HOMES in the areas surrounding Braintree have been left without power tonight and disruption could continue for hours.

An unplanned power cut was reported to UK Power Networks at 6.30pm today.

It is affecting properties in the CM7 8 and CM77 6 postcode areas, which includes Rayne, Bartholomew Green, and Blake End.

Engineers are on their way to investigate the issue, which is believed to have been caused by an equipment fault at a substation in the area.

Braintree and Witham Times: Affected area - near BraintreeAffected area - near Braintree (Image: UK Power Networks)

It is currently estimated power will return between 10pm and 11pm today.

A statement on the energy distributor's website says: "We became aware of a power cut at 18:30. We’re sorry for any disruption this may have caused you.

"We didn’t know in advance there would be a power cut but now that we know, our teams will do everything they can to get your power back quickly.

"Engineers are on their way. At this point we think the issue is a fault with some equipment in your local substation in the CM77 6 area.

"We did not know this was going to happen, so time frames we provide throughout are estimated and are subject to change.

"Our estimated time to have power back on is currently between 22:00 -23:00 but after we arrive on site and assess the situation this may change.

"The reason for this is there can sometimes be a more complex underlying issue found from our engineers tests which may take longer, and if there is not we may get power back on sooner."