MERSEA’S public services cannot cope with a proposed 15 per cent increase in the island’s population, campaigners have warned.

Gladman Developments has launched a consultation website exploring fresh proposals for yet another 99 new homes to be built off Colchester Road on the west side of the island.

The developer says the new estate will not only provide houses, but also space for a new medical practice and car park for the community.

However, campaigners have criticised the announcement, with plans for 200 homes at two other sites already lodged or approved.

City and Country has permission to build 100 new homes at Brierley Paddocks and Mersea Homes wants to build 100 more off Dawes Lane.

Stop350 was formed in 2016 to fight overdevelopment of Mersea Island.

Group member John Akker said: “We are assessing the situation and we are in contact with our barristers and planning advisor. The situation is very serious for Mersea.

“We are now facing plans for 300 houses and many residents are saying these will change the character of the island for good.

“Our advice to residents is to make their views known to the council and their elected representatives.

“Local services cannot cope at present yet face the potential of around a 15 per cent increase in population.”

Stop350 say planners have ignored Mersea’s unique features when making decisions on its future.

Mr Akker said: “No account has been taken so far as to the major increase in visitor numbers in Mersea with 2,000 caravan pitches and much more strain set to be placed on The Strood.

He added: “In the immediate future residents have another week to object to the plans for Dawes Lane. We urge them to do so.”

Gladman says an outline planning application for the site off Colchester Road will be submitted in due course.