Residents' concern over anti-social behaviour mounts after field fire

  Posted: 31.07.20 at 11:12 by The Editor

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IN the wake of a large grass fire last evening that took the efforts of five fire crews to bring under control, residents on a recently created Thurrock estate say ‘enough is enough’ and they are calling on the authorities to act to quell a rising tide of anti-social behaviour around their homes.

Aerial footage supplied to Thurrock Nub news by resident Elliott Giles shows how close the flames came to homes on site of the former Tech College at Woodside in Grays.

Residents say this is the most dramatic example yet of a number of fires that have been set in the area and that their complaints and fears have been ignored by Thurrock Council and the police.

They also criticise homebuilders Persimmon who they say have not fulfilled management responsibilities to keep the estate safe and they have not supported the management company, HML, that was appointed to look after communal areas.

A resident told Thurrock Nub News: “We have been complaining with increasing intensity for three years but no one is taking it seriously.

“Initially there was a response from Essex police who mounted some patrols and they told us they had spotted some people trying to start fires, but the patrols stopped.

“Thurrock Council are refusing to help or answer any questions and I’ve been in contact with a few different councillors and up to this morning still haven’t received a word from any of them.

“The estate is a rat run with bikes and quad bikes being driven around the green on the path nearly knocking over kids but police will not do nothing to help and neither will the council.”

He also spoke about the fact that Persimmon have failed to complete work on communal areas that is in poor condition with uneven ground even though housebuilding stopped years ago.

He added: “HML who are the management group of the estate have been asking to get it sorted so they can maintain it but three years later Persimmons still haven’t done it. It all adds to the feeling that we have just been dumped on and left to cope with all these problems on our own.”

Persimmon have something of a chequered history in completing projects in Thurrock - most notably the long-running saga of the disfunctional traffic lights at the Buckingham Hill and Stanford Road junction which they should have completed several years ago after building new homes in East Tilbury.

Firefighters from Grays, Orsett and Corringham were joined by a crew in an off-road vehicle from Billericay as they fought last night's blaze after the alert was raised just after 9pm.

They took just under an hour to douse the flames which covered around 20 acres.

Incident Commander, Watch Manager Dave Bond from Orsett Fire Station said: "With the grass being so dry the fire spread was rapid.

"Crews worked incredibly hard to surround the fire and extinguish it before it reached either the housing estate or nearby woodland.

“With the hot weather spell due to stay for the next few days it is so important to take extra care when out and about.”

The fire service says the cause of last night's fire is unknown.

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