COUNCIL bosses say a consultation over for thousands of homes in north Essex are a “strong foundation” for the future of the new garden communities.

The 12-week consultation on ideas for the North Essex Garden Communities has taken place ahead of the development of further plans for the ambitious initiatives.

The plans could see up to 9,000 new homes on the border of Tendring and Colchester.

It is one of three proposed garden community sites.

The consultation – run jointly by Tendring, Colchester, Braintree and Uttlesford councils – was the first opportunity for local residents to look at the proposals.

A spokesman said more than 1,000 responses were received and the feedback is now being assessed to help create a more defined plan for each of the proposed new communities, which will then be subject to further public consultation.

He said: “This is a critical step as they will form the planning policies that will ultimately ensure the garden communities are designed to create high quality places that residents and businesses will value and be attracted to.

“The vision is to create communities that are amazing places to live.”

He added: “While some have concerns with any new development we had many positive comments about the need for a different approach to house building.”