CONTROVERSIAL plans to create a permanent travellers site on green belt land in Thundersley could go ahead no matter what, it is feared.

Concerns have been raised that Castle Point could face its own Dale Farm after a group of five caravans moved onto Janda Fields, off Fane Road, Thundersley, over the August bank holiday weekend.

Plans have been submitted to create a fully-fledged three-pitch caravan site, although residents fear the site could expand after neighbouring green belt land, off Bassenthwaite Road, was put up for auction by Castle Point Council.

Now, Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party claims the authority could be powerless to stop the travellers pitch from going ahead.

He said: “There is a lot of concern surrounding this issue. I am pretty sure that when it comes before the planning committee in the next few weeks it will be recommended for refusal. But, there is a feeling within the council that the land owners could win on appeal.

“It is likely the planning inspector could turn around and pass this no matter what councillors decide because at the end of the day we do not have another facility like it in the borough.”

Patrick and Miles McCarthy paid £83,500 in cash for the two-acre-site in June this year - both have links to the former Dale Farm site in Crays Hill.