AN idea to move Marks Tey station to make it accessible for garden community residents has been thrown out.

Councils in north Essex will be meeting later this month to discuss updated evidence in support of three garden communities.

Proposed garden communities would be at the Tendring/Colchester border, West Tey and west of Braintree and would create 43,000 homes between them.

A transport section in Colchester Council’s local plan committee agenda suggests moving Marks Tey station to accommodate garden community residents.

It says: “Opportunities will be explored to establish how Marks Tey rail station can be made more accessible to residents of the new community including through the improvement of walking, cycling and public transport links to the station, or to relocate the station to a more central location.

“A concept framework for the garden community shows the relocation of the station some 2km to the south-west where it could form part of a transport interchange in the centre of the [West Tey] community.

“In his letter, the inspector stated the current peripheral location of the station would integrate poorly with the structure of the proposed garden community and whilst he acknowledged relocation was not essential, he nonetheless felt it would be a missed opportunity.”

An allocation of £50 million was proposed for relocating the station but nothing would happen until 30 years into the building programme.

However, Network Rail said the move would not be practical.

The report added: “Network Rail has undertaken a timetable evaluation to understand the potential implications of a new station on the Great Eastern Main Line.

“This analysis indicated the provision of an additional new station would have a detrimental impact on journey times between Colchester and Chelmsford.

“Network Rail advised it would be more appropriate to consider providing improved connectivity to and from existing stations on the line.”

It added: “There is an update from discussions with Network Rail that suggests relocating Marks Tey Station to the centre of the proposed garden community is unlikely to be a practical option.

“Although the garden community was never reliant on the station being relocated, there is now clarity in moving forward the development will need to be planned to integrate with the station’s existing location.”

Allan Walker, chairman of Marks Tey Parish Council, said the most important thing was making sure the station was well linked into rapid transport.

He said: “I can see if you were starting from scratch you would put a station in the middle, but nobody would ever suggest moving Colchester North station into the town centre now.

“Similarly in Marks Tey we have never believed the station would actually get moved.”

The local plan committees from Tendring, Braintree and Colchester councils are all considering additional evidence.

If all three authorities agree, this evidence will be published for a six week consultation from August 19 to September 30.

Further examination hearings will then take place either at the end of this year or in early next.