THE public are being asked to have their say on whether Chelmsford should grow into a regional city - and have its annual housing target doubled.

The suggestion is one of four scenarios being put forward by the East of England Regional Assembly as part of a consultation document for housing and economic growth over the next 20 years.

Described as Scenario 2 it puts forward the approach that 30,100 new homes should be built in the region each year up until 2031.

For Chelmsford this would see the annual numbers double from 830 to 1,700. In Essex this would be the biggest increase.

Scenario 1 - described as the continuation of existing targets and the views of councils in the region - puts the houses number for Chelmsford each year as 830.

The consultation will help EERA to develop a new target for the number of new homes and jobs to be planned for in the region between 2011 and 2031. A consultation event is taking place tonight at the Essex Record Office in Wharf Road starting at 7pm.