Lord Bob Kerslake has commended the scale of ambition and progress made in the developing plans for new Garden Communities across North Essex.
The previous head of the Civil Service and former Chief Executive of the Homes and Community Agency, and a dedicated review team, have been working with the four councils involved to undertake a review of the work to date, and provide strategic advice on how the projects could progress.
The North Essex Garden Communities Project was originally announced by Government in late 2015. The proposals would see three new communities across North Essex, along the economic corridor linking Stansted to the Harwich International Port.
Within the report Kerslake praises the co-operation between the district and county authorities involved and desire to create what would be one of the biggest projects of its type in the country.
Cllr Paul Smith, Chairman of the project’s Shadow Delivery Board and leader at Colchester Borough Council said: “We are very grateful to Lord Kerslake and his team for the time they have given to come in and undertake this review for us.
“Progress on the project has been rapid and we have now reached a stage where we have agreed the launch of North Essex Garden Communities Limited, a body which will oversee the creation of the Local Development Vehicles that will drive forward the development of the new settlements, subject to local planning processes.
“Lord Kerslake and his team have helped us identify a number of key issues, and have made a number of recommendations on the delivery of the initiative including on resourcing and profile.
“We will be looking to progress actions around these over the coming weeks and months.
“What is absolutely key is the delivery of infrastructure first, and Government support is essential to the project's success.
“We are all aware of the impact of new development on existing communities and the issues this has generated in the past, which is why we are so determined to do development differently on these potential sites.”
Read the full report for more information.