ANGRY residents packed a community hall in protest against plans to build 350 homes on protected land east of Heath Road, Chadwell St Mary.

Although the application has not yet been submitted, more than 50 people, young and old, came to plan a course of action at Emmanuel Church hall.

They plan to lobby Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price and write to Thurrock Council once developer CJC Development Company outlines its plans for the 38-acre site.

Residents argued the homes would put significant strain on local infrastructure, such as schools and doctors, and would see more of Thurrock’s history buried under new housing.

Chairman of Chadwell St Mary Community Forum, Peter Saunders, said the group is more determined than ever to stop building.

He said: “It is important we have a strategy so as soon as the application goes in we can respond showing how strongly we feel it would be to the detriment of the town.

“By working together to appeal to the council then we are able to stay ahead of the developer in this battle.”

Ward councillors Tony Fish and Gerard Rice attended the meeting and voiced their support against the homes being built.

Cllr Rice said if Lower Thames Crossing option C was selected by the Government then he doubted people would want to move to the new homes as the bridge would run alongside the town and West Tilbury.

He said: “We should wait and see what the Government decides is its favoured option as that could have a big bearing on this project.”

CJC has previously said the scheme will complete Chadwell St Mary and bring affordable housing and community investment.