Councillors have agreed to put a draft Development Plan to shape growth of a new garden community out for consultation.
Colchester City Council voted last night (Thursday, 23 March) to send the Development Plan for the Tendring/Colchester Border Garden Community (TCBGC) out for formal consultation, following backing by the TCB Joint Committee on 27 February.
TCBGC is a planned new settlement between Colchester and Elmstead Market, and forms part of the adopted Local Plan for Colchester and Tendring.
Tendring District Council had already agreed to put the draft Development Plan out for consultation when it met on 2 March.
Having been approved by both councils, consultation will now take place in May and June, with all responses being sent to the Planning Inspectorate. A Planning Inspector will then consider these and assess if the Development Plan is sound and compliant with local and national planning policy.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council and Vice-Chairman of the TCB Joint Committee, said: “I am pleased we have continued and strong cross-party support for the Garden Community and for putting our plans and policies out to consultation.
“A huge amount of work has been done to ensure these proposals are sound, are viable and can command support. But we know that any development can be a deep concern. The three councils have taken residents' views into account and we will do so again, but, as adjusted, our development plan proposals are a huge step up on usual development.
“We expect high-quality design and development and timely infrastructure to Garden Community principles. We welcome the commitment of the developers to this approach. With new country parks and protected green space, improved biodiversity and 30% affordable housing, this will be a special place to live, with community facilities and places to enable many to work, shop or play locally.
“We look forward to the next steps, to engagement and consultation and the residents’ test of these proposals, and then independent planning inspector examination.”
The Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Adam Fox, added: "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop new jobs, homes and a place for people to live that they can really enjoy.
“The Garden Community will put the environment first, as it develops. That means parks, green spaces, trees, and green travel options will be as important as building the new homes we need.
“The Garden Community needs to reflect what local people want to see. I would urge as many people as possible to take the time to read the Development Plan and comment on it. That will help us get our plans right and deliver a Garden Community that will benefit our residents and the local area for decades to come.”