Our new Local Plan will help shape future growth and development in Chelmsford until 2036.

Chelmsford Garden Community is part of our new Local Plan. The site will create a community of around 10,000 new homes and include new employment opportunities in north-east Chelmsford.

The Garden Community will build on the success of the recent Beaulieu and Channels developments, which were part of our Local Development Framework. 

Beaulieu and Channels have already delivered a neighbourhood centre and linear park. It also has Essex’s first all-through school for 5-18 years and the Beaulieu express bus service into the city centre.

 In addition to new homes, Chelmsford Garden Community will also include:

  • 45,000 sqm of employment floorspace
  • a new country park
  • walking and cycling routes
  • expansion of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
  • part of the Chelmsford North East Bypass
  • a new Radial Distributer Road (RDR2)
  • neighbourhood centres with community spaces
  • a second new secondary school
  • two further new primary schools
  • early years and childcare nursery provision
  • new multi-functional green infrastructure
  • nine travelling showpeople plots

 Chelmsford Garden Community is a joint project between:

  • Countryside L&Q
  • Ptarmigan Land
  • Halley Developments/Greycoat Real Estate

You can also download the factsheet or visit the Chelmsford Garden Community website.

The Developer Consortium submitted their masterplan (Development Framework Document) for consultation in 2022. The consortium comprises Countryside, L&Q, Ptarmigan Land and Halley Developments, working in partnership with Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council.

You can view:

The consultation period has closed in June 2022. We will now review the feedback and consider further evolution of the Masterplan.

Councillors will then consider the final version of the masterplan for approval. We will assess all future planning applications against this development framework document.

In 2019, the UK government gave its support and financial backing to Chelmsford Garden Community. It is one of 19 new villages in the country that received funding through the Garden Communities Programme.

You can read our press release from the time:

"On Saturday 17 August 2019, Essex County Council announced that two Chelmsford projects – the new railway station at Beaulieu and the North-East Bypass – had been approved for government funding of £218 million, following a bid prepared jointly by the City and County Councils.

The two projects to be awarded are the new Beaulieu Railway Station, located just north of Springfield, and the Chelmsford North-East Bypass, a brand-new road between the A12 and A131.

Chelmsford City Council received this news with delight and has noted a number of enquiries from local business and residents asking what the funding will mean for the local area.

Councillor Mike Mackrory, Cabinet Member for Greener Chelmsford, said, “This is absolutely wonderful news for our city. Securing £212 million funding for these two projects is a massive step forward in delivering the required infrastructure for Chelmsford’s new Local Plan. It’s the last piece of the jigsaw, helping us to make sure that the new homes we are required to build are properly supported by sustainable transport networks and job opportunities.

“A great deal of hard work has gone into this bid on the part of both City and County Council officers and I am thrilled that it has been successful.”

Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, added, "This has been worked towards for over 20 years. We need this kind of infrastructure before housing is built, and the City Council will continue to push that."

Dates have been set for the railway station to be built

As part of the conditions which the Government has attached to the funding, it must be spent by 2024/5. This means that the railway station – currently in the planning phases – must be completed within this timeframe.

When carrying out major works like building a new station, councils have to book ‘track time’ with railway operators two years in advance. Once these dates are booked, works must be completed within them, otherwise there will be disruption and penalties.

There will be many more jobs for local people

As part of the essential infrastructure at Beaulieu, we are already seeing the creation of new shops, schools, doctors’ surgeries and community facilities – all of which need employees.

Railway stations attract far more employers to an area. With the arrival of the new station at Beaulieu, we are much more likely to see high-grade offices, research and development facilities appearing nearby – releasing a vast pool of jobs for local residents.

Your commute will be more pleasant

Chelmsford Railway Station is currently overcrowded – in fact, it’s the busiest two-platform station in the UK outside of London. The addition of Beaulieu Station will relieve pressure on it, meaning there will be far less people crammed onto the platform at peak times.

The station will also encourage more people from the area to travel sustainably to work by foot, cycle and train – rather than driving into the city centre or to the station and adding to congestion.

The North-East Bypass will relieve congestion on local roads from people travelling between Chelmsford, Braintree, Stansted Airport, South Essex and the Lower Thames Crossing. It will also relieve traffic through White Hart Lane in Springfield.

North-East Chelmsford is becoming a national exemplar neighbourhood

Beaulieu is growing fast. Last year saw the opening of Beaulieu Park Primary School – part of Essex’s first all-through school, with the secondary school expected in September.

In early July, it was announced that a further area of development already planned in North-East Chelmsford has been selected as a ‘Garden Village’ by the Government. There will be 5,500 homes in the new Chelmsford Garden Village, alongside 45,000 square metres of high-tech business space and large swathes of parkland for people to enjoy.

Because it has been selected as a Garden Village, the new neighbourhood has strict rules ensuring that developers must include genuinely affordable homes, a wide range of local jobs, beautifully-designed homes with plenty of gardens and space to grow food, land which is owned by the community, zero-carbon technology, and lots of places to shop and have fun in easy walking distance of your doorstep.

In short, it has to become a stunning, well-planned development which offers an excellent quality of life.

Including the Garden Village, almost 9,000 more homes are allocated in the Local Plan for the area between now and 2036. Combined with the funding grant for the new station and bypass, North-East Chelmsford is really being spotlighted as a national example.

It’s good for the rest of the county too 

Chelmsford might be a city now, but it’s also still Essex’s county town. That means it drives the regional economy. The new station and, in particular, the new North-East bypass will create greater links between Chelmsford, Braintree, London and the other surrounding Essex towns, unlocking potential for investment and more opportunities for local jobs, businesses and leisure.

Tuesday 20 August 2019"

Chelmsford Garden Community will meet the Garden City Principles, set out by Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). These include:

  • land value capture for the benefit of the community
  • strong vision, leadership and community engagement
  • community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets
  • mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are 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
  • development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and that uses zero-carbon and energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience
  • strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant and sociable neighbourhoods
  • integrated and accessible transport systems, with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport

A delivery board will supervise the progress of the project. This includes the creation of supporting infrastructure to establish Chelmsford Garden Community.

The board will meet three times a year and will provide strategic direction to the various stakeholders.

You can view the terms of reference.

You can also view the:

The community liaison group will give local interest groups regular updates on the progress of the project.

The liaison group will co-ordinate engagement in the project so that you can have your say as the project develops over the next 20 years. Membership of the group includes:

  • elected city councillors
  • Essex County Council
  • Developer Consortium
  • local ward members
  • parish council representatives
  • Channels Resident Association
  • Chelmsford Cycling Action Group
  • Essex Bridleway Association
  • The Land Trust
  • churches
  • local schools
  • universities

You can read the September 2020 newsletter.

Our officers will meet regularly with the developers to oversee the progress of the masterplan and related applications they need to submit during the project.

They will report the outcomes of these meetings to the delivery board. You can view these in the delivery board section.

You can view the structure chart.

As part of this overall development, there are some other projects going on that support the development.

They are:

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Last updated: 21 September 2022