A petition to halt plans to build on green spaces has launched.

Brocket and Manford Way Protest Group has started a petition to Redbridge Council to appeal against proposed plans to build temporary modular units in Chigwell, Essex.

The council is proposing to house around 90 homeless families in the two green spaces in Hainault.

It is planning to build 30 family-sized units of modular temporary accommodation in Brocket Way Park and 60 family-sized units in Woodman Road, near Manford Way.

But campaigners claim the plans would mean more traffic, greater demand on local resources such as schools and GP surgeries and a reduction in leisure spaces available to children and families.

Spokesman for the group Sam Chapman, a recruitment consultant, said: "Green spaces are essential for communities now. In the fight against obesity they are fundamental as well as for older people and children who use the spaces.

"The underhanded tactics of the council have made local residents extremely angry. They landed this right before Christmas (when everyone is busy)."

Mr Chapman claims the authority only alerted 20 households about the consultation regarding the development, but the council disputes this saying an initial letter was delivered to 342 properties around the two proposed sites.

He added: "We will be losing one greenfield site entirely and the other one faces a large reduction in size. They want to develop on the only two public parks left within the boundaries of Hainault estate.

"Getting rid of Brocket Way Park will mean that children naturally end up playing in the street which creates a whole new hazard and danger.

"The elderly who walk their dogs at Brocket Way park will be forced to walk very far out of the way to an open green space. Life will become horrendous for disabled pet owners."

The protest group formed on Christmas Eve and has more than 700 members on Facebook.

The petition was launched two weeks ago and currently has more than 1,500 signatures.

Mr Chapman added the council's plans are "unsightly" and "not in keeping with the area at all."

Mr Chapman said: "We cannot let the council be a rule unto themselves. Everyone has to follow the rules and the council should not be allowed to breach them.

"Hainault is one of the most deprived wards in the whole of Redbridge already and bringing in people who are vulnerable will have an even more negative affect on the estate. We need positive developments, which will help the community and ease pressure on services.

"We do not want to be used as a place where Redbridge Council can sweep the people they are obliged to house under the carpet.

"Everyone in this campaign wants to help the homeless and vulnerable, but it has to be in the right area, not destroying green field sites."

He also claims that there are many brownfield sites closer to the town hall across the borough that could be used for the development.

Cllr Howard Berlin, deputy leader of Redbridge Conservative group, said: "The Redbridge 2015/2030 Local Plan states 'The council will protect open space to ensure that provision meets the needs of existing and future residents.'  It is therefore essential that Redbridge council protect much valued and much used vital community space in Hainault Ward."

But the council said that the proposed plans will help to house individuals and families desperately in need of housing.

A Redbridge council spokesperson explained austerity measures brought in by the government have placed huge pressure on the housing market, forcing families into homelessness - something it says it is determined to address.

The spokesman said: "This situation has a devastating human impact and one we are committed to addressing by pledging to build 1,000 genuinely affordable homes in Redbridge over the next four years.

"To ensure the availability of safe, secure and suitable accommodation for those caught in the housing crisis we are proposing to build family accommodation at Brocket Way and Woodman Road on land designated for housing in our Local Plan. These modular builds provide immediate and long-term accommodation for families who would otherwise find themselves in hostels or bed and breakfast, often outside the borough."

The spokesman added they authority has "an excellent track record" of ensuring school places and local GPs have confirmed their patient lists are open to new patients.

A meeting was held by the council on 19 December 2018 with a further three planned on 17, 19 and 22 January 2019 to discuss and answer questions on the plans.

The spokesman added: "Building this much-needed accommodation is subject to a rigorous planning process which also includes lengthy public consultation.”