The planning inspector in his letter to the Colchester, Braintree and Tendring councils concluded the garden community proposals do not have a reasonable chance of being viably developed.

Following on from 100 paragraphs of analysis finding substantial weaknesses, “unsound” can only be calm legal-speak for: “This Plan just doesn’t work.”

In its press release of June 15, Colchester Council glossed over this problem.

It noted the inspector had praised the co-operation of the three councils on this ambitious plan (true), and that further work is needed to strengthen and improve it.

In the context of the 100 paragraphs of criticism this was but feint praise.

The “further work needed” is more along the lines of “throw it away and start again”.

On every aspect of infrastructure provision – roads, rail, the rapid transit system; on land purchasing; on financing; on employment... throughout the plan he found problems and optimistic assumptions used - 100 paragraphs of them.

There should have been very few surprises to the councils here.

They were told of all these issues and problems through the pressure groups, at the walk-in sessions, at its presentations to local communities.

Sensible organisations recognise their problems and address them, often starting (in bureaucracy-speak) a process of culture change.

An ability to listen should be top of this urgently needed culture change programme.

Julian Bowden

Colchester Road, Wakes Colne