MP Priti Patel has been fighting for better infrastructure for Essex’s growing population, holding a debate in Parliament.

During the debate, the Witham MP raised concerns over the way planning decisions are made, protections for local communities, and the need for investment in roads, health facilities, and schools to support the county’s expanding towns, cities, and villages.

She told MPs: “This issue matters to my constituents.

"My area is covered by three planning authorities - the districts of Braintree, Maldon, and Colchester  - plus Essex County Council, which also has a say on planning issues, as well as town councils and many parish councils; one could almost describe this issue as semi-controversial locally.

Tiptree village has grown and continues to expand; anyone visiting would not deem it to be a village.

Stanway has multiple sites being developed; it was once a village, but it is now almost a suburb of Colchester city.

“Witham town itself has expanded. Villages such as Hatfield Peverel are now being circled by developments.”

Saffron Walden Reporter: MP - Priti PatelMP - Priti Patel

Ms Patel added that the challenge for the Government is not only increasing housing supply, but also the infrastructure which accompanies it.

She said she hopes to meet with the Transport Secretary to discuss the county’s “underdeveloped roads” including the A12 and A120.

“The roads are untouched - they have been untouched for probably 40 years, perhaps longer - and the infrastructure contributions are simply not enough,” she continued.

The Government said it remains committed to supporting “one of the fastest-growing parts of the country”.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Minister - Rachel MacleanMinister - Rachel Maclean

Housing Minister Rachel Maclean said: “The Government is standing behind the ambitions of Essex and enabling it to unlock even more potential for its residents and people who would like to live there.

“One example is the £85 million investment that we are putting into Harlow, Colchester, and at Grays and Tilbury in the Thames estuary through the Towns Fund.

"A further £80 million will be invested in four Levelling Up Fund projects in Southend, Harlow, Colchester, and Tendring.”

Speaking after the debate, the Witham MP said she was pleased to be able to highlight Essex’s infrastructure concerns in Parliament and added she will continue to work with the Government to address these issues.