A man has stood in front of a digger as part of a one-man protest against a housing development an MP says should be 'torn down'.

Residents in Bagillt are furious at a three storey development being built which they claim does not have full planning permission and is being built too close to their homes.

They have the backing of Delyn MP David Hanson and their Councillor, Bagillt West Cllr Mike Reece, who are both urging Flintshire Council to step in and halt construction.

One of the residents Andy Davies took to standing in front of the digger as work was going on in protest against the development.

Four houses are currently in construction off Gadlys Lane, in Bagillt, despite aspects of the development deviating from their original planning application, according to residents.

An application made to Flintshire Council was made to build ten three-storey houses on the land of the former Royal British Legion Club, by Chester Building Services Ltd.

But according to resident Andy Davies, the planning permission granted in 2012, has not been followed to the letter.

Mr Davies claims the four houses currently under construction have been built 7.5 metres too close to a pre-existing row of houses - Beechcroft Close, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

He said: "I first noticed when they started work from my back garden and realised it was too close. It should be 27 metres away but these houses are only 19.5 metres away."

Mr Davies, distressed by the ordeal for many months, took a stand this week in protest of the "unfair" construction work - and stood in front of the digger in protest.

He said: "It's been going on for two and a half years now. Those houses should not be there. The complaints committee for their latest application keeps getting cancelled because Chester Building Services pulled out - they've gone bust. So I said if they continue to carry out work which is illegal, I'm going to stand in front of the digger so they can't get there.

"They wanted the views over the river didn't they, but the houses are too tall. (In Beechcroft) there's kids, families, pensioners, and when we're sat in the living room the people will be able to look right in. We've had to draw the curtains save the builders seeing us. They can see right through our windows onto the River Dee.

"At the end of the day, those houses should not be there. I've had enough. If they were told to work within an area they should stick with it."

Many other residents are angered by the development, including those living in the nearby Rising Sun area, Pendyffryn area, Gadlys Lane, and Beechcroft Close, in Bagillt.

Stacey Parker, mother of three, is concerned about the implications of increased traffic and car parking on an already narrow and dangerous hill.

She said: "If ten houses are being built, with about two cars each, that's 20 more cars in the narrow lane. There's not enough space as it is and there's no through road - it's just dangerous."

Bagillt West County Cllr Mike Reece, who is also against the development of the houses agreed that the site is unfit for more population.

He said: "There's a sign saying limited access, and that it's unfit for traffic, so it is unsuitable for motor vehicles to be up here."

Maureen Nicholson, Mr Davies's mother, has turned into "a nervous wreck because of this," according to her son. The lifelong Beechcroft Close resident said: "I don't want this ordeal to happen all over again. It makes me anxious because at the moment I'm stuck in the house after having a knee replacement. All that's going on when they're not supposed to be there makes me angry. They're too close to us anyway. They're just ignoring what everyone wants."

Mrs Nicholson also noted that the builders "accidentally" took down her fence while working and she has paid out of her own pocket twice to get it fixed.

The building saga has been ongoing since 2006, when the first round of planning applications were submitted on the former site of the British Legion to demolish some of the building and build six two-storey homes.

Over the years, residents have battled against the construction company, which has taken on various names. In the latest twist, Chester Building Services Ltd withdrew the papers in January 2017 and were to resubmit the application after consulting with local residents.

But according to Delyn MP David Hanson, the contractors have gone ahead with building work despite "the resubmitted application not being finalised by Flintshire council."

Mr Hanson, who has backed the case since 2016 when he said the houses should be "torn down," told the Leader this week: "I have written to Flintshire council stating that building work should stop impending further notice. I have been dealing with this for years and we have got to make sure the work doesn't go ahead.

"It is also having a massive impact on residents. The site has been lying idle for the past 12 months and it is simply not acceptable.

"I am saying that we have to stop this development until the resubmitted application has been correctly considered."

Mrs Nicholson added that the half-built houses are also a magnet for trouble by youths. Recent weeks have seen countless episodes of youths taking refuge in the housing shells, promoting anti-social behaviour and even vandalism.

Mrs Nicholson said: "I'm frightened sitting here at night because of the kids that go there. We've had around 15 incidents of them smashing things up."

According to the construction company, now CBS, a revised landscaping and Boundary Treatment Plan has been proposed and Flintshire Council have requested that they carry out work on site to show this revision in practice.

A spokesman added: "We have listened to the issues of a number of occupiers of premises on Beechcroft Close and amended the latest proposed scheme which has been revised to remove all second floor windows overlooking Beechcroft Close to take account of the local residents' concerns.

"In the event that any damage to existing fencing on the site boundaries has been caused by any of our contractors on site and duly reported to us, we will of course repair, replace or pay for any such work.

"The site has a history of planning consents for ten 2.5 storey housing developments in the same position as the four built units."

Andrew Farrow, Flintshire council’s chief officer for planning and public protection said: “The developers have submitted a planning application which seeks to change the previously permitted scheme. This latest planning application will be considered at planning committee on March 28 and members will visit the site to see the current the position prior to the application’s determination. The operations currently being undertaken on site relate to landscaping works, not house construction.”