TENDRING council reaffirmed its support for the proposed Garden Village on the edge of Colchester.
Deputy leader Carlo Guglielmi attended a consultation meeting last week, which revealed revised plans showing the settlement would feature its main centre along the A133 at Clingoe Hill and up to 2,000 south of the busy dual carriageway.
Moving the town further south, to be 500m away from Wivenhoe, led to much uproar from its councillors. Colchester Council deputy leader Tim Young demanded the planning consultants go back to the drawing board.
The Wivenhoe councillors, noting the plans now talk of 9,000 homes, instead of 6,800 have branded the planned settlement a 'Megacity', saying it will 'swamp' Wivenhoe.
Mr Guglielmi said after the meeting, he accepted the strong feelings of Wivenhoe but said its views would be accommodated in later proposals.
He explained that much opposition to housing schemes stemmed from complaints of a lack of infrastructure, such as schools and roads.
Tendring District has faced much opposition over various plans in the district, particularly for large schemes proposed at Great Bentley, Weeley and Kirby Cross, where developers have been accused of making ‘speculative’ applications.
Unpopular schemes have also received approval, sometimes at appeal, partly due to the lack of a Local Plan for Tendring, something the council is addressing.
The Manningtree councillor said of the Garden Community: “This is going to deliver a link road from the A133. It will take traffic and congestion away from Clingoe Hill.”
“Primary and secondary schools will all be delivered before the houses are built. It will address all the problems people are worried about.”
Mr Guglielmi said this week’s meeting was the second consultation event about the East of Colchester/ Tendring proposal.
“People are able to air their concerns but there has been some very positive feedback from the workshops. Everybody was able to inform the consultants of their opinions. They have taken their comments on board. They will come back with changes.
“It’s currently a blank canvas. There will be a large amount of bartering. I hope very much the views of councillors will be taken on board.”
He confirmed the new town will help villages like Great Bentley who face housing proposals.
“The concept of building a new community is the opportunity to fulfil government housing requirements without impacting severely on the local villages.
“It will take traffic from Elmstead. It’s things like that that this kind of development will fix in the long term.”
He added the government’s National Policy Planning Framework requires local councils to co-operate and this was something Tendring, Colchester, Braintree and Essex were leading on in developing their three Garden Communities.
“We have sat down and worked together and created something that has done before around the country. It’s unknown for several authorities to come together like this.”