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Train line blocked by fallen tree

A tree on power line has brought train services between Witham and Braintree in Essex to a halt. Credit: PA Wire

The train service between Witham and Braintree has been suspended because a tree has been blown down.

The tree has damaged the overhead electric wires between Witham and White Notley and all lines are blocked. Greater Anglia says disruption is expected until 8am.

Network Rail engineers are at the location of the tree and will remove the debris as quickly as possible.

Buses are currently replacing trains.

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Dog thought to have started house fire in Essex

A dog is thought to have started a house fire in Braintree Credit: ITV News

Three people have suffered smoke inhalation and a dog has died following a kitchen fire at Braintree in Essex.

Firefighters were called to Templar Road last night after the people living there returned home to find their house full of smoke.

The fire is thought to have been started accidentally by the dog who had jumped up at the cooker and turned the cooker on. Items left on the cooker then caught light.

The kitchen has been destroyed and the rest of the house has suffered extensive smoke damage.

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Police appeal to find missing 85-year-old woman with dementia

Police appeal for help over missing Doris Allen Credit: Essex Police

Essex Police are appealing for help to find an 85-year-old dementia sufferer Doris Allen who is missing from her home in Bocking, near Braintree . Officers believe she went missing sometime between 11pm last night, Saturday, and 7.30am this morning.

She's described as white, 5ft 2ins tall, of slim build with short grey hair. She was likely to have left her home wearing a white jumper, black trousers and black boots. She may have been carrying a small black shoulder bag and a Sainsbury’s carrier bag containing various items of clothing.

Anyone who sees Doris or knows anything about her location should contact police at Braintree on 101.

Essex housing scheme could see 40,000 new homes built

Three sites have already been earmarked for the new homes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than 40,000 new homes could be built across north Essex as part of a scheme to create more so-called 'Garden Communities'.

The plans are in the very early stages but three possible sites have already been earmarked:

  • West Colchester - 20,000 homes
  • West Braintree - 13,000 homes
  • Tendring/Colchester border - 9,000 homes
Braintree is one of four councils involved in the scheme. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It is the brainchild of four councils across Essex, who are bidding for money from central government to fund the scheme.

We think it's vital that local authorities actually plan the developments and it's not just left to builders and speculators.

We want proper communities built for the future with, most importantly, the infrastructure in the beginning.

– Cllr Graham Butland, Leader, Braintree District Council

1,000 cannabis plants found at warehouse

The factory was found in Braintree Credit: PA

Police have arrested three men after a cannabis factory was discovered in Braintree.

1,000 cannabis plants were found at a warehouse in Convent Lane yesterday afternoon (Thursday, March 30).

The plants were said to be in the ‘drying out’ phase.

Three men from London, aged 28, 29 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation.

They were all taken Colchester police station where they remain in custody.

A full search of the building is due to take place today.

Shop staff threatened by armed robbers in Essex

The thieves were armed with a crowbar and hammer. Credit: PA

Shop staff were left shaken after being threatened by armed robbers in Halstead, Essex.

Four men - armed with a crowbar and hammer - walked into the Co-Op on Abels Road at around 8pm yesterday (17 January).

They forced staff to open the office safe and stole a four-figure sum of cash, before fleeing.

The men are described as wearing all black. Their faces were covered by scarves.

Police carried out a search of the area, but they could not find the suspects .

Officers are investigating whether it is linked to other robberies the Braintree district in recent months.

"This was a frightening incident for the members of staff involved.

"Essex Police will not tolerate people causing fear and threatening violence, and we are confident we will find the people responsible. "We believe the local community can play an important part in bringing these people to justice and I would urge anyone with any information about this incident or any others to come forward."

– Detective Inspector Mark Cadd, Essex Police
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