyone noticing by getting a certificate. We thought all of this had gone away when they said they had listened to our concerns and withdrawn the plan.”

Witham Town Council objected to Greater Anglia’s latest plan having also recommended refusal on the previous scheme.

A Greater Anglia spokesman rejected claims the firm had not been transparent with residents and insisted the proposals were all publicly accessible.

He added: “There is a significant and ongoing growth in demand for car parking.

“This trend will continue with the further housing growth planned and the introduction of new trains so we do need to extend the capacity of the car park to prevent the surrounding streets becoming clogged.

“We continue to work closely with Witham Town Council and Braintree planning office to try and secure approval for proposals which would see investment of over £8 million in upgrades at the station.We have followed due process throughout this application and we will await the council’s decision.”