Only 10 per cent of Castle Point households were sent letters by the council about three public exhibitions.It was from people objecting to the massive new development who decided to thwart the council's 'keep mum' tactic, and sent out their own leaflets:
The final exhibition was at Runnymede Hall, in Thundersley, but some residents only found out after notices were pushed through their door.
Lisa Chandler, 38, of Daws Heath Road, said: “We live right by where they want to build 550 homes off Daws Heath Road and we didn’t recieve a letter.
“We had a notice put through our door about the exhibition, but it wasn’t from the council. We don’t know who it was from.”
One man, who asked not to be named, said he had distributed around 60 notices.The council pleaded lack of money:
He said: “If you have a set of unpopular proposals then no wonder you only inform 10 per cent of the population and publicise it in August when a lot of people are on holiday.”
Ian Burchill, corporate director for the environment at the council, said: “We wrote to every tenth household.Yeah. Sure you did...
“We couldn’t write to all 40,000 as it would have cost too much and we would have had staff stuffing envelopes for days.
“We knew people would talk to their neighbours and that more people would come to the exhibitions than those we wrote to.”