A NEW face has been appointed to the board of the firm leading plans to create three new garden towns in north Essex.

David King, Colchester Council’s councillor responsible for business and resources, has been selected to join the board of North Essex Garden Communities Ltd.

He replaces Tim Young, who left his role as deputy leader of the council in May, as the nominated director for Colchester Council.

Mr Young was replaced because he is no longer a member of the council’s cabinet.

The Lib Dem said the garden community plans, which could see about 43,000 homes built in the region, presented an opportunity to create “not just homes but vibrant communities”.

Mr King, who was first elected as a councillor for Mile End in 2018, said: “The garden community developments, and the principle of the north Essex councils taking a more active role in ensuring the homes, jobs and supporting infrastructure are delivered, is one we should continue to explore and take forward.

“Over the coming decades we will see significant levels of population growth, so we need to have a long-term strategy that looks at homes, jobs, infrastructure, educational and health needs and transport issues.

“We also need the best and most affordable homes we can get.

“Homes in easy reach of places to work, with facilities, accessible green space and forming part of communities that work and which people can say meet their needs, to work, travel, live and play.”

North Essex Garden Community Ltd is the firm owned by Colchester, Braintree, Tendring and Essex councils to help with the delivery of the garden communities in the area.

The controversial plans could see three garden towns built at West Tey, to the west of Braintree and between Colchester and Wivenhoe.

Mr King promised going forward, residents’ concerns with the proposals would be listened to.

He said: “Housing is often viewed negatively, because far too often our existing communities are let down by promises made in terms of the infrastructure needed to sustain them or because of the wrong sorts of homes coming forward.

“That needs to stop, and the role of North Essex Garden Communities Limited is to ensure that situation changes.”