26 October 2009
Andrew Martin Associates (AMA) -
part of Capita Symonds - has submitted an outline planning
application for a £1bn mixed use development in north-east
The application, made on behalf of client
Countryside Zest (Beaulieu Park) LLP, includes up to 4,000 new
homes; a new business park; retail, hotel, open space, education
and community facilities; new highways and public transport
The application is the culmination of a number
of years work to promote what is a major strategic and sustainable
expansion of Chelmsford. The scheme is also one of the first to be
promoted successfully through a new development plan system (Phase
1, comprising approximately 600 dwellings, was secured through the
previous local plan process in the early 1990s).
The proposals for the new neighbourhood have
been incorporated into the adopted Chelmsford Borough Core Strategy
and emerging North Chelmsford Area Action Plan. The Core Strategy
sets the overarching planning policies to guide development in the
borough and identifies broad locations, including north-east
Chelmsford, to accommodate growth. Once finalised, the North
Chelmsford Area Action Plan will define precise boundaries for
specific allocations of land.
As well as acting as planning agents for the
project over the last 20 years, AMA managed the Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) process and the preparation of the
accompanying Environmental Statement (ES). AMA also provided
technical expertise on landscape & visual impact,
socio-economics and cumulative impact.
In terms of transport infrastructure, the
application safeguards land for the proposed north-east Chelmsford
bypass and incorporates provision for the early delivery of a
relief road to White Hart Lane, linking the Boreham Interchange to
Essex Regiment Way. The project also includes a new railway station
which will be the subject of a separate planning application, due
to be submitted by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Grade I listed ‘New Hall’
occupies a prominent position at the application site. Originally a
Tudor palace/hunting lodge, it is now a public school set within a
Grade II registered park and garden. The form and shape of the
masterplan are based on the principles established over a long
period by several eminent architectural historians and landscape
architects who established the consensus view that an arc of land
to the south of New Hall should remain open. As a result this open
space, which will provide an enhanced setting to the listed
building and its grounds, is to be dedicated as parkland.
The 16 week target determination period for
the application runs to early January 2010, unless Chelmsford
Borough Council and the applicant agree to extend this. A final
decision is likely to be made towards the end of 2010.