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.

Small is Beautiful

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“SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL” REPORT SHOWS NEW COMMUNITY IS TOO BIG TO SUCCEED CAUSE has released new analysis which concludes that new settlements of over 2,000 homes, built over longer than a 10-year period, suffer from scale diseconomies which mean that … Read More

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

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