Extract from No 245 Volume LXII (January 1953)
The Plan for Essex
By Hervey Benham
“After three years’ work by the County Planning Advisor, Mr F Longstreth Thompson, and his staff … the County Plan has in the past three months been exhibited at Walthamstow, Ilford, Romford, Rayleigh, and, Colchester. During the coming year a public inquiry will be held on it, and thereafter its provisions will control the next twenty years’ development within the county.
“The main feature of general county interest is, of course, the creation of the two new towns in Harlow and Basildon, each of which will have a population of 80,000.
“The Plan also shows these expansions of existing towns for purposes of accommodating what is picturesquely termed the ‘London overspill’: Aveley, Grays, Tilbury, from 63,300 to 82,000; Benfleet from 19,570 to 25,000; Billericay from 7,100 to 15,000; Braintree from 15,200 to 21,000; Brentwood from 26,200 to 38,000; Chelmsford from 47,000 to 68,000; Colchester from 53,000 to 70,000; Epping from 5,900 to 8,900; Rayleigh from 9,300 to 14,000; Rochford from 9,300 to 15,000; Stanford-le-Hope from 8,600 to 20,000; Wickford from 6,100 to 14,000, and Witham from 6,200 to 21,000.
“It is certain that the National Farmers’ Union will be a principal objector … .
“Road improvements naturally bulk large in the Plan. The most important project is for a new ring road (the North Orbital) running from Hoddesdon north of Theydon Bois, and south of Brentwood to link up with the proposed Dartford Tunnel, and connecting with a new road into London at Noaks Hill, west of Brentwood. Two existing main roads are drastically replanned, the London-Norwich-Newmarket (A11) over most of its length along the Essex-Hertfordshire boundary, and the London-Norwich (A12) by the provision of by-passes at Brentwood, Ingatestone, Hatfield Peverel, Witham, Kelvedon, Copford, Stanway, and Stratford St Mary. Long-term rail electrification is shown to Colchester and Bishop’s Stortford. The latter is likely to be first served, thanks to Harlow.
“Civil aerodromes are conspicuous by their absence … .”