COLCHESTER Council leader Mark Cory has vowed there will be “red lines” placed on any future plans for garden communities.

Mr Cory, who represents Wivenhoe on the authority, also said a fourth option, as opposed to the three prescribed by planning inspector Roger Clews, is being worked on it is hoped it will be presented to local plan committee members on Thursday.

He said: “There has, of course, been internal and external opposition to the garden communities but I want the best for the borough and that means safeguards, protection and red lines for communities.”

He cited no development of any sort south of the A133, north of Wivenhoe, and a commitment from the Government to improve existing infrastructure. The leader also praised the work of Tory local plan spokesman Andrew Ellis.

Mr Cory added: "There is significant work to be done by all councils on this and whether that results in diluted plans, scaled down plans or phased plans we obviously do not know yet.

"But we want to get it right for everyone."

Tory group leader Darius Laws has called an emergency meeting of his members on Monday night to discuss the proposed fourth option.

He is also seeking a Government commitment to improve infrastructure and to build a link road between the A133 and A120.

Mr Laws added: "We cannot simply do nothing. We need to have a local plan which works for our communities."

He also revealed his group is likely to take the meeting to deadlock - with no chairman being elected because of a tied vote - which means the meeting is likely to be chaired by an officer.