THE blueprint for the development of Tendring up to 2033 has finally been adopted by councillors... more than a decade late.

Tendring Council’s last Local Plan was due to be replaced in 2011 but suffered repeated delays.

It led to the district being inundated with applications for thousands of homes in recent years as the council could not identify a five-year supply of housing, as stipulated by the Government.

Parish councillors claimed that led to the district being exploited by rogue developers and speculative applications.

Section two of plan was found “legally sound” by inspectors in November and was formally adopted at a council meeting on Tuesday.

The new adopted plan envisages the district will need 11,000 new homes over a 20-year period - an average of 550 a year.

Bigger sites in the blueprint include 1,700 homes in Hartley Gardens, 950 homes at Rouses Farm and 900 homes at Oakwood Park, all in Clacton.

It also accounts for 3,500 to 4,500 homes at the proposed Tendring and Colchester borders garden community as well as 300 homes in Low Road, Dovercourt.

Sites have also been allocated for employment land including 27 acres near Horsley Cross, a 17-acre extension to the Gorse Lane Industrial site in Clacton, as well as 15 acres at Harwich Valley, eight acres at Stanton Europark in Parkeston, five acres on land off Clacton Road, Mistley, and five acres at the Crown Business Centre in Ardleigh.

Eastcliff councillor Andy Baker said the situation with the delayed local plan should never be allowed to happen again.

He said: “This council must never let this situation occur again, where we are at the mercy of developers who are taking advantage of us because we didn’t have a local plan in place.

“Place like my old ward of Lawford have seen an exceptionally big increase in homes and Mistley and Great Bentley are the same.

“Those homes were not needed and if we had had a plan then we would have been able to fight against them a lot harder.”

Councillor Gary Scott said areas of his ward, including Elmstead, have been inundated with developments.

“People in the rural areas are fed up with large scale developments with no infrastructure being put in place,” he said.

Council leader Neil Stock said: “Having an up-to-date Local Plan is critical for the future of an area, allowing a strategic shape to be given to development to ensure it happens in a controlled and sustainable way.

“The Local Plan underpins not only planning, but economic growth, our natural environment, and so much more shaping where we work, spend leisure time and everything else in-between.”

Nick Turner, chairman of the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee, added: “To get this unanimous support is humbling, and I thank all present and past members, we well as our officers for their contributions, ideas and diligence.”

Cabinet member Carlo Guglielmi admitted it had been a “frustrating process” with “ever-changing” Government rules and regulations to meet.