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North Essex Garden Communities Ltd (NEGC Ltd), the publicly owned company set up to oversee ambitious proposals for up to 43,000 new homes across North Essex has welcomed the release of the Planning Inspector’s initial report.

The report refers to the authorities’ ‘commendable ambitions for the high-quality, strategic-scale development in North Essex’. It also highlights that the councils ‘have, quite rightly, set high aspirations for the quality of their Garden Communities proposals and for the provision of affordable housing, open space, and social and community facilities in them.”

John Spence, CBE, Chairman of NEGC Ltd, said:

“This is a very useful and constructive appraisal of where we are at the moment in what is the most ambitious housing infrastructure proposal in the UK.

“The plans for North Essex Garden Communities transcend the timeframes of a Local Plan with over 80% of the homes coming after the Local Plan period. The inclusion of Garden Communities of this scale, over this timeframe, within a Local Plan has never been done before.

“What the councils are proposing is an approach which moves away from short-term planning to one for the long-term, with planned communities which grow over several decades supported by significant levels of infrastructure.

“We firmly believe that the Garden Community approach remains the best and most sensible option to tackle the three big issues facing North Essex – economic growth, housing numbers and affordability.

“Significant work has already been done by NEGC Ltd since the examination in January working alongside our various partners and relevant Government bodies and this will help us answer many of the Inspector’s questions.

“Communities also have a vital part to play as we continue to progress the plans, as ultimately it will be their aspirations and needs that help shape the Garden Communities, and we will be running a programme of engagement later this year to further develop our proposals.”