WIVENHOE has become a "sacrificial lamb" to accommodate new homes for the borough after the ruling on the Local Plan, the town council has claimed.

Planning Inspector Roger Clews threw out plans for 34,000 homes at two new towns at West Tey, up to 24,000 homes, and 10,000 west of Braintree.

But he praised Colchester, Tendring, Braintree and Essex councils work on a third 9,000 home garden community off the A133 between Wivenhoe and Greenstead.

Wivenhoe Town Council said the inspector's ruling was "appalling news" for the town - but residents wouldn't give up just yet.

A spokesman said: "This appalling news affects us all as we face up to vastly increased traffic, greater competition for local infrastructure and an oversupply of houses.

"It is deeply disappointing the inspector ruled privately funded West Tey as unworkable on transport grounds, it is next to the A12, but the taxpayer funded new town as fine.

"Now Tendring Council’s homes will be built on Colchester's doorstep rather than anywhere near their own infrastructure."

He added: "Wivenhoe has become the sacrificial lamb it feared it would."

The council says over the past five years it has been working, together with Wivenhoe Society, Hands Off Wivenhoe and borough councillor Andrea Luxford-Vaughan, to oppose the new town.

They've raised concerns about the scale of the development, the number of affordable homes, infrastructure and employment opportunities.

The spokesman continued: "This collective has submitted to every consultation, attended meetings and lobbied decision makers. They have also attended both extensive hearings sessions.

"It may have come as a crushing blow the new town was considered viable by the inspector, but that doesn’t mean in a post-Covid world this will not change. And so, our work is not over yet.

"There may still be much we can do to influence and shape any new development."

He added: "So it's time to brush ourselves down and prepare for the changes to come to the community we love."

Following the rejection of the two new towns, councillors in Halstead have warned of a influx of development in the town.

Halstead's new mayor, Mick Radley said: "Halstead has already seen a disproportionately high and unprecedented growth in recent years and the inspector’s decision means that further significant growth is now likely to continue long into the future.

"This is a really big concern for the residents of the town because the current infrastructure is so stretched."

He added: "We call upon Braintree District Council to think carefully in the next stages of the Local Plan to ensure that the impact upon Halstead is sustainable and manageable."