Residents on Canvey have been reassured that it is ‘business as usual’ as a 12-month nuclear weapons testing programme gets underway on the island.

As a result of Monday’s vote in Parliament to renew the £40bn Trident nuclear defence system, the project to create a weapons testing base at an ‘undisclosed location’ was also given the green light.

Ministry of Defence spokesperson Nigel Siendi said: ‘A major part of the nuclear renewal process is testing to ensure that we explore all of the options for warheads – this means testing them all in a controlled environment.’

‘While we can’t specify exactly where the base is located on Canvey for security reasons, we can confirm that the island was chosen for its vast open landscapes and lack of hills.’

‘We can understand why some residents are concerned about the testing, but we would like to stress that the process is safe. We always check the weather conditions before each test to ensure that fallout is contained in the restricted area.’

‘There have also been thorough studies into any possible excess noise and light pollution. We are delighted to say that residents shouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary while the tests are in progress.’

‘The testing base is also a huge investment in the future of Canvey Island. Once the site returns to a safe level of background radiation in roughly 250 years, Barratts Homes will be creating their exclusive Isotope View development.’

‘With 1400 new houses and 750 apartments, Isotope View will be a major driver towards thinking about a third bridge to the mainland.’