Work to reopen a road that has been partially closed due to a badger sett has been delayed.
Measures had been taken to close off the sett and encourage the badgers to move elsewhere, so the roadworks can safely take place and the road along Cliff Parade in Leigh-on-Sea can reopen fully.
But someone has interfered in the work, removing the measures, and allowing the badgers back in.
This will delay the project and create extra costs to the taxpayer, as there must be a clear 21 days with no presence of the badgers before roadworks can begin.
Cllr Meg Davidson, cabinet member for environment, said; “We don't want to do any work that could cause harm to the badgers, but likewise the sett is causing significant damage and safety concerns to the road above.
"It is disappointing that someone has interfered with the work that has already taken place and removed the one-way gates which were intended to close off the existing sett so that the badgers would move on from this location and settle elsewhere. This work is being done for the safety and preservation of the badgers that are in the sett and I would urge people to let the experts do their work.”
Cllr Kevin Buck, cabinet member for highways and transport, said; “We are certain due to the measures in place and how they were implemented and removed, that a person or persons, have taken it upon themselves to interfere with the project.
“Sadly, this will cause additional delays and costs. But the road desperately needs repairing. It has been down to one lane for several years and locals who use that route have been incredibly patient as they wait for those works to take place. The road is potentially dangerous as it is, as it subsides due to the badger sett and we need to get it fixed.”
If you see someone interfering with council-contracted work, please call local police on 111 and report it.