A STUNNED neighbour has described how police descended on a block of flats for three days after explosive substances were discovered.

A 50-year-old man has been arrested after police found the potentially dangerous items at a home in Carrington Court, West Mersea.

The force are not treating the incident as terror related.

A man who lives nearby said: “It was absolutely manic.

“On Friday afternoon they police arrived - probably only two cars - and arrested someone.

“We all thought that would be it but then everything seemed to escalate.

“More and more police kept coming and later on the bomb disposal unit were here.

“On Saturday afternoon there were police parked up all along the street and then on Sunday again it was absolutely heaving.

“At one stage they were talking about evacuating the building but I don’t think it happened in the end.”

The man said as well as a flat being searched, garages in a communal garden were also forced open as the police continued their investigation.

He said there had been problems in the past where one resident had taken potshots at nuisance birds which had annoyed other people living nearby.

“Generally, it is a decent place to live,” he said.

“On my block everyone looks out for each other and we are all quite friendly.

“I think it is quite similar all the way around.”

Police have confirmed the man they arrested is still in custody.

A spokesman said: “Officers attended an address in West Mersea shortly after 1.30pm on Saturday.

“During a search of the property what were believed to be explosive substances were found.

“A 50-year-old man from Colchester has been arrested on suspicion of possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose.

“He remains in police custody.

A temporary cordon was in place while officers, working with emergency service colleagues remained at the scene.

“Officers are not treating this as a terror related incident and do not believe there to be any risk to members of the public.”