We are a group of north Essex residents who oppose the three new towns known as the “North Essex Garden Communities” (NEGC’s).  43,000 homes are proposed by Braintree, Colchester and Tendring, with backing from Essex and Government.  To add further complication, Uttlesford is also involved in one of the three, and proposes two others (found unsound by an Inspector January 2020).  The towns are unpopular, unsustainable and undeliverable.  We have produced in-depth analysis to back up this statement – please click here:   CAUSE evidence

Contact us: stopurbansprawlnow@gmail.com

Current status:   public consultation until 30 September 2019 prior to re-examination of the Plan by the planning Inspector

Click on the buttons below to find out more about each of the new towns, or read on for more background information.

West Tey West of Braintree East Colchester What is Monks Wood? Uttlesford


And click here for a short intro video about the new towns:  Intro to north Essex new towns


IN JUNE 2018, THE PLANNING INSPECTOR FOUND THE NORTH ESSEX GARDEN COMMUNITIES PLAN UNSOUND AND SENT THE COUNCILS BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. It is this further work which is being consulted on summer 2019.  The Inspector’s letter can be read here: Inspector’s Letter 8 June

The Inspector highlighted shortcomings including:

  • Failings in the sustainability appraisal which may breach legal requirements;
  • Major flaws in the viability appraisal of the proposals, including failure to deal adequately with transport infrastructure costs, land purchase and interest or contingency allowance;
  • Failure to include details of employment land or floor-space;
  • Conclusions over deliverability of affordable housing which cannot be relied upon;
  • Uncertainties about trunk road improvements;
  • Over-ambitious targets for modal-shift and no feasibility study or costing of mass rapid transit options.

For a background presentation, click here:  North Essex Garden Communities Story So Far

CAUSE proposes a better alternative – our 10-point Plan:



What is CAUSE?

CAUSE is a group originally formed to oppose West Tey.  We have the support of 8500 people who signed our petition and 1,100 who asked us to represent them in the most recent consultation.  We are run by volunteers and have a committee of around fifteen, and a team of transport, planning and urban design consultants.  We support housing done properly.

Petition folder1

See why you should worry about West Tey: 



The Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex (CAUSE) was founded in 2010 and incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2015.

Development Corporation consultation

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Government is holding a consultation on development corporations until 21 December: Government Development Corporations consultation  What’s it about? Government wants “to see a new generation of development corporations that bring together private and public sector partners to an even greater … Read More

Purdah? Schmurdah…

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CAUSE has written to the Cabinet Office setting out our concerns about the various engagement processes and exhibitions being held during a pre-election period.   If you want to write, the email address is publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk   Dear Sir or Madam … Read More

Into the engagement funnel

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North Essex Garden Communities Ltd (NEGC) is ‘engaging’ this autumn.  The public is being managed through a funnelling process which aims to breakdown resistance to the new towns and create compliant local communities who will design West Tey, East Colchester … Read More

A12 drop-in events

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Highways England is holding a series of public drop-in events about the NEGC proposals to move the A12 to accommodate a bigger West Tey – link to dates below. Here is a reminder of our initial thoughts about the consultation: … Read More

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