HEARINGS into details for three new towns will be held across seven days in January.

The proposals by Colchester, Tendring, Braintree and Essex councils, are to build 43,000 homes over the next 50 years.

Last year an inspector approved the number of new homes required, but set out areas of work needed to help make the plans sound.

A six-week public consultation was launched in the summer for residents to comment on additional evidence prepared by the councils.

The evidence includes details on the councils’ rapid transport plan, infrastructure such as schools and GP surgeries and how viable and sustainable the project is.

The rapid transit system is designed to reduce congestion and provide quick and easy access in and out of Braintree and Colchester from the new towns.

The system, which could cost between £230 million and £325 million, will start off as a bus service with bus lanes.

Hearings into the new evidence will be held by inspector Roger Clews at the Jobserve Community Stadium.

They will begin on January 14 and run on seven days from January 14 to 16, January 21 to 23 and January 30.

The hearings will cover:

  • the habitats regulations assessment
  • employment provision
  • housing need
  • build out rates
  • delivery mechanisms
  • state aid
  • transport
  • viability
  • and the sustainability appraisal.

In a note about the hearings, Mr Clews said they had been arranged as he had found “a number of shortcomings” in the garden town plans.

He said: “The purpose of the further hearing sessions is to enable me to gain additional information in order to be able to determine whether or not the plan is sound and legally-compliant.

“Accordingly, the further hearings will focus on the documents that the North Essex Authorities published for consultation in August and September.

“I have all the written comments made on the published documents during the public consultation, and I will take them all into account when coming to my conclusions on the soundness and legal compliance of the plan.

“I will also take into account everything that was said at the original hearing sessions in January and May 2018, and in all the written representations that have been made since the plan was published in June 2017.”