RATS could blight new children’s play areas if more isn’t done to tackle litter and rubbish dumped on a popular walkway, it has been claimed.

Two new play areas are being built at Taylor Wimpey’s Peninsula Estate off Heron Way in Dovercourt.

But residents have called for Tendring Council to clear up discarded litter in The Hangings before the play areas are opened fearing it could become a health hazard.

Matthew James, who lives on the estate, said while Tendring Council didn't own that section of The Hangings they should be responsible for cleaning it up.

“Rubbish and possibly rats will blight children's play areas in Dovercourt unless someone clears up the litter," he said.

“Taylor Wimpey's Peninsula estate will soon have two new play areas, work on which resumes this month.

“But Tendring Council appears unwilling to do anything about the huge amount of litter in The Hangings, even though young children will soon be playing right next to the mess.”

A spokesman for Tendring Council said not all of The Hangings was owned by the council but the concerns over rubbish had been passed on to the officers responsible.