Yesterday, Colchester District Council’s cabinet voted to push ahead with the creation of North Essex Garden Communities Limited.
The company is being established in conjunction with Tendring District Council, Braintree District Council and Essex County Council.
Tendring, Braintree and Colchester have now approved the establishment of the company. Essex County Council will vote on the proposal on 13 December.
According to a report considered by Colchester District Council yesterday, "all four councils are thinking strategically, are not being restricted by current local plan making time horizons and are considering whether garden communities could address some of this long term need both within the plan period and beyond".
Under the plan, the creation of the new communities – one east of Colchester, on the boundary between Tendring and Colchester, one west of Colchester on the border of Braintree District at Marks Tey, and one west of Braintree on the border with Uttlesford District – would be overseen by three local delivery vehicles (LDVs).
These would be known respectively as Tendring Colchester Borders Ltd, Colchester Braintree Borders Ltd, and West of Braintree Ltd.
The LDVs would be tasked with buying land and acting as developer for the schemes.
The report said that the LDVs would seek "legally binding deals with local landowners to secure a share in the land value which will arise from the development in return for the local delivery vehicles providing early infrastructure for the developments".
The document added that the principal alternatives to the plan "would be to allow for the development of the settlements by the private sector or as part of a public/ private joint venture.
"Neither alternative approach can offer the same level of confidence that over a development programme of 30 years that the garden community objectives will be met throughout different economic cycles."