CAUSE’s positive vision

We have five principles for a positive vision for the growth of north Essex:

  1. Master-planned neighbourhoods and urban extensions (Poundbury-style, Freiburg-style, Eddington-style) not stand-alone new towns.  Homes near jobs to reduce commuting*;
  2. Brownfield first:   Ebbsfleet-style regeneration not green field new towns. Take all brownfield sites seriously, including farmsteads and small sites;
  3. Infrastructure first:  Betterment for all residents, not just newcomers to new town.  Mass rapid transit, dualled A120, A120/A133 link road, Colchester southern relief road, cycle-ways, widened A12, schools, hospital beds.  Be smart about using under-used infrastructure e.g. convert Colchester-Clacton line into metro rail system.  Avoid over-loading the Great Eastern mainline.  Integrated transport plans needed for Braintree and Colchester and marter collection of CIL and section 106 for infrastructure;
  4. Proportionate growth – including for villages, driven by neighbourhood plans.  Not an unsustainable, 24,000 home new town.;
  5. Plan for local people – realistically affordable homes for those on local salaries, not incoming commuters.

*Dr Falk, Wolfson Economics prize-winner sets out why, here:  Neighbourhoods not stand-alone

The Metro Plan

CAUSE was challenged by MPs to create a strategic plan for north Essex.    We pulled together a team of experts and did just that.   The result was a vision which supports the local economy, is based around under-utilised transport and locates houses near to jobs.  Scroll down to listen to our presentation, “Going Dutch”

Metro Plan what is it

Benefits of CAUSE’s Metro Plan:

  • Infrastructure first, making use of an under-utilised rail asset which can offer a frequent metro service.

  • It is a sustainable, transit-oriented solution which helps to ease congestion on our over-crowded roads.

  • It supports the local economy and is based around the jobs of the University, the Knowledge Gateway, Colchester Town Centre and the ports.

  • The vision captures maximum land value uplift for re-investment.

  • It is deliverable in the plan period to 2032.

  • It is closely aligned with Ebenezer Howard’s garden city principles.

The plan was prepared by a team which included:

  • Dr Nicholas Falk (internationally recognised urban designer and winner of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize);
  • Tim Pharoah, Transport Consultant;
  • Joanna Chambers, Planning Consultant;
  • Jonathan Tyler, Railway Consultant;
  • Alan Stones, Architect and Urban Designer

To find out more, please click below for full reports:


Overview Colchester Metro Plan

CAUSE vision versus West Tey matrix


Jonathan Tyler CAUSE Report FINAL

Tim Pharoah Living Transport report for CAUSE FINAL









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

Thoughts from the NIMBY front-line

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THOUGHTS FROM THE NIMBY FRONT LINE ‘Nimby’.   The word is usually used with barely hidden contempt, dismissing anyone who does not like a housing proposal.   I know, because I am now classed as one.    House-building experts, and even our Government, … Read More

Rail capacity update

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This is a report by Jonathan Tyler of Passenger Transport Networks commissioned by CAUSE.   It concludes that the required increase to 32 trains per hour into Liverpool Street to meet forecast demand is not achievable: RAIL CONSTRAINTS Introduction This paper summaries … Read More

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