Brightlingsea is cashing in on a major wind farm development.

Three large vessels involved in the construction of the off-shore wind farm at Gunfleet Sands are lying in the creek at Brightlingsea.

And crew working on the multi-million pound development off the coast are staying in Brightlingsea - and spending their money there.

So far, 17 of the 48 monopiles are in place as well as an off-shore sub-station.

Danish energy company Dong, which is behind the wind farm, hopes it will be completed later this year.

The firm has also been given permission to demolish a boatyard to build a three-storey office block and warehouse in Tower Street which will be used for the service and maintenance of the offshore wind farm.

Brightlingsea harbour master Bernie Hetherington said the town was benefitting from the wind farm works.

He said: "Some of the people working on the project are living in Brightlingsea and are bringing extra money into the town's economy.

"They are staying in the bed and breakfasts and spending money in the pubs and shops."

The three large vessels have made life busier on the riverfront too. GPS Atlas is 45 metres long and 20 metres wide and is a floating lifting device used for doing foundation work.

Haven Seaforth is another working platform which is 30 metres by 20 metres large and goes in and out of the river to assist with the diving work at the wind farm.

Excalibre is an eight-legged jack-up barge which is 60 metres long and 32 metres which which is used for driving piles into the sea bed.

Tugs and support vessels are also being used to manoeuvre the large, awkward vessels in the creek and to take workers backwards and forwards to the wind farm site.

Brightlingsea's rivers are also being used by vessels transporting sand and gravel from Fingringhoe to London.

Mr Hetherington said the traffic using the river was not a problem at the moment but the situation would be monitored in the summer when the area was busier.

* PLANS for a new floating harbour office have been shelved because of the cost.

It has been hoped Brightlingsea could have a harbour office with better views of the river. However, Mr Hetherington said the cost of the project had become prohibitive.