The council has been shortlisted for national award for its planning of the Horizon 120 business park.

Braintree District Council, together with planning specialists Strutt & Parker, is in the running to win the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Award in the ‘Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy’ category.

Horizon 120 Business and Innovation Park being built off the A131 in Great Notley aims to become a major new employment park.

The park is one of nine which made the shortlist into the ‘Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy’ category.

The shortlist recognises the innovation in using a Local Development Order to encourage new businesses into the district and to create thousands of jobs for its residents.

Cllr Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “We’re really keen to make sure that development in our district is well designed and results in the creation of high-quality places.

"Horizon 120 is an exciting project for us and our district and it needed a more flexible approach to planning.

"A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to advocate for quality design in our area.

"I am proud of the work we have done with this Local Development Order which means the park will be built to a very high design standard while also being flexible enough to encourage innovative businesses to move onto the site.

"I look forward to the project going from strength to strength.”

Horizon 120, which also includes new leisure and childcare facilities, is expected to cost Braintree Council £24.3m.