A SPATE of strangers meeting up to practice “dogging” in a quiet country lane has led residents in Bulphan to call for a road closure.

Conservative ward councillor Susan Little is fighting on behalf of residents to get gates installed at Peartree Lane to combat the problem.

At Wednesday’s full council meeting, she asked Labour portfolio holder for public protection, Angie Gaywood, to support a consultation on the closure.

Cllr Gaywood replied that road closures are “not always the answer” and said the council should try other more effective ways of tackling the problem first.

She added: “Having spoken to the police, this has been going on for about three years, so I’m concerned it is only coming to light now.”

Conservative shadow portfolio holder for public protection, Simon Wootton, is pleased the issue is being looked at.

He said: “It is now a matter for the police and Thurrock Council to investigate these allegations and ensure swift and positive action is taken to resolve the problem.”

Essex Police confirmed it is looking into the problem and will put up signs on the entrance to the area warning about patrols.

A spokesman said: “The neighbourhood constable and other members of the local policing team have made several site visits along with all concerned parties.

“Police will work to ensure that any activities within the area are within the law.”