RESIDENTS are threatening legal action in their fight for compensation over a new road.

Householders blighted by the Northern Approach Road are urging Essex County Council to pay the tens of thousands of pounds compensation they say they were promised, or face them in court.

Some 57 households in Defoe Crescent and Mill Road say they are owed between £5,000 and £20,000 for the reduction in quality their lives since the road was buit in 2003.

They say the compensation was to be paid by builders Cofton as part of an agreement with the council, but the firm has recently called in the administrators.

Barney Davies of Davies Partnership, one of the solictors’ firms representing the residents, is urging his clients to take legal action before they run out of time, in June next year.

He said: “The whole thing is ludicrous. I have never been in a situation which has dragged on with such an unreceptive authority.”

David Smith, 70, of Defoe Crescent, Colchester, said: “If you make an agreement you have to honour it.

“If I didn’t pay my council tax, to recover the money they would have me in court within a week.”

Martin Goss, Liberal Democrat councillor for Mile End: said the county council was now liable for the costs.

He said: “The county council needs to pull its finger out and get the money paid and stop dilly-dallying around.”

Scott Wilson, Essex County Council spokesman, said: “We are seeking to obtain compensation for residents from the administrators and are providing regular updates to the legal representatives of those affected.”