LAND for at least 200 more homes in Colchester must be found every year, according to a new report.

Population growth coupled with the thousands of people a year who choose to move to Colchester means one of the UK’s fastest growing boroughs may have to expand even further over the next two decades.

Currently, around 850 houses and flats are built in Colchester every year, mainly in the north of the town.

But a Strategic Housing Land Assessment commissioned by the council has found there will be demand for between 1,065 and 1,225 a year.

Tina Bourne, councillor responsible for housing, admitted the authority would not be able to please everybody when searching for new housing development sites.

She said: “I’m sure most residents would say: more homes?

“But if we are to address housing of all kinds - rented, owned, affordable, social, then we do know that we need to build more housing.

“There’s a national shortage of homes and we want to go some way to meet the demand.”

She said since 2010, more than 600 affordable homes had been built in Colchester - more than double the number constructed in Ipswich or Braintree.

The report reveals Colchester’s population is growing far faster than its neighbours. By 2021, an estimated 200,324 people will live in the borough, up from 173,614 people in 2011.

That 15.4 per cent rise is more than double the 7.2 per cent population increase predicted for Chelmsford.