A CONTROVERSIAL planning decision in Colchester will this afternoon be raised in Parliament by the town’s MP Sir Bob Russell.

Sir Bob has a question on the order paper to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, about the planning consent given for a 1,600 home estate in the north of the town despite strong opposition.

Lib Dem Sir Bob has described the proposed development as a “planning and environmental disaster."

Today Sir Bob will be asking about how the schools on the new estate will be paid for.

Essex County Council says it does not have the money – and Colchester Council, in recommending approval, failed to ensure that the Conditions of the Consent contained a legal agreement for the developer to fully fund the schools, which is a usual requirement.

Sir Bob said: “It is bad enough that this new estate will be a planning and environmental disaster. And we all know that it will add still further to the appalling traffic congestion currently experienced at North Station.

“The planning decision is all the more inexplicable with the knowledge that there is no funding to build the new schools.

“The planning decision is a monumental disaster from start to finish.”