A REPORT in the Gazette has been sent to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles amid fears Colchester town centre could lose its identity.

The Gazette revealed efforts by Colchester Council to block out-of-town developments if they could harm the town centre were believed to be against new Government guidelines.

The council ranks the town centre as more important than other shopping centres, such as Tollgate or Tiptree village centre.

However, a consultation has been launched after a Government inspector said this appeared to be at odds with the Government’s national planning policy framework.

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has sent a copy of the article to Mr Pickles with a letter explaining his fears. The Lib Dem pointed out major investment was planned in Colchester town centre.

See Thursday's Gazette for more