AN outspoken MP has continued her string of attacks on Colchester Council accusing the authority of a "cover up" and blocking people from having their say on the forthcoming Local Plan.

Last week Conservative Priti Patel, whose constituency contains Stanway and other parts of the Colchester borough, said she believed the authority was rejecting attempts from residents to have their say on the Local Plan and insisting responses were written in complex planning terms.

The council denied the claims, saying they had encouraged the use of set forms to ensure the responses could be interpreted properly by the planning inspectorate and had not flat out rejected any feedback.

Ms Patel has also called for leading councillors to resign in the wake of the Tollgate Village decision being overturned, and has now launched a fresh attack on the council over the Local Plan reiterating her claims the authority is "rotten."

The document which governs development in the borough over the next 17 years is out for consultation with residents being urged to have their say on the plans at

Ms Patel claims the council is burdening residents with unnecessary requirements.

She said: "People are getting fed up with this rotten council’s feeble excuses.

"They have been caught out trying to block residents from having their voices heard and now look pathetic in their attempts to cover this up.

"This has nothing to do with the planning inspectorate and everything to do with the incompetence of this council.

“Residents contacted me because they felt ignored and disrespected by the council and the replies clearly show the council is burdening residents with unnecessary requirements.

"Not everyone is able to produce the kind of detailed analysis and assessment the council is demanding and many people want to comment on the proposals that are of interest to them.

"The council has a responsibility to consider all responses it receives because it may need to revise its Local Plan proposals based on the consultation replies.

"With the Local Plan containing controversial proposals it is important the council listens to local people.

"But their actions show the Lib Dem Labour run rotten council are failing local people and have lost public confidence.”

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: "Having already explained and addressed the MP's concerns about the consultation on the publication of the draft Local Plan we have nothing further to add at this time"