Residents of Hockley and Leigh have been expressing their outrage after it was confirmed that Hockley and Belfairs Woods are set to be the latest locations for Center Parcs leisure and spa resorts.
According to Essex councillor Nigel Parrish, the plans will bring millions of pounds into the local tourism economy every year.
Plans have now been drawn up for a central swimming complex, 500 woodland villas, camping pitches and a limited number of luxury lodges on each site.
Cllr Parrish said: ‘It has now become impossible to stop local dog haters from trying to poison dogs in Belfairs and Hockley Woods, so we were left with no alternative but to accept Center Parcs’ very generous offer.’
‘The Center Parcs proposition is a very attractive one. They get lovers of the outdoors to stay in an enclosed woodland community, and they can get up close and personal with nature while being charged £19.95 for a cheeseburger and chips. It’s like a service station surrounded by trees.’
‘Naturally we will have to make some improvements to Main Road in Hockley and The Fairway in Leigh to allow for the extra traffic.’
‘We only predict 18 months of road closures and temporary traffic lights for this, but fortunately that is Essex Highways’ responsibility so they can handle the complaints.’
A spokesperson for Center Parcs confirmed that the project will be monitored very closely, with plans being drawn up for similar complexes all over South Essex.
Essex Council Minister for Wild Spaces Paul Badger spoke to Southend News Network to address fears about the loss of public spaces.
He said: ‘Although South Essex residents will be able to book a weekend or mid-week break to continue to enjoy these spaces, there will still be plenty of other options to take advantage of the best that the area has to offer.’
‘Hadleigh Castle is still a few years away from being developed into a 5* boutique hotel, and the Prittle Brook offers some of the country’s finest condom fishing opportunities.’