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What is North Essex Garden Communities?

  • Three new settlements are proposed by a grouping of Colchester, Braintree, Tendring & Essex Councils, with backing from Government for feasibility studies. They wish to borrow from Government and lend to three ‘delivery vehicles’ to deliver the schemes (although the Examination in Public reinforced publicly many concerns that CAUSE has been raising for some time about).   NEGC website:
  • CAUSE opposes West Tey, the largest of the three, at 24,000 homes and has recently become equally concerned about council proposals for the other two, West of Braintree (13,000 homes) and East Colchester (9,000 homes).   It is clear from the Examination in Public that there are serious problems with deliverability, viabiliity and sustainability.  Here is our newsletter about the Examination: Examination in Public update
  • Recently a fourth settlement, known as Monks Wood, has come back into play and the promoter is challenging the decision to exclude it from the Plan.   This is at Pattiswick, adjacent to Coggeshall, and CAUSE believes that it is equally unsuitable.    See our response to Braintree when it first appeared:Monks Wood BDC letter 21 Oct 2016 FINAL

What is the current status of West Tey?

February 2018 – A ‘broad area of search’ for 24,000 homes has been included in the Local Plan and the Plan has been submitted to an Inspector and the Examination in Public was held in January.    It is one of three settlements in the North Essex Garden Communities project, and it is known as ‘Part 1’ of the Plan.  An ‘Issues & Options’ consultation about each of the sites closed on 2 February. Here is our summary of the Examination:   Examination in Public update  We await next steps.

What is the current status of Monks Wood?

February 2018 – The obsession of the councils with large, stand-alone ‘garden communities’ has given rise to this fourth proposal, which otherwise would not be given the time of day due to its location and unsustainability.  The land promoter behind 7,000-15,000-home Monks Wood, Lightwood, asserts that its proposal has not been given full consideration by the councils.    In addition, the councils neglected to send Lightwood’s representations to the Inspector with the result that they were unaware of the Examination in Public and missed the first week.   This may have serious repercussions but in the meantime, we await a re-arranged Day 1 of the Examination.   Here is our press release on the subject:  Press release 29 January 2017 Council error jeopardises whole Plan

What is CAUSE?

CAUSE is a group opposing 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 have analysed the council's evidence base and do not believe that West Tey is viable, deliverable or sustainable.    The infrastructure promises made by the councils do not match the sums allocated in the viability appraisal.    Read more here: CAUSE consultation response 2017

The map below shows the two halves of West Tey – purple is in Braintree District, Green stripes are Colchester Borough:

23660 map


Monks Wood 2017 Map

Monks Wood Pattiswick development parcels


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.

CAUSE note Examination in Public

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CLICK HERE to read CAUSE’s note of the Examination in Public:  Examination-in-Public-notes This note is a high level overview of key points discussed at the Examination in Public of the North Essex Garden Communities Project (“West Tey” 24,000 homes, “West … Read More

Letter from NHS to Colchester

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Click here to read letter from Colchester Hospital Trust to Colchester   This letter was sent in August 2017 from Nick Hulme, Chief Executive, Colchester Hospital Univeristy NHS Foundation Trust voicing concerns about healthcare provision in the Local Plan

Submission to Raynsford Review

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The Raynsford Review of Planning was set up by the Town and Country Planning Association to identify how the Government can reform the English planning system to make it fairer, better resourced and capable of producing quality outcomes, while still … Read More

CAUSE consultation response

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CAUSE’s response to the Publication Local Plan has been submitted.    Over 1,100 people have asked us to represent them.   Click here to read it: CAUSE Local Plan response 2017   The report explains why the decision to include three new … Read More

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