WORK has begun to transform a dilapidated nature reserve into a public garden after years of negotiations.

Frinton and Walton Town Council will install benches, plants and footpaths at the Spinney, opposite Frinton Station, in the coming weeks.

Contractors are currently on site clearing brambles ready for it to be transformed.

Plans were given the thumbs up by Tendring Council, which disagreed with objections to the scheme.

Peter Wunbee, of Wittonwood Road, Frinton, said: “The proposed garden would create an ideal environment for unsociable behaviour, drug taking and fornication.

“There does not appear to be a plan to protect the current wildlife and there does not seem to be the will to use the existing trees as a basis for the design.

"Quite frankly it will take years for the proposed site to mature and in the meantime we will be directly confronted with a open patch of land where currently a very natural and peaceful conservation area exists.”

Terry Allen, Frinton town councillor heading the project, said it was a fantastic opportunity and would cost around £120,000.

He said: “The work has already started, which is great as it has been going on for 15 years.

“Something really needed to be done to it. The garden will be gated and fenced with two separate seating areas and and avenue of trees.

“Altogether there will be 9,000 plants put in as well as bushes.

“It will be really pleasant when it’s done and people going to and from the train station can walk through the garden.”

Residents were consulted about the changes, with the work going out to tender twice to ensure Frinton Town Council got the lowest price possible for the work.

Mr Allen said the work would be carried out to budget or under.

The town council will also be maintaining the site.

Mr Allen added: “It has been a lot of hard work and I’m really pleased it’s going to be done.

“We are hoping for it to be finished in March or April but it is weather dependent.

“It will be fantastic to see it transformed from brambles and wire to this community garden.”