Colchester could be forced to allow thousands of extra homes if neighbouring Tendring fails to meet its Government quota.
At Monday’s Local Plan Committee words such as “parasite” and “infernal cheek” were used to described Tendring and its draft local plan, which sets out how it will meet the criteria of building about 10,000 new homes between 2014 and 2029.
Colchester Council estimates the plan leaves a shortfall 4,650 homes and planners fear this could mean additional homes could have to be built in Colchester.
It is also worried about the West Tendring site which borders Colchester and is earmarked for development post 2024.
The area includes the site off St Andrew’s Avenue, where 3,000 homes could be built and the extension of the Plains Farm estate.
Councillors Ray Gamble and Paul Smith, who represent the Colchester St John’s ward which border the proposed areas, put forward their views to the committee.
Mr Gamble said: “Anyone who has followed the saga, and I have tried to do so because I don’t trust Tendring, will appreciate that our neighbours have been eyeing up our borders to satisfy their own economic development in a very predatory way.”