I MAKE no apology for advocating for democratically-led development and would have thought that the Better Planning campaign’s Rosie Pearson might support the Labour group’s position on this, which is completely opposed to the developers’ charter the Government are planning to bring in.

Just to be clear on garden communities, we have two choices: Create a locally-led development corporation with local councillors from Tendring and Colchester involved; or allow developers to build out the site.

The Labour group will want to see a locally-led development corporation installed to enable us to build the site on garden community principles.

If the Government’s white paper gets accepted, we could see the expanse of land between Colchester and Braintree designated as a “growth” area and developers will get the green light to build completely unfettered.

I worry if this does happen, the necessary infrastructure will be absent. The current planning system isn’t perfect, but the proposals in the white paper are truly dreadful.

Whatever people think of the current process or outcome of the development of the local plan and garden community proposals, there was a democratic process, public consultations, hearings held in public and an independent inspector who made a decision.

So much of these checks and balances will be swept away by the “future planning” proposals.

Rosie is correct, before the first consultation deadline of October 1, we need to be making lots of noise.

The Government house building target of 920 houses per year was never popular, I expect the new target of 1,612 houses to be even less popular.

So get writing to your local MP and, as Rosie Pearson says, make a noise about this.

Do not sit on your hands, let the new figures come in and then blame the local council for adhering to the target set by government.

We have to work together irrespective of party divide to defeat these proposals.

Julie Young

Deputy Leader of Colchester Borough Council and County Councillor for Wivenhoe St Andrew