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Major new £1bn community for Chelmsford

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The proposed new train station 18 January 2012

Countryside Properties and their development partner L&Q have revised their outline planning application to Chelmsford Borough Council for the development of a major new £1 billion neighbourhood in North East Chelmsford.  The revisions follow the adoption in July 2011 of the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan.  The new neighbourhood includes an extension to the existing residential area of Beaulieu Park of up to 3,600 new homes and includes a site for a new railway station on the East Anglian main line.  The proposals also include up to 620,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, incorporating a leading-edge business park, which could create 3,500 new jobs. 

Provision is also being made for substantial community infrastructure with new primary schools, a secondary school, open space, and new neighbourhood centres including shops, health and community facilities.  The new neighbourhood, with mixed-tenure homes designed to the highest standards and 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.  The scheme incorporates a new relief road, safeguards provision for a North East Chelmsford bypass and will make improvements to increase capacity at the Boreham Interchange.  The new neighbourhood 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, is also subject to a revised planning application.

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 provide up to 1,200 much-needed new affordable homes for shared ownership and rent.

Graham Cherry, Chief Executive, Countryside Properties, said: “Our vision is of a sustainable new community designed to the highest standards with a unique sense of place and landscape character.   The new neighbourhood will be a quality place where people will really want to live and work.  It will be of sufficient size to be able to deliver a wide range of benefits to Chelmsford and its people, and will also gain from our experience in delivering sustainable new communities such as at Great Notley Garden Village, Braintree.”


David Montague, Chief Executive, L&Q, said: “Our mission is to create vibrant communities where people want to live, fully supported by new infrastructure and the highest quality design standards. This neighbourhood will offer a wide range of choices of homes for local people, whether they are first time buyers seeking a foot on the property ladder or families looking for the right place to bring up their children. At the same time it will provide a whole host of new opportunities which will benefit the whole of Chelmsford.”

The plans for the flagship business park, accessible from the new railway station and capable of attracting major new employers to the town, could create around 3,500 employment opportunities located strategically at the heart of Essex.  A purpose-built business park of around 400,000 sq. ft. will provide one of the UK’s most attractive employment opportunities.


Cllr. Roy Whitehead, Leader of Chelmsford Borough Council said, “Beaulieu Park forms a major part of the planned growth of Chelmsford in the years ahead.  We are pleased that this new application is being submitted which will turn the North Chelmsford Area Action Plan into reality.  It will bring much needed new infrastructure to the town, a wide range of family and affordable homes, together with thousands of new jobs, set within a high quality environment.”


A key part of the revised proposals will be an extensive estate 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 gardens and plant nursery, allotments and landscaping that will add to the bio-diversity of the area.


Graham Cherry adds, “The new neighbourhood 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.”


Notes 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 L&Q’s’s activities across the housing sector.

L&Q’s mission is to create places where people want to live. We are currently one of the UK’s foremost developers of new homes, and a leading housing association with over 48 years’ experience.

L&Q builds new homes to meet a range of needs, and our vision is to offer people the choice, flexibility and high quality they want from the housing marketplace. We manage a portfolio of 67,000 homes across London and the South East, are involved in large scale community regeneration projects, and provide a range of neighbourhood services. As a not-for-profit business every penny of our surplus is reinvested into meeting our mission.


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Information correct as at 18/01/2012