Councillors have recommended that Braintree Council stops working on the current housing plan for the district after population projections were boosted - setting the project back years.

According to new housing projections and Government guidance, Braintree Council now faces the need to build up to 883 houses per year - a large rise from its original target of 272.

This could mean 513 are built in Halstead.

The council’s Local Development Framework (LDF), in which it is projected 3,443 will be built across the district by 2026, including 171 in Halstead, was set to go before a planning inspector later this year after a last public consultation.

But councillors fear that the plan is not “a safe bet” and that the inspector will find it unsound, costing taxpayers £80,000 and paving the way for developers to try and build on previously rejected sites.

See this week's Halstead Gazette for the full story.