Previously untouched pockets of land could be built on in Halstead to make way for a new surge of houses, a councillor has warned.
Malcolm Fincken, district councillor for Halstead Trinity, said that the town needed to accept an increased amount of homes to keep the town centre alive after Braintree Council scrapped its plans for 3,443 homes on Monday.
At a full council meeting, councillors instead opted to go back to the drawing board and create a new housing strategy, which will take more than two years to complete.
The current Local Development Framework was meant to go out to public consultation then to a planning inspector this year.
But new housing projections and Government guidance means the council faced building 883 houses a year - more than treble the original figure of 272.
This could mean that 513 homes are built in Halstead.
See this week's Halstead Gazette for the full story.