A new town or village near Braintree could be still be on the cards after neighbouring Colchester Council officially invited builders to come up with sites for a garden village.

Landowners behind long running plans for West Tey, a 7,500 home development between Braintree and Marks Tey, are among those interested.

Colchester’s population is growing faster than its neighbours in Essex and is expected to hit 200,000 in 2021.

Gateway 120, a consortium of farmers and landowners, has previously proposed a 7,500 home village near Marks Tey and Coggeshall and about 3,000 homes on the edge of Braintree.

Director Robert Crayston said: “We are looking at this call for sites very carefully and plan to respond to the council’s invitation soon, and we welcome the fact that the council is working closely with neighbouring authorities."

* Full story in tomorrow's Times.