The future of a £25 million junction linking the A12 with Colchester's new community stadium is in jeopardy after a developer pulled out of building it.

A long-term park-and-ride for the north of Colchester is also under threat, after Taylor Wimpey withdrew from talks with regeneration agency English Partnerships to build about 1,500 homes on land near the stadium at Cuckoo Farm.

As part of the planning deal, whoever develops the land would build the junction linking the road to the stadium, the Northern Approach Road and a bus corridor down to Colchester North Station, estimated to cost £25 million.

But a spokesman for English Partnerships said that, after their preferred developer Taylor Wimpey had withdrawn from talks, other developers which had submitted a case to build on the land would be appraised and contacted to see if they were still interested.

Colchester Council leader Robert Davidson revealed a long-term park-and-ride site, long mooted to be placed near the junction, would also not be built without it.

"As leader of the council I suppose it is bitterly disappointing that the preferred bidder, who presumably was the highest bidder, has withdrawn," he said.

"It is a reflection of the current volatile economic climate."

Opposition councillors Gerard Oxford (Ind, Highwoods) and Paul Smith (Lib Dem, St John's) both called for alternative methods of funding the junction to be looked at.

Mr Oxford said the junction would be "fundamental" to reducing congestion in the area.

"It means many many more years of heartache for Colchester."

Tim Young (Lab, St Andrew's) said: "I just think we have to go back to the drawing board and look for other developers. Let's hope this is not a full stop to Colchester's renaissance."

Initially, it was agreed that the Community Stadium would not be built before the junction, but this condition was waived by Colchester Council's cabinet in November last year.

No-one from Taylor Wimpey was available for comment.

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