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Major new £1bn community for Chelmsford

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The proposed new railway station 1 October 2009

Countryside Properties PLC and housing association L&Q have jointly submitted an outline planning application to Chelmsford Borough Council for the development of a major new £1 billion neighbourhood in North East Chelmsford. The neighbourhood includes an extension to the existing residential area of Beaulieu Park of up to 4,000 new homes and includes a site for a new railway station on the East Anglian main line. The proposals also include up to 750,000 sq. ft. of commercial space incorporating a leading-edge business park.

Provision is also being made for substantial community infrastructure with new schools, open space, shops and new neighbourhood centres including health and community facilities. The new neighbourhood, with mixed-tenure homes set out in separate character areas, will create a sustainable community on the 604 acre site in a highly accessible location between the A131 and the A12 (Boreham Interchange). The scheme safeguards provision for a North East Chelmsford bypass and an appropriate relief road. Beaulieu Park will also be connected to the town centre by a high quality bus service.

The railway station, which has widespread support from the rail industry and which includes localised widening to provide four rail tracks to improve the overall efficiency of the London-Norwich rail line, will be the subject of a separate planning application which is expected to be submitted later this year.

The new neighbourhood will include a full range of types and sizes of homes with the majority being suitable for family housing. L&Q will own or part-own all the affordable housing of up to 1,400 much-needed new affordable homes for shared ownership and rent for the town.

Alan Cherry CBE DL, Chairman, Countryside Properties, said: “Our vision is of a sustainable new community designed to the highest standards and of sufficient size to be able to deliver a wide range of benefits to Chelmsford and its people. It will be a quality place where people will really want to live and work. It will also benefit from our experience in delivering sustainable new communities such as at Great Notley Garden Village, Braintree.”

The plans for the flagship business park, accessible from the new railway station and capable of attracting major new employers to the town, are expected to create significant employment opportunities located strategically at the heart of Essex. A purpose-built business park of around 500,000 sq. ft. will provide one of the UK’s most attractive employment opportunities.

A key part of the proposals will be an extensive parkland setting for the Grade 1 listed New Hall School which will enhance the surroundings and character of this historic building. In addition, there will be further open space, community woodland and landscaping that will add to the bio-diversity of the area.

Alan Cherry adds, “Beaulieu Park will provide a balanced mix of jobs, homes and infrastructure that will contribute greatly to the prosperity of Chelmsford and its residents for many years to come.”

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Note for editors:
Joint venture - Countryside Properties and L&Q have formed a 50/50 joint venture partnership Countryside Zest (Beaulieu Park) LLP to develop Beaulieu Park. Zest Homes is a wholly-owned subsidiary of London & Quadrant Housing Trust and was set-up in 2005 to complement the Trust’s activities in the housing sector.

L&Q is one of the UK’s largest and most respected housing associations and works alongside more than 90 local authorities in London and the South East, and manages more than 63,000 homes. L&Q has operated since 1963 and now employs 1,200 staff in 20 locations. L&Q’s mission is creating places where people want to live. It aims to achieve this by building new homes, improving existing homes and regenerating communities. Housing associations are not-for-profit organisations run by paid staff, and controlled by voluntary committees of management.

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Information correct as at 01/10/2009