ALMOST 400 people have objected to plans to build 665 new homes in Rochford.

The deadline for submitting responses to the Bloor Homes scheme for a site off Ashingdon Road passed yesterday.

A total of 390 people sent written objections saying it would be an overdevelopment on an already grid-locked road.

Campaigners have now called for the deadline to be extended after some residents had problems accessing the council website to lodge objections.

Campaign organiser, Christine Austen, said: “The website has been down many times. It was down again yesterday so some people were unable to get on there to register objections.

“Because people have had difficulty, I’ve asked if the date can be extended and I’m hopeful that will happen. Our objections can only be on what they class as material considerations and we know we can’t fight this because Bloor has spent so much getting to the procurement stage. The road itself is a problem but we don’t know if they will take that into consideration.

“Ashingdon Road is appalling and there is no solution to it. You can’t widen it. This land should never have been included in the local plan because this road can’t cope. People are late for work because of it. The road is gridlocked from morning to night. It can’t take any more.”

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, is backing the campaigners, calling the scheme a “classic sign of overdevelopment.” In a letter to Rochford Council, he has asked for the application to be refused, as early drawings for the development suggested around 500 homes would be built, but the developer’s proposals are more than 30 per cent above that number.

He also raised concerns surrounding the increased traffic that the new homes is set to create on Ashingdon Road, and demanded Bloor Homes offer a section 106 agreement, which would outline their financial contribution to the district.

A spokesman from the developers said: “We have worked very hard with the council and the community over two years so we can move towards delivering the new homes and infrastructure that meets the aspirations of the local plan, and also of those living nearby.”