RESIDENTS have been left angry after fences were put up to block an alleyway in Jaywick used by the public for almost 80 years.

People were shocked to find a fence appear across the alleyway between Rosemary Way and Cornflower Way last week.

Residents have called on Tendring Council and Essex County Council to take action, but it is understood that the alleyway does not belong to anyone.

Ward councillor Dan Casey said: “I’ve had a lot of calls from people telling me the walkway has been sealed off.

“It is believed that the land doesn’t belong to anyone and it may be that people living next to it are trying to claim the land, but the alleyways in Jaywick have been there for 70 or 80 years, they’re basically a right of way.

“I’ve contacted Tendring Council and Essex County Council, but they told me there’s not much they can do about it because they don’t own them.

“They don’t seem interested – I’m disgusted with them.

“Elderly people now can’t get to the shops without a very long walk.

“If we don’t stop it now with this one, these fences will go up between all the roads in Jaywick.

“I believe they may have been put up by residents, who want to stake a claim on them.

“But I’m really concerned – what if there’s another flood and they’re needed for access?

“People have threatened to smash the fences up if they stay up, but they want to go through the right channels.

“There’s a lot of angry people over it.”

Danny Sloggett, who runs Jaywick Sands Happy Club, called on Tendring Council to take action to keep Jaywick’s alleyways open.

He said: “I don’t see how anyone has the right to close Jaywick’s alleyways.

“These are our alleyways – and they are used by the public.

“I want these fences to be removed – elderly people can’t get to the shop to get their milk and bread.

“How can the emergency services get down there to put a fire out? It’s a hazard.”

Paul Honeywood, Tendring Council’s cabinet member with special responsibility for Jaywick, said: “Tendring Council takes a huge interest in Jaywick and is doing a lot of work with the community to improve the area.

“However, checks show that neither Essex County Council nor Tendring Council own this land, so they cannot simply step in and remove these barriers.”

He added: “Perhaps, it’s a matter for the police or rights of way experts?”