A £6MILLION project in Colchester to help war veterans get back on their feet could have been ruined by Colchester Council, the town’s MP has claimed.

Prime Minister David Cameron allocated the cash to fund temporary and permanent housing for veterans in the town.

But Sir Bob Russell says the project has been held up because of Colchester Council’s “inflexibility and rigidness”.

He said more than six months ago a suitable plot of land was identified by him and housing trust Riverside, for the project.

Agreement had been reached with the private landowner to buy the land.

Initial plans were made and the name Helmand House selected.

But Sir Bob said when council planning officers got involved, they put the brakes on the project, because the land was not zoned for housing.

He also said he was told homes specifically set aside for Armed Forces veterans are not classed as social housing. Sir Bob said: “I despaired Colchester Council, which is in charge of a Garrison town, was so rigid and inflexible.

“To me, the landowner had made a real gesture and it was thrown back in their face.”

It is understood Riverside are now looking at a number of other sites in the borough.