TRADERS and councillors have vowed to battle new laws they fear could suck the life out of Colchester’s town centre.

A consultation has been launched after a Government inspector said Colchester Council policies which block developments harmful to the town centre could go against national guidelines.

The finding has raised new fears that stores traditionally found in high streets could instead open in retail parks and shopping centres such as Tollgate, in Stanway.

Ron Levy, secretary of Colchester Retail/Business Association, said: “The town centre is the heart of Colchester.

“If the heart dies, the body dies, so we must do everything we can to protect it.”

Pick up Friday's Essex County Standard for the full story