Developers have begun the formal process towards applying for planning permission for up to 1,200 homes in south Maldon.
Commercial Estates Group (CEG) is one of three developers involved in designing the south Maldon garden suburb, part of Maldon District Council's Local Development Plan.
The area could accommodate up to 1,375 homes in total.
CEG plans to build between 1,000 and 1,200 homes on nearly 75 hectares of agricultural land off Limebrook Way, next to Maldon Wick Nature Reserve.
There will also be a two-form entry primary school, small local retail centre, health care and childcare centres, and commercial buildings for offices, industrial and warehouse use.
RSK Environment Ltd has submitted a preliminary report on the developer's behalf about the potential environment impacts before full reports are submitted with a future planning application.