There are just two places in the UK which have names including Stalin – here in Colchester and Stalin Avenue in Chatham.

So how did the road get its name and why has it never been changed?

Stalin Road was named when the estate was built in 1948 after Allied War leaders.

Others on the estate include Churchill Way and Roosevelt Way.

Stalin was in power from 1922 to 1953.

A number of streets and roads across the former Soviet Union and some places in western Europe took names associated with the leader.

Following the battle of Stalingrad in the Second World War a number of streets in Europe were given names in reference of the battle.

When the nature of Stalin’s regime was exposed many of these places reverted back to their original names.

In response to questions about the name on social media this week Colchester Council said in a Tweet: “Since the road was named there has, understandably, been ongoing debate.

“By law, we are required to gain agreement from 75 per cent of the residents living on the street.

“We would of course be willing to review this again with residents, should the residents of this street object, however without the required support of we are unable to change the name.”

Gazette: The road is one of three named after the Allied War leaders in Colchester. Picture: GoogleThe road is one of three named after the Allied War leaders in Colchester. Picture: Google

Back in 2009 debate has raged over whether the name of the road should be changed from that of the Russian dictator.

Bob Russell, who was Colchester MP at the time, decided to carry out a poll to gauge the feelings of the residents at the centre of the discussion.

He found only four households said they wanted to change the name which was given to the road when the estate was built in 1948.

A total of 74 households were contacted of which 30 responded.

Those who wanted to change the name totalled just four while those who said they did not want to change it totalled 26.

Speaking at the time Mr Russell said: "Every few years someone says the road name should be changed because Stalin was a mass killer, which is true.

"But these roads are named after the Allied War Leaders. A recent letter in the Essex County Standard challenged me to get the name changed, so I thought the best thing to do was to ask residents - and their overwhelming verdict is they do not want to change the name of their road.

"I respect their decision, and hope that this is now the end of the matter."

In the Gazette and Essex County Standard at the time residents in Stalin Road said changing the name would “incur tremendous inconvenience and cost.”

One letter said: “It should be our decision. Please leave it alone, save us a lot of unnecessary effort and inconvenience, and spend public money where it is needed.

“The name was allotted in 1945 when Stalin was regarded as a hero. If there was ever a time to change it, this was in 1946 when Stalin’s atrocities were made public.

“The time is certainly not now, when it would cause such unjustified expense and inconvenience, and when the few who remember Stalin are in their late life.”

One letter in opposition said: “Whether the residents of Stalin Road know or care who “their” road is named after is not at issue. It is not, in fact, their road.

“It is an embarrassment to Colchester, to Britain. Residents don’t want disruption to their address books, to have to change their documents. That’s fair enough. But since when do road names ever get decided by residents?”

In 2017 research by HouseSimple found buyers were being put off because of its controversial name.

The research found the road had 70 per cent fewer house sales than nearby Barn Hall Avenue.

However, residents living in the road said they are happy to live there and even fought against suggestions to change the name.