TENDRING’S plan for development over the next 17 years has cleared a major hurdle and will go before the district’s full council this evening.

The district’s Local Plan will guide where homes are built and job opportunities are created until 2033.

The last local plan was due to be replaced in 2011, but its replacement has suffered a series of delays.

It led to criticism that Tendring Council had left the door open for speculative developments of hundreds of homes because it could not identify the Government-stipulated five-year supply of housing.

But the five-year supply has now been identified and the Local Plan is close to the stage where it can go out for final consultation before being put in front of a Government inspector.

The draft plan was unanimously accepted by Tendring Council’s Local Plan Committee on Monday and was later endorsed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

Council leader Neil Stock, who is also councillor responsible for planning and regeneration, said that while some councillors did not agree with every single thing in the plan, they felt it was ready to be put before the full council this evening.

“After many, many months what we have before us is the end goal,” he said.

“We have been trying to get the Local Plan in place and there will be tweaks and changes along the way but we are now almost there.

“We need this document in place as soon as possible.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this by officers and this committee, members of the public have given us their views and we have come to a conclusion.

“By the end of the week, and if the Local Plan goes through at full council with the majority of councillors supporting it, we will have a document that will carry some considerable weight.”

The plan includes the possibility of a “garden community” on the Tendring and Colchester border, which could provide up to 9,000 new homes.

Mr Stock said that the garden community initiative is the ideal method of getting the necessary infrastructure, roads network, schools and health facilities, in place.

The committee heard that the number of new homes built in Tendring over the past financial year had hit a 20-year high.

A total of 658 homes were completed in the past year, the most since the Nineties.

The council now has a 5.1 year housing land supply and said it can demonstrate that it can achieve its requirement of 11,000 homes between 2013 and 2033.