Chelmsford Garden Village has received support and financial backing of £150,000 from the UK Government as one of 19 new villages to receive funding through the Garden Communities Programme.
Situated to the north-east of Chelmsford and designed according to long-established Garden Village principles, Chelmsford Garden Village will create around 5,500 new homes, approximately 45,000 sqm of high-tech employment space, and significant areas of new open space and parkland to support the sustainable growth of England's newest city.
Chelmsford Garden Village is already earmarked for development in Chelmsford's Draft Local Plan, which is to be adopted later this year. It is a joint project between leading housebuilder Countryside Zest, strategic land promoter Ptarmigan Land and landowners Hanson, Columbia Threadneedle and Channels.
Chelmsford City Council has been awarded £150,000 initial funding to help progress the design and delivery of the Garden Village and ensure that resources are made available to support this. In addition, extensive support and expertise will be available from Homes England and other government agencies to help overcome any barriers which might affect the delivery of the project. Chelmsford Garden Village is designed to build on the success of the surrounding Beaulieu and Channels developments: they will together deliver in the region of 9,850 homes.
The success of the bid recognises that the planned expansion will be an outstanding example of a green, affordable and well-structure development. Becoming a Garden Community means that:
- Developers will provide key infrastructure for the site, creating a real place and not just a housing estate
- Residents will be able to have their say on the development earlier in the process, before a planning application comes in
The development will meet the Garden Village principles, which include:
- Mixed-tenure homes and housing that is genuinely affordable
- A wide range of local jobs within easy commuting distance of homes
- Beautifully and imaginatively-designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities, and including opportunities to grow food
- Land being used for the benefit of the community
- Strong vision, leadership and community engagement
- Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets
- Development which adds to the natural environment, creating a comprehensive infrastructure of green spaces and aiding biodiversity
- Zero-carbon and energy-positive technology
- Plenty of places to shop, enjoy yourself and play within neighbourhoods that are walkable, vibrant and sociable
Being accepted into the Garden Communities Programme does not mean that Chelmsford Garden Village has formal planning approval. However, this is an important step as it will help Chelmsford City Council to ensure that the Garden Village meets the Council's aspirations for high-quality, sustainable and affordable homes, supported by the right infrastructure.
Responding to the Government's announcement, a spokesperson for the businesses involved said, "We are delighted with this news as it endorses our ambitions to create a high-quality Garden Village development in Chelmsford. The Government funding and the support of Chelmsford City Council will help us to turn this concept into a reality for the benefit of local residents."
Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, commented. "There is a great need for genuinely affordable homes across the UK and Chelmsford is no exception. But we will ensure that local amenities, plenty of green space, and quality of life of residents are essential parts of the development, as well as homes.
"We want Chelmsford to be a leading example of a place where safer, greener, fairer and better-connected communities are built. We will work hard to consult with residents to ensure that the Garden Village delivers on its principles."
Monday 8 July 2019.