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The three district/borough councils working on the North Essex Garden Communities project (Braintree / Colchester / Tendring) have now concluded the final stages of their Local Plan consultation, with the plans due to be examined by the Planning Inspectorate in the New Year.

These aligned plans are split into two with ‘Section One’ setting out the ambition for three new communities built to Garden Community Principles as a way of managing long-term growth, whilst ‘Section Two’ have been individually written for each council and setting out other planned development.

It is the view of the councils that the three garden communities, led through their newly formed company NEGC Ltd rather than through a traditional developer, are a better way of managing housing needs, allowing them to deliver infrastructure ahead of or alongside development, and helping restrict predatory developers.

The Local Plans are about setting out the nature of future development and where it will be. At this stage each Garden Community is simply identified by a red circle, and these sites will become more defined as we progress. It is important to stress the red lines are not the edge of development, but simply the broad areas in which the Garden Communities will sit.

The next step of this process is to create a more detailed plan for each site, and work will start on this in the coming weeks with a first stage of public consultation commencing on the 13 November 2017, looking at some of the issues and options around each site.  For more information on this, visit or individual council websites to have your say.

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