Concerns over housing development in Colchester have been raised by candidates for the seat.
There has been a considerable pressure on housing in the town, with an allocation of 17,100 homes by 2021.
Liberal Democrat candidate Bob Russell, who was elected MP for the seat in 1997, said: "The fact is Colchester is being forced to develop beyond what the town needs and without the infrastructure.
"Colchester is arguably the fastest-growing town in the country. The government is imposing on us these targets.
"We are now grappling with the consequences. I am urging a pause in development," he said.
Conservative candidate Will Quince said: "Overdevelopment is in my opinion one of the biggest issues.
"It has grown too big, too quickly and we don't have the infrastructure to support it. Colchester is massively congested.
"It is all down to regional government targets and the fact powers have been taken out of the hands of local people.
"We need to put power back into people's hands. My view is top-down government has to go.
"There is no question that there is a need for additional housing, but it has to be appropriate to the area."
Labour candidate Jordon Newell said: "Colchester is growing and it is not just about people who already live in Colchester but also people who want to come and live here.
"Development is going to happen, so you have to plan for it and we need the infrastructure.
"We must ensure the correct infrastructure is in place and we need to make sure it is joined up."
The general election takes place on 6 May.
The candidates for Colchester so far announced include: Conservative: Will Quince; Labour: Jordan Newell; Lib Dem: Bob Russell; English Democrats: Eddie Bone; Green: Peter Lynn; UK Independence Party: John Pitts; BNP: Sid Cheney.