We are reviewing our adopted Local Plan. Our Issues and Options consultation ran for 10 weeks, and closed in October 2022. 

We have now reviewed all the comments we received and have published feedback documents summarising the main issues:

We will use the comments regarding the Issues and Options Local Plan and the Integrated Impact Assessment to help us prepare the next draft of the review of the Local Plan (the Preferred Options Document).  

Comments received to the SHELAA Methodology and Criteria Note Amendments will be considered when we prepare the final SHELAA methodology.

We have also published all the comments on our consultation portal.  

Understand the issues

Our video explains what the Local Plan does.

We adopted our current Local Plan in May 2020. It guides growth and development across Chelmsford City Council's area to 2036. We need to review the plan at least every five years, to see if we need to update it. We need to consider new national policy and changing local circumstances, and make sure we meet the needs of our current and future residents. 

As part of this we are reviewing:

  • the amount and potential locations for new development of homes, jobs and infrastructure
  • areas for protection, such as open space and sites for wildlife

You can still read a summary of the key topics in our:

You can also read the full consultation documents. These documents feature detailed information and are large in size. You may find it easier to download and view these documents on a desktop computer, rather than on a smartphone or tablet. 

Find out more

You can read our:

You can also download a PDF version of our exhibition.

Consultation on the Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) has now closed.

We are now reviewing all the comments we received, and we will use them to prepare for the next stage of consultation. We will publish all the comments we received on our consultation portal.  

We will continue to assess the Local Plan as we review it, to make sure it contributes towards sustainability. We will assess the following aspects of sustainable development:

  • Sustainability Appraisal
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment
  • Health Impact Assessment
  • Equality Impact Assessment

The IIA assesses the issues and options against a range of social, environmental and economic indicators and helps to identify all the likely significant effects. The IIA advises on ways in which any adverse effects could be avoided, reduced or mitigated or how any positive effects could be maximised. This helps to ensure that the emerging policies, plans and allocations in the Local Plan are promoting sustainable development.

You can read:

We use the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) to assess sites nominated by landowners, promoters and developers. This helps us when researching and developing future Local Plans.

The SHELAA 2021 ‘call for sites’ to identify land for consideration as part of the Local Plan review has now closed.

We have started to assess submitted sites, and we can't accept late submissions.

You can submit a site for future assessment, or amend an already submitted site, through the SHELAA 2022. 

Find out more about how to submit or amend a site, and see the latest annual report.


The consultation on the SHELAA Methodology and Criteria Note has now closed. We are currently reviewing all comments that were submitted to us. We will present any changes as a result of these comments to Chelmsford Policy Board on Tuesday 28 February 2023.

We have also published the supporting documents listed below to provide more detail on a number of topics.

Topic papers

We have produced a number of Topic Papers to set out how the review of the Local Plan has been developed. We will refresh and update them at each stage of the review process to ensure the latest information/position is available. 

Topic Papers provide background information but they do not contain any policies, proposals or site allocations. They will form part of the Local Plan evidence base which we will submit alongside the Local Plan for independent examination.

The topic papers are on:

Other documents

We have a specially designed consultation portal for Local Plan and other planning policy consultations.

If you register, you can:

  • read and save consultation documents
  • make your comments online
  • receive alerts on future consultations

You can find out more about how to use the consultation portal.

We use the Local Development Scheme (LDS) to manage the plan-making process. It sets out our timetable for preparing the documents and for consulting on the Local Plan review.

We first adopted an LDS in 2006 and we have reviewed it regularly as we have made progress on producing our Local Plan.

This LDS is the eighth review. You can download the Chelmsford Local Development Scheme 2021-2025.

You can also download the seventh review of the LDS, which we published in April 2018. You can view the changes we have made since April 2018 in Appendix 1 of the 2021-2025 LDS document.

We are committed to working with other councils and key organisations on planning issues that cross council boundaries.

The organisations we regularly work with include Essex County Council, National Highways, environmental organisations and education providers.

We have to ensure that we properly co-ordinate strategic issues such as:

  • land for new homes and jobs
  • infrastructure
  • providing schools
  • mitigating climate change

We have adopted a Duty to Co-operate Strategy, which sets out who we will co-operate with and when, plus how we will do it.

We consulted on the draft Strategy in late 2021, and the council’s Cabinet approved it on 25 January 2022.

You can download the:

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