Garden Communities: An Exciting Opportunity

Aug 18, 2017North Essex Garden Communities

You may have read about proposals to create three new ‘Garden Communities’ across North Essex over the next 30+ years. 

A joint project between Braintree and Tendring District, Colchester Borough and Essex County Councils, they have stemmed from the need for a new way to deliver long-term housing provision, moving away from traditional private sector led developments.

Proposing a unique and visionary approach to housing and associated infrastructure delivery, the development of the new communities will be led by the Councils themselves, meaning the ability to control the design, the types of housing, the speed of build and importantly ensure the necessary infrastructure is delivered ahead of or alongside the homes. 

There are many advantages to this approach, and while these developments are an answer to the housing-need conundrum, they also offer an exciting opportunity for the business community across North Essex.

One of the key principles of Garden Communities is that they should be self-sustainable, self-contained developments. This means ensuring citizens are able to live and work in close proximity – and the vision of the Councils is to create one job per household within a sustainable commuting distance of the three communities, meaning up to 45,000 new jobs across the three areas.

Creating the conditions, space, and infrastructure to aid business is therefore fundamental (and possible through the critical mass created by large scale development) and work has begun on creating an economic vision and strategy, looking at both the opportunities and challenges as well as how the three communities could fit within the wider North Essex context.

Business will have the chance to be part of this discussion as we have some fundamental questions to ask about what the future looks like. For example, do we want traditional jobs like those in retail or services, or will we be creating opportunities in industries like the digital and creative sectors? Will we look to attract big business looking to move out of London, or do we want to encourage start-ups or existing businesses to expand? And in terms of infrastructure how can we bring in the latest technological advances to aid businesses of the future. 

More information on the programme is at, and if you have comments or ideas we would welcome feedback from you via


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