We have examples in spades this week that garden community infrastructure is but a mirage.

In a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, the Minister of State for the Department for Transport, Jesse Norman, acknowledged the upgrading of the A12, which had been scheduled for the next road-building phase, is now stuck.

It is blocked by the never-ending West Tey saga, and by the inexplicable desire to move the A12 through Copford.

Decisions about trunk roads should kept separate from individual developments.

Then, in an admission which is a recipe for traffic gridlock, Gateway 120, the main promoter behind West Tey, told the authorities it would build 9,000 homes before the A12 is widened or the A120 dualled.

And, in what seems like a rather desperate move, Lightwood, the promoter behind the Monks Wood new town at Coggeshall, has written to the Department for Transport attempting to reopen (and therefore delay) the A120 consultation process.

Meanwhile, four new garden community alternatives have been sent to the authorities, meaning that 26 must now be assessed, 27, if Wethersfield Airfield is thrown into the mix.

This creates further delays and complications to an already delayed Local Plan.

Garden community infrastructure is an increasingly distant mirage.

The solution? Take the Planning Inspector's Option 1, and implement a Community Infrastructure Levy, which will bring in £10,000 to £20,000 per new home.

Rosie Pearson

Secretary of Cause Against Urban Sprawl in Essex