A petition has been launched demanding council bosses come up with an immediate solution to the housing crisis.

Mike Moser has set up the online document on change.org where he calls on Braintree Council to find a plan B to its garden communities scheme.

The garden communities plan, which would see new towns built either side of Braintree and to the east of Colchester, is set to be re-examined by an independent inspector in January.

The inspector delayed a final decision on the scheme in June 2018 after he asked for North Essex Garden Communities Ltd, which is made up of Braintree, Colchester and Tendring councils, to provide further detail on how it plans to bolster infrastructure to accommodate the extra 43,000 homes.

With the examination set to continue in the new year, residents are now calling on the council to find an interim option amid fears a final decision could be pushed back again.

Mr Moser’s petition states: “We are concerned that potential further delays in securing a new Local Plan as a result of the inspector’s examination may result in residents and communities in the Braintree district being exposed to further speculative greenfield unallocated development.

“We believe that, based on the above and consistent with the approach taken by the neighbouring authority Colchester Council, an alternative approach is now required – a plan B.”

More than 150 people have signed the document so far but 1,000 signatures are needed to force the council to discuss the petition.

The absence of a Local Plan in Braintree has seen planning permission approved for thousands of new homes across the district because the council is unable to show how it will meet its housing targets.

Click here to view the petition.