Plans to create garden community developments across north Essex could go before the planning inspector again next year.

Proposals to create 43,000 homes were formed by Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils, but were criticised by the government’s planning inspector.

All councils were told plans needed significant work, with an estimated two to three years needed to make the necessary changes.

But Braintree Council says it expects complete evidence and a new sustainability appraisal by January, followed by a public consultation.

Cllr Butland, leader of Braintree Council, said: “The need for housing has, over the last few weeks, been stressed by all the main political parties.

“It’s not an issue that is going to go away, and we can’t put our heads in the sand and hope it will go away.

“The pressure and need is only going to increase, but it’s something that must be done in the right way so it enhances and improves the area rather than negatively impacting on it.

“That is why creating a holistically planned, standalone community is by far the best way of meeting future demand, ensuring we get the social infrastructure that people expect and need while also protecting existing communities.”

Garden communities would be created west of Braintree, on the border of Braintree and Colchester, and on the border of Colchester and Tendring.

Ahead of submitting the letter, leaders from the three councils met with housing minister Kit Malthouse and said any new garden community must be supported by strategic infrastructure improvements.

They asked the minister to do what he could to join up with other government departments prioritise infrastructure projects, which support sustainable housing growth, and to visit North Essex to see its potential in more detail.

The planning inspector is expected to respond to the councils’ letter in due course.