OPPOSITION councillors in Tendring have repeated their calls to have a potential employment site included in the Local Plan despite fears it could jeopardise the whole document.

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Horsley Cross was included in Tendring District Council’s draft Local Plan at the last minute but Cabinet members have now called for more information from officers following a discussion about the site’s history.

A Government inspector had decided that the same site should not be allocated for employment after a Council Planning Committee had approved it in December 2006.

The council formally adopted the previous Local Plan without the site in December 2007.

Council bosses say because of this, they fear the new plan could be rejected by central Government this time round.

But Tendring First councillor Iris Johnson said Horsley Cross must be included in the new Local Plan to encourage growth in the district.

The owners of the land have drawn up plans to turn it into an industrial site, largely for haulage.

Mrs Johnson said: “This is a site which sits on the A120 direct from Harwich International Port which leads directly across the country. It is a golden opportunity to put Tendring on the map of the United Kingdom.

“To have this opportunity to include Horsley Cross in the Draft Submission Local Plan is one that should not be missed this time around.

“Councillors who are looking for regeneration and growth in our area should be mindful that they do not let Tendring down again.

“We have already lost companies who had no place to expand and moved out of the district. We should be looking to assist in any way we can.”

Sarah Candy, the council’s Cabinet Member for Inward Investment and Growth, said that the latest inclusion of Horsley Cross in the new plan had only come at the “11½th hour”.

She said that Cabinet needed advice about what had changed since 2007.

“I request the review comes back with further information and advice from counsel and officers in both planning and regeneration,” added Cllr Candy.

Carlo Guglielmi, the council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said it was important for all members to understand all of the implications.

“I fear that when the Local Plan goes before the inspector he could throw it out of the window because of the inclusion of Horsley Cross,” he said.

“That is why this land was not put in the original document which went to Full Council in September.”

Council leader Peter Halliday said that once all the information was gathered he hoped that it would be an opportunity to move forward.

A further report is due to be brought back to Cabinet on Friday.

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