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Colchester Borough Council remains committed to the Garden Communities principles and will work closely with Braintree and Tendring District Councils to secure the future housing requirements in the North Essex Authorities area.
This commitment assumes and is dependent on funding for the necessary strategic infrastructure being confirmed, them being proven financially viable and environmentally sound, with strong evidence of constructive engagement and involvement with local communities throughout the plan, and acceptance derived locally, as required by Government policy.
The North Essex Authorities will provide the further evidence requested by the inspector under an alternative option which will show any Colchester and Braintree Borders Garden Community being planned for the later years of the housing trajectory of the Local Plan and any Colchester and Braintree Borders Garden Community and Colchester and Tendring Border Garden Community proposals dependent on necessary strategic infrastructure being committed. It will also be imperative to prove the economic viability for garden communities, and to ensure future housing growth is matched with economic growth. The Sustainability Appraisal will assess a larger number of sites at a range of different sizes and also consider alternative options to deliver growth as set out in the Inspectors letter of 8th June 2018. The conclusions of that Appraisal will need to be reviewed before consultation on the evidence base and Sustainability Appraisal.
Should the necessary strategic infrastructure for the garden communities not be committed after a reasonable period of time, this will trigger a review of the Local Plan to manage the consequential shortfall in housing delivery in a way that does not overburden the infrastructure of existing communities/settlements.
This alternative option will now be recommended to the other North Essex Authorities and if agreed is sent to the planning inspector as the North Essex proposals to progress the Local Plan.