Cllr John McKee, chairman of Braintree Conservative Association, says (Times, Letters, June 6, "

Voters returned Tory majority

") the district council’s “resilience against speculative developers is enhanced with the council being able to demonstrate a five-year housing supply. Braintree Council can, at this moment in time, do that".

Unfortunately, this five year housing supply is the product of speculative developers taking advantage of the Conservative council’s failure to produce a sound Local Plan.

It could be irrelevant, anyway, because developers cite the lack of a Local Plan as the reason for granting their applications.

In July 2018, the leader of Braintree Council decided how to proceed with the Local Plan after the rejection of the council’s first attempt by the planning inspector.

Cllr Butland chose “Option 2” ignoring the Inspector’s advice this would cause a substantial delay “even in the most favourable circumstances”.

The leader informed his fellow councillors he thought the Local Plan would be back to the inspector in three to four months.

Nearly one year on there is still no transport plan in place or evidence of viability.

Not wishing to acknowledge failure, leading Conservatives on Braintree Council have now resorted to seeking to expel rank and file members from the party who criticise their handling of the Local Plan.

Tom Foster

Chairman of Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex

Maldon Road, Kelvedon