A trench the size of a tennis court is set to be created to protect a group of residential streets in Witham from flooding.

Essex County Council has submitted an application to create the 860sqm below ground "attenuation" area on open space off Forest Road.

The trench, which will be used to store and and slowly release surface water, hopes to prevent flooding in the Forest Road, Yew Close and Elderberry Gardens areas where investigations have shown 92 residential properties at risk of flooding.

A planning statement reads: "The land is currently open, with no restrictions to access from Forest Road, and is used frequently as a cut through by local residents or by dog walkers.

"No adopted or unadopted footpaths, formal or informal sports pitches or play equipment exists within the site.

"To facilitate access for construction traffic and allow material to be removed from the site during the creation of the attenuation area it is proposed to operate a single lane closure of Forest Road immediately adjacent to the site."

Essex Highways are working with the council's planning department on arrangements for when the work is taking place.

The statement continues: "As a construction site there will be negative impacts to the accessibility of the area during the construction period, with the potential for noise and dust disruption to the neighbouring properties."

Once complete the trench will be landscaped with grasses and wildflowers to improve the appearance of the area.

Braintree Council has been asked for its views on the plans.

To view the application, search CC/BTE/30/18 on the Essex County Council planning portal.