THE full plan for a new garden community on the Colchester and Tendring border has been approved by planning bosses.

The new community will see between 7,500 and 9,000 homes built on the border near Elmstead and constructed over the next 20 years.

Members of the plan’s joint committee have now recommended it for public consultation later this year.

It follows several modifications in response to views expressed during a consultation last year.

Gazette: Development - an aerial view of the north-west of ColchesterDevelopment - an aerial view of the north-west of Colchester (Image: Newsquest)

Stategic green gaps have been incorporated between the proposed garden community and Elmstead Market and Wivenhoe.

Land and woodland around and including the Salary Brook nature reserve in Colchester is to be designated as a new country park, which will be promoted and managed for that purpose.

And at Crockleford Heath in Ardleigh, the new plan recognises “the need for the neighbourhood to develop as individual community”.

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It means the village will see the lowest density and phasing of development linked to its own estate.

The plan also provides protection to the open countryside to the south of the garden community, in order to maintain the physical and visual separation to Wivenhoe.

This land will be allowed for some “sports-focused uses” closest to the University of Essex.

Residents and stakeholders will be allowed to have their say during the next round of consultations which are expected to launch for May and June.

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