COLCHESTER is officially one of the fastest growing places in the country.

And in no area is this more obvious over recent years than the west of the borough in Stanway and Marks Tey.

Hundreds of homes are being built in Stanway, which sits just off the A12 on the southern edge of Colchester.

But it isn’t just homes, there are huge new business and retail developments planned and already underway.

Work is finally set to begin this year on the Stane Park Retail, which will bring big names like B&Q, Aldi and Marks and Spencer to the area.

This development will sit near Stane Leisure Park, which opened in summer 2018, and brought a KFC and Nandos to Stanway.

Plans are also progressing on the long-awaited £70 million Tollgate Village development.

Just down the road, Stanway is also home to Colchester Zoo.

A world-renowned facility, the zoo is probably Colchester’s most famous attraction and draws thousands of visitors every year.

Infrastructure improvements are coming, with a third primary school planned to complement the two existing and secondary Stanway School.

Just down the road, Marks Tey is a parish synonymous with the A120 trunk road.

Notorious for delays and accidents, it links the east of the county with towns like Braintree and the ever expanding Stansted Airport.

Although a rerouted and expanded road is hoped for, funding has not yet been secured.

The village, which has a station on the Great Eastern Main Line, also borders the site of the proposed West Tey garden community, which could bring up to 20,000 new homes to north Essex.