COUNCILLORS claim their genteel resort is being turned into “Chigwell-on-Sea” as homeowners fence in large properties in Frinton’s leafy avenues.

Town councillors want residents in the illustrious avenues to stop enclosing their properties with large gates in a bid to preserve the openness of the roads.

It comes after an application for permission to build a new front garden wall in Third Avenue, which would be more than a metre tall.

Frinton and Walton Town Council reluctantly recommended the plans for approval because there was no planning policy to justify refusal based on their limited height.

But councillors branded the wall and gates “over the top” and “not very Frinton”.

Frinton councillor Nick Turner said: “I don’t like it, but we can’t stop it. There are no reasons to go forth and argue against it – and that really upsets me – except for the fact that it is enclosure.

“The whole point about the avenues is the openness. Not all this closing it in “because it’s mine”.”

Town councillor Terry Allen added “it’s Chigwell-on-Sea again” – a point which struck a chord with fellow councillors at a meeting on Thursday.

Chigwell is known for its large houses, but unlike Frinton’s open leafy avenues, many larger properties in the affluent Essex town are enclosed by gates and walls.

A planning application said the new wall would match existing materials.

A final decision will be made by Tendring Council by July 30.