A CAMPAIGN group is urging residents to have their say at a meeting into plans to build thousands of homes on the edge of Colchester.

The Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex (CAUSE) says Colchester Council’s upcoming Local Plan meeting on June 16, will help set the housing agenda in the area for years to come.

Among the ideas on the table are new ‘garden settlements’, such as the plan to build 14,000 homes across sites at West Tey, near Marks Tey and at Braintree, called Temple Border.

Rosie Pearson, Secretary for CAUSE, said: “Barring an abrupt change of direction, it is simply the number of houses and information on exact location that we are waiting for.

“‘Garden settlements’ are being marketed as the solution to the development problems of Colchester.

“These are actually new towns which will eat up swathes of countryside and create even greater pressure on our roads, trains and services.”

It is estimated that to meet demand, Colchester and Braintree councils need to build 33,600 homes by 2032. However, CAUSE feel that an already strained transport and infrastructure network would not cope with settlements on this scale.

Mrs Pearson said: “It is crunch-time for the people of Colchester. Borough and The consultation is the last chance that we will have to influence where houses are built. Decisions made now will shape the future of our borough forever."

The group has set up a petition against the development and even set out an alternative plan for Colchester and the surrounding areas.

A consultation hosted by Gateway 120 on the West Tey and Temple Border settlements will be held later in 2016.

A spokesman from Gateway 120 said: “We are committed to involving the local community in the plans and will welcome feedback on the scheme during the consultation process.”

More information about the council’s local plan and upcoming consultation is at: http://www.colchester.gov.uk/localplan.

CAUSE is organising meetings throughout the local plan process, for more information then visit: www.cause4livingessex.com/get-involved.