In our Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), we set out more detailed advice and guidance on how we implement our Local Plan. SPDs support our Local Plan and we use them as an important material planning consideration when we make decisions. Our SPDs cover a range of topics. 

We have also published some planning advice notes in response to common queries, changes in national policy or updated evidence.

Supplementary Planning Documents

This seeks to promote and secure high-quality sustainable new development. It is aimed at all forms of development, from large strategic developments, public spaces and places, to small extensions to individual homes.

It sets out detailed guidance on the standards included in Chelmsford’s Local Plan for future planning proposals. It also shows how development can go beyond planning policy requirements to create the most sustainable and environmentally friendly development.

Making Places Supplementary Planning Document

Self Build and Custom Build Design Code Template

This sets out how we will seek planning obligations when considering planning applications. 

It identifies topic areas where planning obligations and possible contributions would be applicable, whether financial or otherwise. This can include providing things like affordable housing, open space, environmental improvements or community facilities, and/or paying financial contributions towards them.

Along with our Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule, the SPD gives clear guidelines to developers, landowners and stakeholders. It sets out the likely scope and scale of planning obligations applicable to different sorts of development. 

Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document

Self Build and Custom Build Design Code Template

This SPD gives guidance on how to prepare and submit planning proposals for solar farms, and how we assess them.

It considers and applies advice from a number of sources, including the requirements of National Planning Policy and Guidance, local planning policies and other relevant strategies.

It provides practical advice when considering solar farm proposals, and can be used by:

  • solar farm applicants
  • council planners
  • local stakeholders and communities

You can download the:

Planning advice notes

The purpose of this Planning Advice Note is to:

  • encourage learning and understanding of community-led housing in the development industry
  • enhance the role that communities can have in influencing increased provision of community-led housing.

The note provides an overview of community-led housing and signposts further information and resources, including a local specialist Community Led Housing Advisor.

You can download the Community Led Housing Planning Advice Note.

This advice note defines the policy-compliant affordable housing requirement on developments of 11 or more dwellings. It also provides:

  • direction on those elements of the First Homes national criteria that local authorities can adapt
  • technical guidance on the application of First Homes exceptions sites in Chelmsford

You can:


This advice note provides guidance on two circumstances where we seek to address the under-supply of larger affordable homes for rent. 

The first relates to sites allocated for housing in the Local Plan and where the supply of residential accommodation is higher than set out in the Local Plan.

The second can relate to all development sites of 11 or more residential units where there is potential to increase the proportion of four-bedroom affordable homes for rent. 

You can download the Housing Additionality: Affordable Housing for Rent planning advice note.

This advice note clarifies how we determine if a developer can provide natural and semi-natural open space on site. It also sets out how we calculate a financial contribution in lieu if the developer can’t meet it on site. 

It uses the financial information provided in Tables 7 and 8 of the Planning Obligations SPD and provides worked examples for clarity. 

You can download the Open Space Planning Advice Note

This advice note summarises the demand for self-build and custom build homes. It provides up-to-date information on the size of homes applicants want, and their incomes and savings. 

It includes demand for different types of property and basic affordability analysis. We will update the information in this advice note annually. 

You can download the Self-Build and Custom Build: Planning Advice Note.

This advice note summarises the need for specialist residential accommodation we have identified when preparing a new Chelmsford Housing Strategy. 

It provides a method for calculating a commuted sum in lieu of on-site specialist residential accommodation. This method is also a flexible way for the Local Plan to meet the specialist housing needs we have identified in the emerging housing strategy.

You can download the Specialist Residential Accommodation: Planning Advice Note.

This advice note focuses on design and layout of Travelling Showperson provision, setting the standards that should apply to all new sites to ensure accommodation is suitable and of a high quality.

You can download the Travelling Showperson Sites: Planning Advice Note.

This advice note provides guidance on how we will implement and monitor the ambition to make sure three new trees are planted for every new home. We have stated this ambition in our Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan.

The advice note also sets out how we calculate a financial contribution in lieu if a developer can’t meet the ambition on site. Finally, it provides advice on tree species and how long trees require watering and protection.

You can download the Tree Planting planning advice note.

This advice note summarises the need for affordable wheelchair-accessible homes, using information from our Housing Register. 

It shows the bedroom size of wheelchair accessible accommodation needed for households in the highest housing need. We will update the information in this advice note in June 2025.

You can download the  Wheelchair Accessible Homes: Planning Advice Note.

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